Tecra Muigai had a severe cut on the head unlikely to result from a fall, a Lamu doctor has told a Nairobi court.
Appearing before Milimani Principal Magistrate Zainab Abdul on Tuesday, doctor Barack Mohammed Mubarak who attended to the deceased at King Fahad Hospital in Lamu said she had a fracture of the temporal lobe.
The temporal lobe is one of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex. It is the lower lobe of the cortex, sitting close to ear level within the skull. It is largely responsible for creating and preserving both conscious and long-term memory.
“There was a cut on her head which does not depict a normal fall. The cut could have been from an external object’s impact,” the medic testified.
He also told the court that there were blood stains on her clothes and bedding. The ear was covered with cotton wool to stop bleeding, he said.
“The ear was covered with cotton wool. I removed it and there was active bleeding. There were no external clinical findings that indicated severe head injuries,” Mubarak added.
At around 5 pm on April 23, he recounted receiving a CT scan report that indicated a serious head injury. The inquest also heard that Tecra was intoxicated.
When she arrived at the medical facility, she was still conscious but could not communicate, the medic told Abdul.
“The patient was not in a position to give her history. She was alert but not able to communicate,” the court heard.
The doctor also noted that preliminary reports showed that her injuries were not consistent with a normal fall.
“From an initial assessment it did not appear like it was a normal fall on the stairs. If it was a normal fall there would be bruises as there were no observations of the bruises,” he continued.
A doctor at the Nairobi Hospital, Esther Matu, told the court that the deceased was incoherent when she arrived at the facility.
Matu who is stationed at the hospital’s critical care unit also noted that medics at King Fahad mishandled the case.
“I thought King Fahad was a resource-limited hospital based on the material they presented us with. They did not accord the case the seriousness it deserved,” Dr Matu said.
Dr Matu also stated that when Tecra arrived at the facility, they could not make out what she was saying hence they had to rely on Omar Lali (her boyfriend) for information.
“We did not manage to get any information from Tecra. Throughout the flight, she kept saying mmmh, mmmh,” she said.
Tecra was aggressive and could not sit still, the medic told the court.
“She was aggressive, didn’t want to be touched, and was not sitting still,” the court heard.
“There was no bleeding of the skull and no bleeding from the left ear [as captured in] the initial doctor’s report.”
Mubarak and Matu agreed that Tecra fractured her temporal bone, a claim disputed by Emily Adhiambo Rogena, a pathologist representing Lali.
Rogena said that the deceased Keroche heiress had one fracture that extended to five bones but not touching the temporal bone. She noted that upon dissecting her remains, it was found that she had 11 soft tissue injuries and was also bleeding from the brain stem.
The court also heard that her brain had shifted to the right, her liver looked fatty and degenerative, the lung had air, and her stomach a bit of erosion.
“The cause of death, as I established, was a severe head injury from a blunt trauma.”
Lali who was initially charged with murder is set to testify on Wednesday after the court ordered him to appear in person.