When Phestus Mwangi’s wife left him, he turned to his mother for support. But his mum died and left him devastated and ill.
He was admitted in hospital where doctors declared he was dead. But he came back to life and told Jael Musumba how he survived two years in hospital.
You indicated that things became very tough when your wife left you…
Yes. We parted ways in 2009 due to unresolved issues of infidelity. She walked away with my son. It was tough. I was stressed. I was working as a secondary school teacher at Jomvu, Mombasa at the time and sometimes I skipped classes. I was in bad shape.
Yes. She was my pillar and my strength. Unfortunately, she later passed on. Her death hit me so hard that I gave up on life. I cursed. I didn’t understand why all bad things were happening to me.
What of the never-ending headaches?
The headaches were crazy! Sometimes I felt like I was losing it. For almost a whole year, I was dependant on painkillers. There is in no dispensary I didn’t visit and doctors would prescribe stronger painkillers every time.
One day, I collapsed and lost consciousness. My family rushed me to the Coast General Hospital where I was admitted. After several scans, the doctors thought I was suffering from meningitis, but upon further tests, the results were negative.
But then your condition worsened…
Yes. I developed a wound on my back. Days later, after I gained consciousness, I realised one side of my body was totally numb. I had suffered a stroke that left the right side my body paralysed. My health deteriorated. At some point, I was on life support machine. That’s when I was pronounced dead by doctors. My internal organs had failed and I remember the doctors called my family informing them that I had only a few hours to live and they should say their last goodbyes.
How did you survive?
By God’s grace. I had slipped into unconsciousness and was not responding to any stimuli. I later learnt that even the heart monitor had flat-lined. Imagine the shock when I gained consciousness?! I could hear people praying and thanking God. But there I was, alive and well. But I had lost my memory and it took some time to gain it back.
The doctors must have shocked!
Oh, yes, they were! They couldn’t believe a man they had just pronounced dead was coming back to life. After that miracle, I was moved to the General Ward.
Were you immediately discharged?
No. I stayed in hospital for another eight months under close supervision. I regained my memory while in hospital, but I couldn’t do much on my own and was bedridden. After the eight months, I was taken home and my family sought the services of an Arab herbalist, who gave me medicine that improved my health. He would apply the medicine all over my body.
You actually got healed?
Yes. Three months later, I noticed some changes. I could stand using crutches and even make a few steps. After being bedridden for almost two years, God had healed me! Though I still have to use crutches, I am happy that God gave me a second chance in life.
But you say you have been stigmatised?
Yes. I have not been able to get a job. Every time I show up for an interview in crutches, I am turned away. A man once told me to my face that he can’t employ a disabled man. I have therefore decided to open a shop to eke out a living.
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