In Summary
  • At Aga Khan, MRI scans showed that I had suffered a C5 and C7 fracture to the spine, meaning I lost control of anything below my armpits, including my hands.
  • Doctors explained that the condition was incurable. They gave me painkillers to manage the pain from the fractures.
  • By the time I was discharged a month later, I was too weak to even sit up in the wheelchair.
  • Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]

It was just before 6am on Saturday, February 8, 2014. I was travelling back home from a party in Nakuru with four friends, one of whom was driving. A truck in the climbing lane was approaching us dangerously fast from the opposite direction and before we knew it, there was a head-on collision. It happened within seconds. Two days later, when I regained consciousness, I found myself in a hospital bed.

My name is Brian Muchiri Waihenya. I am 23 and this is the story of how my life changed within seconds.

COULD NOT FEEL MY HANDS AND LEGS

Immediately after I woke up, I realised how strange it was that I could not feel my hands or legs, nor could I lift them. All I could feel was the pain in my shoulders. I was confused and scared at the same time.

My family and relatives were there for support, constantly assuring me that everything would be alright. As my memory slowly returned, it dawned on me that I was in a terrible accident, though I was reluctant to learn the details. When I was finally ready, I asked my parents about the accident but they seemed hesitant to divulge any information. They were more concerned about my recovery.

THREE FRIENDS DIED

A week later, a friend came to visit me in hospital. She informed me that she had just attended the burial ceremony for one of our mutual friends who also happened to be in the car that fateful day. As she continued to recount the aftermath of the accident to me, I found out that two of my other friends died while the fifth passenger survived with minor injuries.

She told me that that I had suffered a spinal injury. She added that I had been rescued from the accident scene by well-wishers, who then contacted my family. I was then taken to a private hospital in Nakuru but was later referred to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi for surgery. It was during the transfer to Aga Khan that I lost consciousness.

TOO WEAK TO SIT UP IN THE WHEELCHAIR

At Aga Khan, MRI scans showed that I had suffered a C5 and C7 fracture to the spine, meaning I lost control of anything below my armpits, including my hands. Doctors explained that the condition was incurable. They gave me painkillers to manage the pain from the fractures. By the time I was discharged a month later, I was too weak to even sit up in the wheelchair. I slept in an immobile posture and had to be turned over constantly throughout the day. It took a long time for my body to regain strength. I was helped by a physiotherapist, who came to our home three times a week before my parents took over after learning how to care for me.

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