I feel privileged to have been a part of Victoria’s journey for the last 7 months. I have watched a mother and child move through utter loneliness and confusion to acceptance and having such a large supportive network of friends. When I first met Victoria no one had ever held her before except her mother (Penina) and when Ehud (a visitor that came from England to do some physiotherapy) randomly asked to hold Victoria she couldn’t believe it. I think this was the first moment of acceptance that they had felt. From then onwards they would come to church and ‘mama sema’ and really became part of the community here at Tumaini. It has been amazing to gradually see people getting to know them, love them and support them through what has been the most challenging 7 months.
Through prayer requests and my own personal blog you may have known Victoria was due for an operation in Nairobi at a hospital called Kijabe. She had returned home from Nairobi and was due to go back to Nairobi for the operation after 6 weeks. I was so shocked to see her as she was very weak and had lost over 2kg. Sadly the day after she arrived back home in Mombasa Victoria’s temperature rocketed so high and she was having trouble breathing – she had a huge infection. She was rushed to hospital and put on oxygen and treated, but Victoria’s body was tired of fighting and by the early morning Victoria had passed away.
It was a sad time for everyone at Tumaini, we had learnt so much about Victoria and each had played a role in her journey. We are comforted to know that Victoria is now at peace, she is pain free and this is the biggest comfort of all. We had her funeral on Saturday and it was so lovely to see the mamas from Tumaini preparing the food, our church elders leading the ceremony, and our ‘mama sema’ women stood by Penina’s side.
As a community, through knowing Victoria, many have learnt the purpose of love, the impact of love and how love can drastically change someone’s life. Though Victoria was only here for a short time, she brought us an important message that ‘love changes all’.
By Molly Fyfe