My friends from all over the world, this is my story. I was a high school teacher before the stroke. I was a teacher at Light Academy – a well known high school in Kenya according to its performance in International Examinations. The Saturday of 9 June 2012, we held a graduation school which was successful up late in the afternoon. We left the school very excited without knowing what will befall me after wards. I went home and had a wonderful supper. I woke up 5 am in the morning prepared myself to go church. I went and attended morning devotion as usual. The devotion ended 8 am and we started walking back to our homes.

On the way home was my fateful time. I collapsed and fell down. My friends wondered what could be happening. They helped me regain consciousness then helped me up to my house. By then I had started talking after collapsing. We sat in my house talking of the church affairs as we waited breakfast which my wife was preparing. A phone call from brother came in. I picked it and at the same time the call of nature called in. So I took off to the washrooms with the phone on my ear. While I was in washroom I found it difficult to unzip my trousers to enable me pee. Within a short time the phone dropped in the bowel of the toilet. Trying to get it out with my right hand proved a challenge. Finally I removed it with my left hand. I tried to open it but all was in vain. I left the washrooms and went directly to the bedroom. All this was happening but I had no knowledge what it was. I rested in the bedroom for about twenty minutes when my daughter called me to go the seating room to take breakfast. My friends were still the house having been joined by another, who had come to pick me so that we could go together to holiness church service that begins at 10am. I woke up to go seating room. I had regained strength once again.

When I reached the seating room I found breakfast served. When I wanted to take my tea, it didn’t reach the mouth. The tea poured on me. The hand had become weak once again. When I tried to stand to avoid burning I fell down. To show me limbs had also weakened. My friends shocked with what was happening decided to take me to hospital. The paralysis lasted for ten minutes and I was back to normal. My friends – Henson Indembukhani, Wilson Khasiani and Jonathan Karanja- decided to use Karanja’s car to take me to Nairobi Women’s Hospital. We arrived at the hospital at about 11am. Doctors and Nurses didn’t understand what to do. The Doctor on duty said I be put in the ward for a night to do their investigation. My wife Mary Kadeiza had visited me at the hospital leaving me to spend an overnight there – a healthy man.

Darkness fell. I was busy watching the television when I could not understand myself. It was at around 8pm. A nurse who was making rounds at that moment found me in that state. I could not speak; move any of my limbs, my mouth deformed and all function of nature were just passing without control. My mind impaired. It is at this juncture that the nurse informed the Doctor and first dose administered. The Doctor said I was suffering from stroke.

The following day early in the morning, Mary my wife visited. She was found me in that pathetic situation. I was being fed. It was the time that I was taken for head scan. The truth started sinking in my wife’s mind that the husband was suffering from a deadly disease. Because there was no knowledge about the disease, she thought that this was the end. She saw death was eminent. For me I knew stroke is treatable and therefore I accepted the new situation I found myself in.

She decided to call my mother – Respah Lung’azo – the only parent remaining after my father passed on – to come from upcountry. She was shocked on receiving the message. She came the following day, given that she needed eight hours to travel from the village to Nairobi. On arrival the best she could was to cry. She stayed in Nairobi for three weeks when I was in hospital, then went back to the village. She had left me to God.

The chapter of treatment started which included taking of drugs, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy which was expensive. I was taken through the process of walking, talking, helping myself and many others. I attend Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy on daily basis. For people who are not insured it is very difficult to manage, more so to the unemployed. I count myself lucky because I was insured. I needed ten thousand Kenya shillings for drugs only and five thousand for the Doctor. The other factor is that employers end up laying of this people from employment. That was what befell me after suffering for one year. They thought that the disease would be healed in a short time. This was not the case for disease took long up now. This when I started feeling the weight of the disease, how to raise the money required every month for treatment became a challenge. In that situation many employers will not be willing employ you. I thank my friend and well wishers to enable me raise money for treatment. Now I am able to perform 90% of all basic functions four years since I was hit by stroke.

My advice to people who are found in such a situation, accept and start medication immediately. I am the way I am because I accepted myself. Let us not involve witchcraft in this. Thinking of witchcraft has taken our country backwards. Take drugs and attend physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions as directed by the Doctor. For caregivers, understand the sick. The sick are very temperamental. Bear with them. They do things which are not normal because their brains have been impaired. Therefore patients require patience and for very long time because the damage in the brain needs time to heal in order to start communicating well with the rest of the body.

To the Doctors they need to react fast to the one complaining of such symptoms. If they could have reacted in time I could not be the same situation. The community should know that Stroke is just a disease like any other. It is treatable. When one suffer from it should not be condemned. He needs to be loved and taken care of. That way a patient will get healed very fast. Lastly to the Government, they should recognize the disability caused by Stroke and include it in the other disabilities in order to benefit from the fund of the Government. They should also protect these people from employers who ready to sack them because of their status. I write that because I am a victim. I lost my job immediately I got Stroke. I am just struggling to make ends meet. I can teach but employers think that I cannot deliver.

Someone with a helping heart can help in any way. Because of this problem we have joined together, people suffering from Stroke, and formed the association to champion the way forward for the Stroke patients in Kenya. Read more of what we do in this website.

I would like to appreciate my wife – MARY for the courage she took to take care of me when I dieing. Thank you very much. Also my appreciation goes to my two sons two daughters for their humility they took during my sickness up to now. Thank you.

My contacts is +254722582749. Email: konzololigondo@gmail.com

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