NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – Imagine doctors telling you that a bullet lodged in your body cannot be removed because it will be fatal. In other words, experts make a statement confining you to a life with a foreign object in your body, saying it is the only guarantee that you will remain alive.
The shooting of Satrine Osinya a week ago – who now has a bullet lodged in his head as efforts are made to remove it -brought painful memories to Christopher Nzomo a resident of Machakos County who was paralysed by a bullet that remains lodged in him.
Doctors at Kenyatta National Hospital after a thorough examination, said it was safer for Nzomo to remain with the bullet than attempt to remove it.
The 29-year-old was hit in the back by a stray bullet on April 4 last year as police were pursuing robbers who wanted to rob a bank in Machakos Town. Doctors found the bullet very close to a nerve which has now affected his walking.
After weeks of admission in hospital, Nzomo left with a back brace to assist him walk using crutches.
“I wanted them to cut my leg if that will save me from living the entire life with a bullet in my body,” Nzomo told Capital FM News.
People may think it’s simple or even normal to have a bullet in your body, he says but notes that it comes with a chunk of challenges.
The father of three, with his first born only eight years old wonders how he will support his family without walking. All through the interview, Nzomo’s worry was who will take care of his kids and wife.
“I cannot even provide simple basic necessities to my family. I grew ambitious that my kids will grow better than I did,” a teary Nzomo said. After a long silence, he added, “I’m sad that their situation may be even worse.”
“I normally depend on my family members; my wife who just got a job the other day and friends. This really saddens me,” he said.
In efforts to make him walk again, Nzomo says he has been going through physiotherapy, “and doctors say they can only tell after three to five years whether I will walk.”
Other than the health challenge, Nzomo had to put up with allegations in his village that he could have been among the robbers being hunted by police.
“The bullet will remain lodged in my body forever,” he said this time nodding his head in pain.
His sister Virginia Mutuku recounts her experience after her brother was shot.
“I remember when I went to get him from the hospital; he asked me where I was taking him. He was distressed and thought his life had come to an end now that he could not walk,” she said.
“He is a burden to us but as a family we must help him. Twiika ata? (what do we do?),” an already overwhelmed Mutuku posed.