If this was a Friday night in 1953 or thereabout, we would probably be in hides and skins. We would be gathering around some hot fire at a cold place in some forgotten village. I bet we’d be telling tales of wars and laughing at jokes about hunting and gathering. But it’s 2019.  Civilization is at its peak. Multiparty and independence politics are no longer issues to contend with. And we are in Parklands. The atmosphere this night is as still as cool waters. The silence around campus is rather unusual. It’s quiet as a shadow. No loud music. Some sounds that mimic laughter can be heard from neighboring rooms but they’re not quite much. It’s only the screeches of brakes and speeding of motorbikes on Parklands Road that dominate the silence around. 
Sarah Suzzane is calmly seated re-watching Aquaman for the third time in her room (Room 130). That’s where we are. Her roommate Agnes Nekesa sits across the room while staring at her laptop. Faith Cherop is giggling at her phone like a little girl. A few minutes later, Jerry Mageto and Simon Mutinda enter the scene. Later on, Rogers would come in bubbling with jokes drier than the Dubai desert. The room is green and grey. There are green balloons hanging above. I would later learn that Sarah Suzzane’s favorite color is lime green. As a man, I naturally have tremendous weaknesses when it comes to this complex world of color. So green to me is just green. I wouldn’t make a distinction between lime green and any other version of green even at gun point. 
Fifty one days prior to this day, we were all in different places doing totally different things. None of us could have known of this day. None of us could have foreseen that events that would seize the coming days. So this night is about recollections and reflections from the where it all began. This night is about reliving the pains, the joys, the mysteries and the blessings of the past fifty one days. 
On 23rd May this year at a little known place called Boro in Siaya County, Sarah Suzzane took a motorbike for home as she had done for the past few weeks. Unknown to her, the events that would follow would completely redefine her view and perspective of life. An accident happened. A grisly accident. It’s the kind of accident that accented native Brits would refer to using adjectives such as gruesome, fatal, terrifying and horrifying. The motorbike guy must have lost control or seen some impending danger which necessitated him to  brake instantly. That action threw Sarah off to the hard tarmac on which her skull fractured.
Blood followed. The motorbike guy fled off on seeing what had happened. He left her in such an agonizing state. I keep wondering to myself even as I type this sentence how heartless a human being can be. Do some people have ten thousand liters of Sulphuric acid in their hearts?  That’s as far as Sarah remembers in regard to the accident. The next time she was consciously awake was fourteen days later. 
She had slept for two weeks. For her, it was a long uninterrupted sleep. For her close friends and family members, it was sleepless nights and worries and prayers and intercessions and crossing of fingers. Right after the accident, it’s like God sent a Good Samaritan her way. Another motorbike guy. This one, unlike the one who fled, had descended right from the gates of Heaven. He, together with some other guy, carefully carried her to Siaya Referral Hospital. She was then quickly rushed to the section where emergencies and critical situations are handled.
By the time her mother got wind of the matter, she was in theater. And no it was not the Theatre of the Absurd. It was an operating theater with twelve doctors led by a spirited lad called Doctor Nyakiti.  If you’ve ever been to a theater you know very well how aseptic the environment around is.  From what Sarah says, this doctor was only a general surgeon. His specialty was not fixing the skull or handling surgeries to do with the head on a frequent basis but then he took up herculean task with deep courage and conviction. He rose to the occasion. He led the eleven doctors on a seven hour surgery. Seven hours. Just take a moment and let that sink in. This was on the same 23rd May of 2019 that some Geminis were probably “giving us reasons why Geminis are the best crop of people to marry in this world” in their Whatsapp statuses.  Really Geminis? (On a light note though). Twelve doctors worked on her skull and tended to her injuries from 2pm that afternoon to 9pm. 
Her mother, who Nekesa tells me is called Dorothy, never thought the accident was serious till she reached the hospital. You might be wondering how the hospital contacted her. I was too. So I asked Sarah how. She told me that she had a notebook in her bag that was found at the hospital with her mother’s number written boldly on the very first page. One word for that is: SWEET. So the mother paces around the hospital and at some point decides to peep into the theater room. What she saw was horror-ish. Her daughter was soaked in blood. Her face was crimson red. Awash with haemoglobin. Her eyes and clothes were all blood. She wasn’t recognizable at a first glance. 
As any mother would be, she was momentarily gripped with sorrow and sadness and instinctively started crying. She cried till some onlookers around asked her to start praying with the same zeal she was using to cry. So she prayed. That day marked the beginning of long and intense conversations between her and God about the life of her daughter. She put her life on God’s mighty hands. 
