Prof. Nelson Wanyama Awori succumbed to pulmonary embolism following a road traffic accident in Nairobi in 1986. He was one of 16 children of the late Jeremiah Musungu Awori a clergyman of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) and Mariamu Olubo Odongo. Mariamu used to treat sick people in their home and her assistant in this work was young Nelson from which he probably got the inspired to pursue a medical career. The atmosphere of love and discipline within which the 16 children were raised paid off handsomely as all ended up very successful in their respective careers. Jeremiah and Mariamu were buried at Nambale following their demise in 1964 and 1971 respectfully. Canon Awori street in Kakamega is named after Prof.Nelson Awori’s father.
Prof.Nelson W. Awori was a distinguished surgeon and researcher in the field of kidney related ailments. He achieved a major breakthrough in his career when he led the team that carried out black Africa's first successful kidney transplant which was performed at Nairobi Hospital in 1978. He was a keen listener and during his tenure as Chairman of the Department of Surgery, he directed Prof.P.A.Odhiambo to revive the then moribund journal club and it has to date remained relatively strong. His son Mark Awori, is a lecturer in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery in the Department of Surgery of the University of Nairobi.