Jane Wants to Walk Again
It’s a fine Thursday evening. You have had a fairly pleasant day, and after attending an evening church service at Hotel 680 you head home… You meet a friend from the bus stop, and as you walk home in the dark, your life is changed forever. In the dark because your neighbourhood has been experiencing frequent blackouts.
Then it happens. Those few minutes now set to redefine your future. Your dreams and aspirations.
For those who are still wondering, this is Jane Mwangi’s story. I will not repackage it because it has already been told. Here is what transpired:
It all happened on the evening of the 28th may 2015 when Jane Mwangi, walked home from a church service at 680 Hotel. Jane was coming from the bus stop, headed home when she met a friend, with whom she walked.
She says, “There were no lights, but this was not unusual, since we had experienced several blackouts in Kariobangi South.” Two blocks to her court, a young, bearded man blocked their way, pointing a gun in their direction. He was unmasked and demanded that they surrender all valuables to him. They had no choice, but to comply. She handed over her phone to him and her M-Pesa PIN number, but there seemed to be a problem when he tried it. He got agitated, perhaps thinking that she had given him the wrong PIN intentionally.
She says, “At that point, he lifted up his black pistol to shoot and my friend immediately panicked and blacked out. The man had a look of fear in his eyes and with shaky fingers, he directly fired a shot to the right side of my chest,” she recalls. The bullet, tore through her right shoulder, passed through her back and miraculously only grazed her spine causing her to slump forward. It was while she begged him to spare her life that she lost consciousness. Jane narrates an eerie near-death experience where she could hear and see herself say her PIN number. Her savior was a neighbour who heard the gunshot and rushed to the scene. He found her writhing in pain with the gunman having melted into the darkness. He called her parents, who rushed her to the nearby Metropolitan Hospital.
Later, she was transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital for surgery. While in recovery, she lost all sensation in her legs. Doctors said the bullet had interfered with the motor nerve, hence the reason she couldn’t feel her legs. Post-surgery, her ordeal kept her motionless at the Coptic Hospital. A few days into treatment Jane’s doctor made it clear that she could never walk again.
She says, “The doctor was giving a scientific view and I did not blame him, since, after all, my legs were immobile.” Two days later, her legs felt some sensation and she believes that she will walk again. Her checkup and physiotherapy sessions have continued in the months after the initial discharge.
Fast forward to September 2015. About four and a half months after the encounter with the people who turned her life upside down. Jane is still bed ridden. Don’t get me wrong, she is so full of life! Her infectious faith is radiant, and why not? She is a beautiful soul, this one. So beautiful so that she openly admits absolutely no burden in forgiving her accosters. She is holding on to hope for her dreams, and believes she is testimony of God’s faithfulness.
It has not been, and is not easy.
Her current state means she depends on helpers for everything, including changing her lying down position. She is very enthusiastic whenever friends drop by to see her, with conversations often burying albeit until it is time for the visitor to leave, the thought that Jane cannot see them off as she would gladly do before her ordeal. For those who know her, it is impossible to contain her fullness of life when at her best. A journalist by profession, she recently returned from China where she completed her Masters. She is a big believer in people, and the place of humanity irrespective of circumstances. Always ahead of the pack to help in whatever means, whenever she can, she is a darling and an inspiration to many.
Today. This cause.
A few days ago it was deemed prudent to seek a second opinion from a leading neurosurgeon from Nairobi Hospital on her progress and condition. Rigorous diagnosis procedures later, and the verdict. Paraplegia secondary to thoracic spinal cord injury. Simply, it is paralysis that affects all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs. His recommendation? Intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation in a specialized dedicated unit.
There is no such unit in Kenya. Her only options are Europe and the USA.
This is where we come in. A facility has already been identified in the US, where her sister lives. She is therefore assured of the warm presence of family and care as she undergoes rehabilitation. She urgently needs our support. Approximately KES 7,000,000 – for her ticket and medical care.
We can play our part in making her dream come true. I appeal to the same spirit that has set us apart as a nation in the past. Let us support this worthy course.
Jane will walk again.
Contributions can be made to
A/C Name: Jane Mwangi Medical Fund Account
A/C No: 1450164274483 Equity Bank, Milimani Branch
Paybill 596018 A/C No. JANE MEDICAL FUND
Video Courtesy of Versatile Photographers.
As Versatile Team, we do believe that Nothing is impossible with God and Let’s help Jane get back to her feet.