When the team of doctors were successfully done that night, they recommended for her to be driven to Kisumu so that CT scans can be done to confirm if everything was in place. That night there was a heavy downpour and there was no ambulance around. But because God was out there in Heaven following keenly as the events unfolded, an ambulance came all the way from a place called Ambira. It’s a miracle they reached Kisumu safely owing to the fact that the rain severely blurred the driver’s vision. In Kisumu, the tests revealed that there were further fractures in the skull. This meant that a second operation was imminent. So they journeyed back to Siaya for the second operation which was successful. That’s what happens when God isn’t done with you. He rescues you from impossible situations. 
By the time the operation was ending, Peter who is Sarah’s elder brother had called Nekesa. He gave her scanty details and stopped at just that. He wasn’t in the mood to talk further. When your beloved sister’s life is at stake you become restless. He was restless. He was in shock and pain. And he passed the shock on to Nekesa who was in Bungoma at the time. Sarah’s mum would later get in touch with her and send her a picture of her daughter peacefully sleeping after the surgery. She was sleeping in a normal position like any other normal person would do. If not for the tube attached to the base of her head, one could easily pass her off for a normal healthy person taking a nap. 
The restlessness that would hit Nekesa that night denied her sleep. She fretted. She tossed and turned in her bed throughout. The next morning she decided she couldn’t just sit and wait. So she embarked on a journey to a place she’d never step foot in. She was going to Siaya with lots of scary and dangerous thoughts in her mind. So she passes through places with names like Luanda, Maseno and for a moment she confesses that she saw the legendary Maseno School from a distance. She seems wowed by that. I know how that must have felt. After navigating through these parts of Central Nyanza, she reaches the hospital. She describes the shock on face when she saw her friend. I try to imagine that but fail. Her friend could neither move nor talk. She just lay in her bed motionless and undisturbed by the motions around her. Nekesa cried. She could have screamed so she bit her handkerchief. And she bit it hard. She had to be consoled. Sarah’s mum had to walk up to her and tell her that “you have to be strong”. 
And so she became strong. Or at least she tried to be. Earlier on before travelling, she had texted Mageto about the situation. Mageto was about to eat chicken that night when the shock was passed unto him. He forgot about the chicken. Unbelieving, he tried calling Sarah’s number which was not going through. What a doubting Thomas this person is. He then called Nekesa in disbelief seeking clarification on what was going on. For the next two and a half hours, he stood confused in his room while occasionally mumbling small prayers for his friend till he blacked out late in the night. 
He panicked a lot because there were a lot of unpleasant stuff happening in his life at that moment. His dad’s funeral anniversary was just around the corner, one of his cousin’s had passed on not so long ago in a motorbike accident and KASNEB exams were looming over his head like climate change. He thought that these must be the signs of times (He wasn’t listening to Harry Styles though). 
Being that he was in Mombasa, he couldn’t make plans of travel immediately. So he did the next best thing. He prayed constantly and unrelentingly. He talked to Mutinda who had also been briefed by Nekesa but he too wasn’t in a travel position at the time. He was sick. So Mageto with his restlessness decides that he is going to Siaya. He sets on a twenty two hour journey. It took him twenty two hours to travel from Mombasa to Siaya. That time is longer that the travel time from Kenya to the US which is 15.24 hours when using a plane with an average speed 560 miles per hour.He passed through counties like Taita Taveta, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kisumu and Kericho. By the time he reached Siaya, he was a shadow of his former self. Exhaustion ripped him apart. But beyond the exhaustion was the satisfaction that came with knowing that his friend was in a much improved state. He had passed through places he had only read about in Margaret Ogolla’s novel “The River and The Source”. He had switched vehicles thrice. All the hustle of travelling seemed worth it when he heard Sarah call out his name at the hospital. She appeared to be have been doing well. She was raising her eyebrows and teasing people around. She asked for chicken. What’s strange though is that Sarah remembers none of these. Everything that happened between the date of the accident to the day she was discharged is still elusive to her. The far she remembers was the accident occurring that afternoon and her falling off from the motorbike. That night Mageto and Nekesa both stayed up in the cold of the ward room. He says that one person who never stopped calling him throughout this period was Faith Cherop. Blessings to her.
