Bullet-in-brain toddler leaves Kenya hospital, can lead normal life

NAIROBI (AFP) - A Kenyan toddler shot in the head by gunmen in a recent attack on a church was discharged from hospital on Thursday, with doctors saying he could lead a normal life after a bullet was removed from his brain.

The fate of one-and-a-half-year-old Satrin Osinya, whose mother died trying to protect him when the attackers sprayed the church service with bullets last month, has gripped the east African nation.

Doctors have said the bullet that was lodged in his head may have been the one that killed his mother.

"We are quite delighted with the way the operation of baby Satrin took place. He is fit to go home to continue with his normal life as a child. We are quite delighted," Kenyatta National Hospital head Lily Koros told reporters.

Dr Julius Kiboi, one of the neurosurgeons who operated on the child, said Satrin was given a clean bill of health.

"We appreciate that baby Satrin has done very well and now he is ready to go home. We have given him some medication and a clean bill of health, and we will conduct subsequent follow-ups to see how he is going to develop," he said.

Six died in the shooting near the port city of Mombasa on March 23, the latest in a string of attacks blamed on Islamist insurgents.

No group has claimed responsibility for the church shooting, but Kenya has been hit by a series of attacks since sending troops into southern Somalia in October 2011 to battle Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants.

Satrin's father, Benson Osinya, thanked the medical team but said he was now afraid of returning to the Mombasa area.

"My child has recovered fully and he is happy. He is walking around as you can see. I am very happy with the way the operation went but there is a gap in my life because my wife is not here," he said.

"My next step is to ask the government to assist me to get a job and if possible even here in Nairobi, because I am afraid to stay in Mombasa because of what has been happening. My children are even traumatised with what happened there."