On 27th October 2016, my life took a different turn that would change who I was. I had to make a choice - Stand back and watch from a safe distance or risk my life and walk into the blazing inferno to save my five-year-old sister's life.
My name is Allan Kimani Kuria. I am a thirteen-year-old boy from Kenya, and this is my story.
It was on that fateful day at 7 pm. I was playing with my friends just outside our home when I heard a commotion from the house. It was my younger sister, five-year-old Blessings Favour Wangui Kuria. I left her in the house, watching a cartoon television program. But, now her voice was shouting, "Come and see what is happening!"
The house was on fire!!
I yelled at my mother, "Stand at the door, don't go inside! I will go inside and bring Wangui to you!" My voice trembled with urgency and fear. My mother knew the danger and tried to restrain me from running into the blazing inferno. But her grasp couldn't hold me back.
My focus was to save my little sister. I ran to the bedroom and called out her name, but there was no response. I quickly found my way to the slightly open bedroom window. It was engulfed in flames but was my only chance to call for help. My eyes could hardly see, with a gasp of air I called for help.
The rescue team heard my shouts and pulled me out of the burning house. However, they couldn't pull my sister Wangui out. The flames had already consumed her.
My first stop was a nearby clinic where I received First Aid. After that, I moved to the Kiambu Hospital (Level 5 County Hospital).
The investigators said that the cause of the house fire was a gas explosion. The doctors said that I sustained 40% total body surface burns, with deep 2nd and 3rd-degree burns affecting all my limbs, scalp and trunk.
I had to get specialized treatment and the burns unit at the National Referral Hospital (Kenyatta National Hospital) would be my next stop. Unfortunately, my arrival coincided with a nationwide doctors' strike, disrupting my treatment.
The wounds on my body were getting worse. I was in need of urgent specialised care. My next stop was St. Matia Mulumba Hospital, a mission hospital in Thika town.
I was under the care of a burns specialist who did several surgical procedures including skin grafting on my head and other parts of my body that had suffered severe burns.
After I had finished treatment, the hospital processed all my discharge documents. However, I am unable to leave the hospital yet. I have an enormous pending bill of Kes 1.6 Million ($ 16,000).
My family and I kindly request for your help to offset the bill and enable me to resume my studies.
If you are in Kenya, kindly send your contribution to Mpesa Number 0722 884908 (Lily Mandrine)
God bless you very much.
Master Allan Kimani Kuria.