When Mutinda received a text from Nekesa about the accident his response was “F*****ck”.  He was nothing short of dejected. He is the only person who had talked to Sarah on phone a few hours prior to the accident. They talked something to do with clinicals or cases. The shock was heavy on him as expected. One thing I have learnt all these years is that there is no easy formula of receiving bad news. It never gets you prepared enough. It cuts like those sharp knives that are used to slaughter goats on Christmas. I know that’s how Mutinda felt. I know because I have been caught in such situations before. You always feel like there is this sharp knife cutting through your throat and proceeding all the way to your heart before slicing it into tiny pieces. 
Before that day, Mutinda had never been past Nakuru towards Nyanza. But this was no ordinary situation. Desperate times call for desperate measures. So he packed his bags, bid his family goodbye and left Mombasa just like Mageto had done a few days earlier. Unlike Mageto though, he was to meet Rogers at their home in Kapsabet first so that they can journey together. 
By this point the rest of the class had been updated on what had transpired. The four who were privy to the tragic news: Nekesa, Mageto, Mutinda and Rogers decided that the time was ripe to inform the rest of us mortals. So Rogers did what he does best. He communicated to the class. Within minutes, prayers and messages of hope and condolences were outpouring in the group. The messages came from all sorts of direction. Right from those chaps who ask Rogers “if the lesson is still on” persistently to those lads who walk around campus like they carry solutions to every third world problem. Tragedy unites people. This tragic event elicited prayers from all over. People’s mums and dads were praying for Sarah to recover over dinner tables, in churches, in small meetings and in gatherings across various places in this country. 
A day after Mutinda reached Kapsabet, they left with Rogers on a cold rainy morning. They defied the weather and went through to the bus station from which they picked a bus to Kisumu. I thought I knew my friends well till I realize that I didn’t. I never knew that Rogers stays in Kapsabet and that he has seven dogs. If I were him I would have named the seven dogs after the seven kingdoms of Westeros (If you never watched Game of Thrones, don’t beat yourself trying to comprehend this joke). All this while, as they travelled, Rogers kept in touch with Nekesa and Sarah’s mum. At some point the mum’s voice was filled with both sadness and hope in equal measure. She kept saying things like “Tumeachia Mungu”.
Like Mageto, they also had some small troubles locating the home once they reached Siaya. Mutinda tells me that “Luo places are quite confusing”. Well they are. But just for the new comers. Luck was on their side though. Sarah’s eldest brother sent them a motorbike which picked them up and took them to the hospital. At the ward room, Mutinda froze. He couldn’t speak. He was overwhelmed with emotions. Seeing his friend in that state had numbed him. The same cannot be said of Rogers. He could still afford to crack jokes drier than the Atacama Desert in Chile. He even had the courage to touch the stitches on Sarah’s head. 
On that day though, Sarah had registered some steady improvements. When Mutinda and Rogers came, she was so jovial. She cracked jokes and teased them around. Mark you she doesn’t remember any of these to date. I am not a doctor but my guess is that she was doing some of these things unconsciously. I once had a friend in high school who could talk the whole night and not remember anything the next day. So in that unconscious state, Sarah talked and talked and unearthed some of the most guarded secrets about her friends in full glare of everyone at the room. Funnily enough, she guarded her own and never talked anything about herself to any of the people around. 
But those were the good days. There were bad days too. On such days she could subconsciously kick the people around and pluck off the water and medicine tubes attached to her hand. Nekesa says that her strength during that period was quite scary. But the doctor said that it was all normal. Perhaps that was her equivalent method of stretching out after days of lying in bed. Rogers and Mutinda would later leave for Nairobi a few days before her discharge. 
To date, some people still don’t believe that she survived. Especially those who saw her being carried into that operating room. They had written her off and ruled out any chances of survival. But she survived. She lived on. She fought injuries, skull fractures and lots of hemorrhaging for fourteen days. The doctor who cleans her wounds at the moment keeps reminding her of how lucky she was to have recovered in such short time. Back in Siaya Referral Hospital, people who saw her regain consciousness kept wondering how she survived at a time when most of the people brought for surgeries in the theater rooms of that section never made it out. There are cases of people in such similar situations who take months in hospitals. Some don’t even get lucky and make it through. 
She is not fully recovered yet. She’s however getting there. She has a strong personality. She will get there. Her main lesson from the experience is the Greatness of God.  Doctors can only treat but He heals. There was a point within those two weeks when people visited her in groups. They could come pray then create space for others would  also come and pray and leave space for the other waiting batch. Just looked at that. Those prayers are the reason she didn’t lose her memory despite the severe skull fractures.  Those prayers are also the reason she still has her ability to speak and move around like she was before.I am glad she lived. I know many people are too.She’s a fighter. She’s a warrior. She’s a force.

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