Man Who Underwent Mistaken Brain Surgery Discharged From Hospital


The patient whose skull was opened up in a mistaken brain surgery at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has been discharged. Samuel Kimani Wachira was brought to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on February 19 while unconscious.Same day, another patient identified as John Mbugua Nderitu, 38, was rushed to the hospital by his sister, mother and brother-in-law after he got involved in a hit and run accident.


One of John Mbugua Nderitu’s sisters, Pauline Njeri Nderitu, had received a call from a Good Samaritan that her brother had been taken to a nearby clinic following a hit-and-run accident involving a motorcycle.

“The Good Samaritan called and described Mbugua to me. I was convinced that was my brother and I immediately organised for how he would be taken to another hospital,” Ms Nderitu recounted.

The first hospital that the 38-year-old man was taken to was St Francis Community Hospital in Kasarani where upon doing a CT scan (computed tomography scan), the medics recommended that the family transfers him to KNH as they lacked a neurosurgeon.

Ms Nderitu went on to say:

“Upon listening to the doctor, we agreed to sign the consent to take him to theatre.

“But as we waited, a nurse led us to the general surgery ward where we were later sent back to the theatre downstairs and left Mbugua at the entrance of the operating theatre. The doctor even told us that the procedure would take about four hours.”

But to everyone’s shock, a horrifying mix-up of identification tags happened and 37 year old Samuel Kimani Wachira who only needed a non-invasive treatment for swelling underwent a brain surgery.

The doctors did not realise their mistake until “hours into the surgery” when they then realised “there was no blood clot”.

In an exclusive interview with Kenya’s Daily Nation, the two patients— John Mbugua Nderitu, 38, and Samwel Kimani Wachira, 37, — said they were improving since their admission.

“Except for intermittent headaches, I am doing well,” Mr Mbugua, who left the facility in the company of his three sisters, said.

Mr Samwel Kimani Wachira, who was in the company of his older brother and lawyer, said: