That day, I made a trip to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Mortuary in Kisumu County, to attend to my cousin, who had died due to a crocodile attack. It was in April 2016. He had gone for fishing along the lakeshore when the incident occurred. Wuod Kuot died with his hair shaved. It was less than a week in the morgue. On my arrival, he wore a changed face completely. I could not notice him quickly, and it took a hard time to believe in his image.
‘’He has grown many hairs…’’ Othew the diener stated upon realizing my amazement, ‘’… when one dies, the hair continues to grow. They grow at a higher rate than it happens in the living man. During this immortal stage, the body cells go on working until they have exhausted their fuel supply. ’’
Wuod Kuot’s skin and enveloping tissues had contracted. He simulated a dehydrated sleeping, a hungry fellow who made it without food for days. His nails and hairs, which had been just under the flare-up of his dark skin, became exposed, showing an impression of the same thought. His hairs grew high in silky, painting the whole of his face unshaven. He looked composed and froze on the floor. Othew agreed to support me find a barber to shave him before he commences showing up to him. He noticed many scratches he got during the strife with the crocodile who overpowered him.
But with time, there would be no further hair growth. The attendant assured me with my fellow bereaved, who was about to pick up his home. ‘’He died in water? He asked me.
‘’Yeah! A crocodile attack.’’ I confirmed
‘’Take heart! You will need to shave him today before his condition worsens.’’
‘’Thank you! I’ll do just that, friend.’’
As a barber, I craved to do the job alone to set up what it takes for one to grow much hair after death. They could not allow me to perform the same because what will others eat? It is someone’s job. Maybe he is someone who ‘eats’ with the bosses. The following day, they had shaved him even though his image faded. But the sprouting had just begun showing the essence of hair growth in the coming few days. It was a lady diener’s duty when I arrived. She retorted me when I asked her if he would grow much hair still. She assured me by looking at me in the eye that it would stop.
She referred me to an excerpt from Leo Mauro, who stated, and she read from her mind: If you want to be extremely technical, note that the body doesn’t die all at once. By the time a doctor calls the time of death, a significant part of the body’s cells is still biologically alive. The collection as a whole is unrecoverable, at least for today’s medicine. However, many cells still hang in the flesh as much as they can.
It is the reason we can harvest organs for transplant from dead people (but only for a short time after death, before cell death is too pervasive). In particular, we can perform scalp transplants up to 12 hours after death (with the appropriate care), and they attach and thrive most of the time, producing healthy, growing hair.
So, technically, the hair could still grow in the scalp’s follicles for up to 12 hours. At the average rate of growth of 0.5 inches per month, in 12 hours, it could grow 0.008 inches, assuming a steady flow of oxygen and nutrients. Which follicles won’t have because the body is dead, remember?
I had learned from her excerpt that the process had stopped, and there would be no more hair growth from Wuod Kuot. Twelve hours had elapsed; it had tripped. I am sure Wuod Kuot’s continued growth was because of his decomposed body, which had swollen. The water balloons the body, making it float. The water enters the body from all openings once one dies in the water. They told me he had oozed much water since his body arrived. I swallowed my bitter saliva as I held my tears back into my eyelid.