How We Lost Our Beloved Franklin Ndosi a.k.a Kizzo Gunz To A Broken Health System & Inhumanity.
I have struggled to write this piece for 6 months now since we lost our beloved brother, son, husband, uncle, friend, comrade and soldier Franklin Kizzo Gunz. For those who were blessed to know this man..it was just that a BLESSING. Kizzo had so much love y’all…so much..he used to tell us ‘I got enough love for all y’all’..and finish it off with that smile of his, if not a Bernie Mac laugh..yes we used to call him Uncle Bernie..now both Bernies are gone. Kizzo was the 3rd born to our late father Major Moses Ndosi and the 1st born to his mother, Mama Kizzo. He was a husband to Kaye-Marie Antoinette and the most loved uncle amongst all his nieces and nephews. Boy did he love kids..and they loved him.
Kizzo started falling sick in 2008, until 2018, he had had 2 kidney transplants that were both rejected by his system. If you visit his social media pages www.instagram.com/kizzogunz and www.facebook.com/franklinmosesjonasndosi, you will learn of his journey, from when he started falling ill to throughout the two transplants. He shared all of it..the good and the bad..and the ugly. He was determined to open a foundation for kidney patients offering them support and helping them fundraise for transplants.
He would say, if this is all I can do to give someone hope then so be it. His galleries are full of pictures of him in tubes and the word of GOD. Yes, GOD prepared him I suppose, for the past 3 years my brother shared the word of GOD and drew his strength from his relationship with the mighty father no matter how much pain he was in. Almost like he knew..well..I ‘m still conflicted on how I feel about this loss and what I think GOD could have done..but that is my burden. He was my rock, my biggest support system, my best friend and my 7 year old apart twin..we used to say that because we were so much like..too much alike. La Femme Gunz..sigh.
We tried everything..from the two transplants to prayers..to running out of finances and asking for help and support. His group, Tripple 7 really tried hard to be there for him as he couldn’t hold down a permanent job due to his illness. Friends and family came through for us so much during these ten years and we truly have nothing to repay you but trust Kizzo is watching over y’all right now. In these situations, finance is crucial and we did everything to make sure he got the treatment he needed.
We even tried to raise funds through a Sunday Cookout that we advertised for 2 months in advance… look at him smiling as seen in the photo below, one that was not successful because some people just decided his life was not important enough to raise funds for and held their own event which of course everyone went to and did not show up to ours.
Had we been able to raise the funds for the transplant then, maybe he would have still been here with us today. But we will never really know now will we? Am I bitter! hell yes! do I blame some people! ABSOLUTELY! but it just proved to me even more how Hobbesian in nature Humanity is..we are selfish and uncouth, and I will never forget this guy’s (the brunchin event that all of a sudden appeared that weekend)response ‘it’s just business’ to which Kizzo responded ‘It is what it is’.
We tried online fundraising campaigns and I remember the backlash from TOT on Twitter who thought I wasn’t using the right words when I clearly said you cannot force someone to donate to a cause like this and it really should come from the heart. Instead it was misinterpreted and used for trolling and sabotage and well that was that with the online fundraising campaign.
We are forever grateful to all those who contributed what they could through various platforms, mobile money, the go-fund me page, the wezesha sasa platform..the funds helped with dialysis that he was doing every other day until he passed away. Yes every other day so you imagine the expenses. Kizzo was scheduled for his 3rd transplant and until he was passing away, we had already gotten a donor and everything was set, including the final tests for the surgery. He was scheduled to fly to India on the 6th of April as everything was finalized.
Kizzo passed away on 3rd of April at Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam. It started on Easter Sunday, 1st April which also happend to be April Fools. His wife who is an amazing cook, bless your heart Wifi Kaye, was cooking and he had invited the whole family to come over his house. Almost summoning in his own way. I remember asking in the family whatsapp group if food was ready and him responding, ‘yes y’all better get here’. I was with my older sister Dellah in Mbezi and I remember us being lazy and taking our time. We received a message from his wife Kaye an hour later and it didn’t make any sense…’Kizzo haoni jamani’..and I remember asking Dellah what is she talking about..is this an april fools joke? if it is, it’s one sick one just to get us to show up early. But it wasn’t a joke, apparently he had lost his vision.
He was scheduled for dialysis but since it was a public holiday he couldn’t go and was hoping for that Monday. His creatinine levels were too high (sumu ilizidi mwilini) When kidneys are working well they remove creatinine from the blood. As kidney function slows, blood levels of creatinine rise. Dialysis is crucial for a patient like this.
I remember me asking why they had to take him to the emergency room at Muhimbili Hospital, given his history there and how the doctors there had treated him before and even some swearing they will make sure they never help him. Yes it wasn’t his first time being admitted at Muhimbili.
I was told it was because we also needed a hospital with an emergency dialysis facility just in case he needed the procedure asap. Kizzo was admitted at the Emergency room on Sunday 1st April 12 noon. The family now instead of convening for lunch was now pacing up and down in Muhimbili passage ways.
