How graduation day accident turned the tables for me

Thursday December 7 2017

Nicholas Mutuku Muoki at his home on December 5, 2017. PHOTO | MAGGIE NJUKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Nicholas Mutuku Muoki at his home in Machakos on December 5, 2017. PHOTO | MAGGIE NJUKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAGGIE NJUKI
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Nicholas Mutuku Muoki was travelling to Eldoret for his graduation but ended up in hospital after a tragic road accident.

The Bachelor of Science graduate remembers the fateful incident that happened exactly 20 years ago as if it happened yesterday.

“The Nissan matatu I was travelling in was overtaking a bus when it hit an oncoming lorry head-on. I lost consciousness on impact.

COMA FOR 2 MONTHS

“I’m told good Samaritans took us to the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital where I stayed for weeks before being transferred to the intensive care unit at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). I was in coma for two months.”

Nicholas, who was in his mid twenties at the time, had not intended to go for the graduation ceremony but a friend convinced him otherwise.

“We had grown up together and attended the same schools. Unfortunately my friend was killed in the accident,” says Nicholas.

“When I woke up from the coma, I thought I was still in school in a karate session that I used to attend because I found my left hand and leg tied to the bed.

“The nurses were on strike and I am told my mom is the one who took care of me at KNH for several weeks. When I came to, I could not recognise her neither could I speak. I later found out that I had lost 90 per cent of my memory, sense of smell, taste and sight.”

“People would call me kiwete (disabled) behind my back because I was now physically challenged and reliant on others for everything.”

Previously, his family relied on him for financial support as the eldest child after his father passed on but tables were turned after the accident.

“They were all saddened by my situation, always wondering where to get help from. They somehow managed to provide for my medication and physically supported me until I could move on my own.” He now moves around in a wheelchair and sometimes when he can, a walking stick.

CARING NEIGHBOUR BECOMES WIFE

While Nicholas was recuperating at home, one of their female neighbours kept coming around to help his mother with daily chores.

With time, they grew close and a year later he proposed to her. "She didn't play hard to get. She had seen it coming. I was so elated. We are blessed with two children now."

Nicholas filed a case against the bus company at the Milimani Law Courts 18 years ago hoping to be compensated from the accident but the case failed to kick off. It was never been mentioned and those implicated have since disappeared.

However, he says he has forgiven them and is moving on with his life. “I have no reason to hold it against them because it is my believe that they did not cause it intentionally,” he says.

STARTED PREACHING

Despite having undergone a physical and mentally painful experience, Nicholas, 44, remains hopeful and says he has never suffered from self esteem issues.

“To me, disability is a calling; God always wanted me to be a missionary and the accident gave me an opportunity to do so. I started preaching to patients and their families from my hospital bed."

He spends most of his time spreading the gospel in his home town of Yatta, Machakos County.

"I am also a guardian to an orphaned girl who is deaf. She is more of a niece to me as her mum, who was my wife’s sister passed on ten years ago and that is when I took her in. She is now 18 years old."

If given the chance, he says he is ready to fight for the rights of the disabled, orphans and street children.