She had battled Lupus, an autoimmune disease, for over 20 years. Undergoing a number of kidney transplants over the years.
UPDATE Tuesday March 23: The family of the late media personality Lorna Irungu-Macharia announced on Monday, March 22 that she will be buried today in a private ceremony.
The burial will take place in line with the strict instructions issued by the Ministry of Health ordering all victims to be buried within 72 hours.
The family further asked Kenyans to accord the privacy as they grieve the loss of the mother of one.
“The family knows that Lorna is deeply loved by many and asks for your continued prayers and requests privacy during this difficult time but also informs that a public virtual celebration of her life will be organised and details will be communicated shortly,” read a statement from her family.
Former Nation FM presenter Lorna Irungu-Macharia has succumbed to COVID-19.
She died at a hospital in Nairobi, with the news confirmed by her family on Monday, March 22.
Irungu was also the former Managing Director of the Gina Din Group as well as the former manager of Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi.
She had battled Lupus, an autoimmune disease, for over 20 years, undergoing a number of kidney transplants over the years and being vocal about her fight with the disease.
“I was diagnosed with lupus in my early twenties, which attacked my kidneys. I had my first kidney transplant in 1998. So far I have had three other transplants, the last one being in 2008,” she said in an interview on NTV in 2020.
It all began with an infection that evolved into tuberculosis of the spine which saw her admitted to Nairobi Hospital.
“I no longer had the will to fight. I was scarred physically and mentally. Frankly, I’d had enough of life and all it had to offer,” Irungu stated in a past interview with Daily Nation.
But Irungu did decide to fight, with the help of a very giving family. Three times she has needed a kidney transplant, and three times her family members had insisted on donating. First, her father donated, then her sister, and then her brother.
It was the third kidney failure that saw her brother offer his kidney. However, the procedure was too costly within the country, meaning she had to send emails of her medical history to countries abroad.
Luckily, doctors at Fortis Hospital in New Delhi, India had responded to her calls, leading to a successful transplant in 2008.
Irungu burst to fame as a presenter in the Omo Pick a Box game show which aired on KTN.
She later hosted Club Kiboko on KTN between 1994 and 1999, while also producing a magazine show Maisha and the youth dialogue show dubbed Niaje. She also hosted State of The Nation at Nation FM, which was then dubbed Easy FM.
Members of the media fraternity were hardest hit by the news of Lorna’s death, expressing their shock and disbelief online.
She was survived by her husband Edwin Macharia, who posted a heartbreak emoji on Twitter after her death, as well as their daughter.