Upon admission, his wife, Kaye, tried to explain his condition and history and begged for dialysis to be done as she suspected the levels were too high. No one listened, not the attending nurse and not the doctor of the kidney department who did not come see him until the next day even after being called numerous times by everyone we could reach out to due to his condition. He had lost his sight and we suspect that shocked him to a point of a pyschotic breakdown and so he was very aggresive. It was later confirmed by the attending nurse that His UREA was up according to one test they did. His mother pleaded with the doctors to do something and get him to dialysis but nothing was done on time.
They had to tie him against the bed railings and sedate him. Yes, all he got was sedatives to make him calm down. His wife again tried to explain how he was on antibiotics due to an infection from the fistula he used for dialysis but none of that was taken into consideration. I remember being allowed to see him at 6pm that Sunday evening, tied up..half passed out and half grunting in pain.
We had to leave because it was past visiting hours and as you know Muhimbili no one is allowed to sleep with the patient. The next morning, I got there and he was on an Oxygen machine ans in a Coma..I remember his wife and I asking the nurse what happened overnight, but she couldn’t give us details and just said he has to be taken to the ICU room. Looking at him then I knew something wasn’t right. It just wasnt’t…and he hadn’t received any dedicated care..none. I remember going outside and screaming and then furiously tweeting on how we loose people to our poor health systems and how since he was admitted he had not received any real treatment or a full diagnosis. He was then dubbed ‘mgonjwa wa Twitter’ and some attention was raised but not well received. Do I blame myself for writing what I wrote in a cry for help? NO! knowing Kizzo, he would have done exaclty the same for me if not more extreme.
My brother Geoffrey tried to check him out of the hospital so we could take him to another hospital,but they refused claiming they were finally taking him to dialysis and that we should let them proceed. He had even gotten help of getting Flying Doctors so he could be taken to another hospital but still they didn’t let us and claimed we should give them time. All this while we were insisting on dialysis.
Kizzo while unconscious was Moved from the ward to ICU on 2nd April Monday around 1pm, and the doctors there assured us that he would be attended to and that his condition was serious. And finally they agreed dialysis was to be administered. Only problem is, his blood pressure was not stabilized and they couldn’t do it until it did. Now remember here, the wife did share his history and his daily medication that was not taken into account.
That afternoon we sat outside the ICU, waiting to go see him in turns and be on standby for any news of his pressure stabilizing. Another big family was also seated outside waiting on their loved one. A few minutes later, the husband ( I suspect of the lady ) came out crying and wailing and saying ‘Niliwaaambia, hamku nisikiliza, mmeniulia mke wangu). I remember Kaye(Kizzo’s wife ) staring in shock and getting teary eyed. I remember cracking stupid jokes so she would snap out of it and praying silently that GOD is merciful on our loved one despite the circumstances. Kizzo was still in a coma, I left the hospital around 4.30pm that evening with no news of improvement. His wife and my young sister left around 7pm. My brother Gerald hung around just incase he woke up. He never did. My last images of my brother is him being tied up..helplessly reaching out..to him on an oxygen machine..to him wrapped in a brown cloth in the mortuary. Yes, I went in and even tried to wake him up.
Kizzo passed away at 7.20pm on the 3rd of April, with news of his passing shared in Doctors whatsapp groups and going viral. His next of Kin listed contacts were his wife Kaye, and his mother Mama Kizzo who had both listed their contacts but the nurse in duty said they couldn’t find the contacts and so called our older brother Joseph through their own contacts. Is that even allowed?
I found out my brother had passed away through a WHATSAPP message after my friend offered his condolences…how did they know before we did? how did they get the information of Kizzo’s passing before we did?
Now ladies and gentlemen..for those who might ask why I ‘m doing this..well..SIMPLE..because Kizzo would have wanted me to. For those who knew him, y’all know he would have done this a long time ago. I struggled..I have struggled..with all I ‘m feeling, with what the whole family is feeling. We lost someone very special to us…very special and yes I do believe to a poor health system and inhumanity. I ask myself everyday what we could have done differently. I fear for the rest of my family and myself even.. should we ever fall sick and end up at Muhimbili, will we be subjected to the same? Will they refuse us service just because I spoke about this? I wonder how that Head of department of a doctor feels? Yes it’s a she..whoever said women cannot be heartless was a LIAR!! how does she sleep at night? does she have kids? does she know what Mama Kizzo is going through now? What his wife is going through? If we are to ever meet her face to face, what will she say? will she even say anything? How many lives have been lost like this? How many situations could have been avoided if we had health systems that were accessible, fair and just? How many lives will we be able to save if we all humane ourselves and not just take everything as ‘just business’?
For those who say ‘aliteseka sana’..My brother still wanted to live and he was fighting everyday to live. He went through 2 kidney transplants, a hipbone replacement and still came back to us. He wanted to Live!!
Kizzo my brother, I know you are resting now. I know GOD has welcomed you with both his arms as I believe he also prepared you to meet him. I pray it gets easier for us to come to terms with your passing. I pray we can forgive..I pray we are forgiven…I pray we do better. Like you used to say to Dad..now me to both of you…I shall mourn you until I join you my Gs! BLESSINGS A MULTIPLY.