, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep – It’s one year since 28 year-old Rachael came face-to-face with gunmen who killed at least 67 people at the Westgate Mall.
Rachael remembers the attack quite vividly.
The images of death, blood and tears still linger as she recalls people breathing their last breath and begging the attackers to spare their lives.
“I was trying to jump from the roof top of Westgate onto the side of Peponi House but I couldn’t. That’s when they threw a grenade at me. When I saw my legs they looked like minced meat, they were really smashed,” Rachael recounts.
She lost her left foot and got deep shrapnel injuries on her right leg.
But this has not shattered her dreams and hope of living her life to the fullest.
The smile on her face is infectious as she welcomes us to her house in Nairobi’s Zimmerman area.
Due to her easy nature, one can hardly tell that Rachael has not fully recovered.
On her right foot, she has an artificial limb fitted right from the ankle.
“I was given a prosthetic shoe. I am now trying to walk with it. It is not easy, but I have been told by my doctor that I will be able to walk with it as time goes by,” she says.
Her left leg has bruises, some still looking fresh.
“My left foot still has shrapnel. I did an operation in January, but the doctors could not remove all of them because some were inside the nerves. In July, I went for another operation but not all could be removed. So I have been told to wait,” she narrates.
“I don’t know if all will be out but I am praying to God that one day all will be out so that I can walk again. It is not easy to walk because they prick me inside when I step down,” she explains.
Despite the attack that has completely changed Rachael, she believes God has a reason why she is still living.
“The Bible in the book of Romans says everything happens for a reason. I know one day I will stand again and walk firm. I will give testimonies of what has happened in my life. It is not an easy path,” she says.
With the support of the crutches and the prosthetic shoe to give her balance, Rachael can perform light household tasks.
When Capital FM News visited Rachael in February this year, she could not walk or stand on her own.
He brother had to carry her on his back to walk her downstairs on the days she had a doctor’s appointment.
But today, Rachael can walk on her own and can even cook for herself with the help of her younger brother who relocated to Nairobi from Mombasa to care for her.
Though her life will never be the same again, she says she has no bitterness and she forgave those who hurt her.
But she says if they can hear her, she would want them never to attack people again.
“Don’t have the heart of revenging because even God suffered and he even forgave them. Have that heart of forgiving them so that God can give you the grace of tomorrow and to see how you will progress in your life.”