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Justice for Ryan: Distraught father narrates how he lost son, 8, due to doctor’s negligence

When Isaac Opondo took his son to a Nairobi hospital after complaining of pains in his back, he did not think he would return home without him.

According to Opondo, his son Ryan Hawi, just like any other day, returned home from school, did his homework and went outside to play with other kids, before retreating home.

But at around 9 pm, he complained of backache. He says that he gave the son paracetamol tablet but he continued complaining of the back pains after 30 minutes.

“I consulted his pediatrician who advised that I take him to the [Hospital’s] casualty and request the attending doctor to call her,” the distraught father narrates.

At the facility, the eight-year-old was allegedly given an assortment of medications including Morphine, an opioid medication used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Ryan’s Admission

The doctor advised them to have Ryan admitted which Opondo declined, but later gave in when the situation worsened.

“We initially declined the admission request by the doctor because he seemed ok. Ryan was given ketorolac at 2am and this changed everything, Ketorolac was given off label and is not indicated for his management, he became drowsy and sleepy forcing us to agree to admit,” he details.

On admission the child was again administered with Morphine at 3ml/h and Gabapentin also off label.

“Soon after the SPO2 which was at 100% on [25th March 2021] and The Nairobi hospital doctors, and staff did not give Ryan a lifesaving medication Naloxone which would have reversed the morphine overdose immediately. The Nairobi hospital and its doctors did not perform Hemodialysis to remove Gabapentin from Ryan,” the father adds.

Ryan’s parents want the hospital take blame for their son’s death. PHOTO/COURTESY

Ryan died on 1st March 2021.

It appears that although investigations have kicked off, Opondo believes the facility is mischievous. First, he says the doctors who allegedly mismanaged his son’s medical situation are on the investigating team.

Additionally, the hospital’s CEO, despite agreeing to meet him, said he could not offer any assistance as he was not a medical doctor, leaving the matter to the doctors in question.

“When I requested the medical director for the investigation I did so believing that the hospital has internal safeguard that would be able to respond failures by doctors to follow the laid down procedures,” the deceased’s father says.

The investigation report has been submitted to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council. Opondo claims in their report, the doctors left out Gabapentin or Ketorolac medications administered to his son off label.

Ryan’s mother who is also seeking justice for her child, says she has been broken since the incident.


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