Thomas (Tom) Cholmondeley dies

Thomas (Tom) Cholmondeley, a popular Kenyan farmer of British origin passed away on Wednesday at age 48. He died of a cardiac arrest at MP Shah Hospital, where he was rushed to on Tuesday for a hip replacement surgery.

Before his heart went into an arrest, medical practitioners did all they could to resuscitate him for more than three hours after the operation.

New reports have emerged that cement being used in Tom Cholmondeley’s hip operation probably caused his death from cardiac arrest.

A survey carried out in the UK has indication that there were 62 cases of severe patient harm or death between 2005 and 2012 due to “bone cement implantation syndrome (BCIS).”

In BCIS, insertion of cement somehow leads to some fat and bone marrow contents being released into the bloodstream (venous embolisation). When this happens, they can block blood flow, which may lead to respiratory and cardiac arrest.

The deceased was the son of the 5th Lord Delamere, among the first and most influential British settlers in Kenya.

He was the only heir of the big Delamere estate in Naivasha town. His family owns one of the largest lands in the country. They have lived in the country for about a century.

Left to mourn Mr Cholmondeley are his fiancée Sarah Dudnesh, two teenage sons and his aging parents.

Cholmondeley’s father, Lord Hugh George Delamere, is in his 80s and his mother Lady Ann is in the late 70s. They live on their farm in Soysambu.

Cholmondeley has had a hip disorder since the last two years. A source close to the family said the disorder began after Tom, who was an avid motorcycle rider, got involved in an accident that shattered his hip-joint and had to undergo surgery. Since the accident, he had been limping and had even been to the UK for treatment.

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Cholmondeley came to spotlight in April 2005 after he shot and killed KWS game warden Samson ole Sisina in his Soysambu. Sisina and his colleagues had attacked his farm after it was speculated that the management processed game meat.

This led to countrywide demonstrations with activists urging the nationals to a boycott his livestock products. Cholmondeley was charged but Amos Wako, the then Attorney General, discharged and acquitted him for many reasons as he claimed self-defence.

Cholmondeley shot and killed suspected poacher Robert Njoya in May 2006.

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He was arrested for the killing. However, he told authorities he and a friend were walking on his ranch when they spotted five men with machetes, bows and arrows and a dead impala.

He was with veteran rally driver Carl Tundo, who had wanted to obtain a lease of some part of the ranch for a bio-diesel and agro-forestry project.

He claimed that he shot at Njoya and a dog after asking them to freeze but they set their dogs on him instead. Although the men gave a different story, saying Cholmondeley had fired as they ran for their lives.

Njoya, a 37-year old father of four boys, died after a bullet fired by Cholmondeley nicked an artery in his pelvis. Cholmondeley denied the murder charge but admitted shooting dogs belonging to a group of poachers he confronted on his 55,000 acre ranch.

In May 2009, he was acquitted of murder but found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to eight months at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.

He was released in October, 2009 following the three-year trial at the High Court in Nairobi.