It has been 11years since my life drastically changed for the worst. I still vividly remember 28th September, 2011; a school day like any other except, I would later have a stroke that left me paralyzed, uneducated and ordinary for over a decade!
Accounts was the first class of the day and I was under extreme pressure because much as I had done the assignment, my book was misplaced. Ideally, I should have been calm enough to explain my misfortune to the teacher. However, he was a tall dark skinned man with a heavy build and an even heavier hand! We all revered his ability to slap a student hard enough to expeditiously pee and focus on their education! He had been nicknamed Muzimu because his voice and complexion alone sent chills down your spine and no one dared to dose during his lessons.
Muzimu believed that there was no room for mistakes in accounting and required excellence from all his students. Classed as a brilliant girl back then, I was intent on offering accounts as a required optional subject in senior three and four. As chance would have it, I sat at the back, sweating profusely while he caned and slapped the day lights out of a few students at the front with incomplete assignments.
In that moment, I planned to xerox my neighbor’s work quickly before Muzimu reached our row. However, the closer he got, the more I panicked. I felt the urge to sneeze so I shoved my left hand into my uniform pocket in a bid to find my handkerchief — and that is when my hand stopped working! I could neither push it further into the pocket nor take it out, perplexed I turned to my neighbor Claudia and said “my hand is not working!”
She laughed in response because I was notorious and Claudia, — like majority of the class, probably assumed that collapsing was conveniently timed for me to dodge Muzimu’s class and survive his legendary slaps. The last thing I remember was sneezing and collapsing to the ground in a heavy thud like a sack of potatoes. I recall the entire class’ confusion while I was whisked away to Benedict Medical Centre, the school hospital situated a few meters away from my class.
Some Italian doctors could not comprehend what had happened to me when Ocen, a student doctor walked in and slid my skirt open — fully exposing my thighs! He scratched my left thigh with a key and asked if I felt anything. When I affirmed that I felt nothing, He nodded and said “You have had a stroke, we need to transfer you. Give us your parents’ number.”
15years old and oblivious to my impending doom, I wandered what a stroke meant as I read out my father’s number. I thought it was something minor and that I would be back to school in no less than 2weeks. I was wrong.
While they prepared the ambulance, I was shifted from the students’ hospital wing to the outpatient department wherein I started convulsing. My body was rolling off the bed and falling with an even heavier thud as if I were fighting with the bed. I struggled severally to simply hit the alarm button close to me and was given an injection to stay calm while they carried me to the ambulance.
On arrival to IHK, a CT scan was done and it showed nothing. Then I was transferred to Kampala hospital for an MRI that exposed the raptured blood vessel in my brain. With no clear causative, my entire left side was paralyzed. I could neither walk nor talk and my mum had to wake up in the night to change my sleeping position as the stroke had infantilized me. I never imagined becoming a vegetable at only 15 and felt like a piece of trash.
A physiotherapist was hired to take me through sessions for a month until I started walking feebly. As Murphy’s Law would have it, my father could no longer afford the Ugx600,000; and at this point, I could barely drag my legs across the room.
I was able to go back to school 6months later for senior three but was failing terribly. For a student who loved mathematics and hardly scored below 80%, I started getting 17% or less reason being, I forgot everything I read in a split second. With my hope of a decent education washed down the drain, I had to drop out of school and felt totally useless. I grew feelings of resentment towards myself and wanted to commit suicide but somehow, God saved my life.
Ten years later, through a retired pastor at my church, I met Mr. Okullo Walter, a man filled with Christ like love. He operated a FOHOW branch in Gulu and took me through some of the products they used for treating stroke. The full treatment package would cost me Ugx.3, 000,000 — an amount I did not have. Nonetheless, he offered me a free massage session using the Wonder Meridians massage machine although it cost Ugx. 80,000.
My muscles started straightening and loosening up and I realized a little improvement. Four months later, through another session, my walking also improved. However, granted the visible change, my hand is not responsive. Mr. Okullo believes I can recover within a few months if only I paid for the full treatment inclusive of medicine and weekly massages.
Now that there is a silver lining in the dark cloud hovering over my life, I want to go back to school, study catering and upgrade to nutrition; but I cannot cater with one functioning hand. I pray that God uses you to enable me get treatment, resume school, achieve my dream of attaining a lost education and rewrite my story.
Our target is Ugx10million for her treatment, school registration and supplies along with a comfortable starting point.
MTN - +256 781 078092
AIRTEL - +256 758525603
Akello Agatha Christie
Thank you for your generosity, Keep On Living 🌻