Father Sacrifices His Heart to Save Daughter

  • A father and daughter silhouette
    A father and daughter silhouette.
  • What would you do if you had 24 hours to live?

    I’m not talking about the hypothetical ‘live each day like it’s your last’ mantra you get from your favourite motivational speakers in their perfectly pressed suits, and horn-rimmed glasses.

    I mean it quite literally. You just left the hospital knowing your life’s hourglass was going to sprinkle down your final sands in the next 24 hours?

    Funny enough, I didn’t leave the doctor’s room with any feelings of sadness, anger or even regret. All I had was this combustive drive to write a letter to Mwende (My 16-year-old daughter. My Heart).

    Surgeons at Kenyatta National Hospital performing a surgery
    Surgeons performing surgery on a patient.

    However, this thing called adulting meant that I had to get my finances in order.

    I called up my personal banker (Peter stationed at that Co-op Bank located next to City Hall) and explained my ‘unusual’ situation...I could hear his jaw-dropping to the floor on the other end of the line once I was done. 

    Luckily, I got to learn that I could carry out most of my transactions on their online platform.

    I say ‘luckily’ coz this meant that I got to spend the hours I had with the beautiful girl munching on a sandwich in the living room as I write this.

    We spent most of the day goofing around. She has her mother’s eyes. Looking into those snow-white gems on her pretty face stirs up so many happy memories of a time that feels like a lifetime ago.

    Anyway, I hurriedly did all the money stuff that needed to be done... paying her fees via MCo-op cash, approving her godfather’s (Chris) role as a signatory, brushed through the trust fund I had already set up for her etc.

    I won’t pummel you with all the financial stuff as I don’t have the time. Literally...So I’ll get right into it.

    A silhouette of a little girl holding a hand.
    A silhouette of a little girl holding a hand.

    Dear Mwende,

    If you’re reading this then it worked, and for the zillionth time, just know that I love you more than life itself.

    I have so much to say and finding where to start has proven impossible, so I’ll just wing it...Yep, your dad is about to drop a freestyle.

    The last 16 years seem to have whizzed by in some sort of a blur.

    It seems like just the other day when I was watching you take your first steps. I even remember calling up your uncle Chris.

    “She’s a genius! She’s already walking and running around!” I screamed over the phone...Ok, I may have gone over the top on the ‘running’ bit...you were just 7 months old at the time.

    My wobbly knees caved in and my heart turned into jello the first time your cute little face looked right at me and mumbled out ‘daddy’.

    Once again, I called up everyone I knew to announce your ‘genius'. 

    It feels surreal that in just two years you’ll be old enough to vote. Time really does fly.

    Speaking of memories, I do remember your first heartbreak and how I almost went all Rambo on Kevo...I do hope you forgave me for that embarrassing episode...Clearly not one of my finest hours.

    Which reminds me. I have to confess that most of my recent ‘nightmares’ were of me walking you down the aisle.

    Don’t get me wrong. In the dream, I was beyond happy. It's the thought of giving my baby girl away that somehow always woke me up, my pyjamas drenched in sweat.
    Part of my dream won’t come true, but I pray that all of yours do.

    I won’t sit here and list how you should live your life or who you should marry. That’s all on you. I just need you to be willing to make mistakes and more importantly, learn from them.

    You should always be willing to try new things, take the road less travelled, follow your passion and never doubt your abilities.

    Our recent visit to the hospital was the saddest day of my life. You had been on my case all day trying to get me to spill the beans on what I was getting you for your birthday.

    Then you collapsed and everything stopped.

    All I could think of was your mum...they said the heart thing was hereditary but I couldn’t bring myself to believe it.

    I will never forget the first thing you asked me once the doctor’s managed to get your heart working again.

    “Daddy, Am I going to die?”
    “No love. You will live till you are old and grey haired - and probably toothless”
    “How can you be so sure?”
    “I just know. Trust me and have a little faith”

    Well, the fact that you’re reading this proves that a little faith goes a long way.

    Always remember, no matter what, you will always have your old man rooting for you and pumping you towards your dreams.

    It may not be the ideal birthday gift, but I am so happy that I get to live again through you.

    You have my heart.

    Go and conquer the world!

    A silhoutte of a girl and her father.
    A silhoutte of a girl and her father.