Man living with bullet lodged in spine speaks out


Man living with bullet lodged in spine speaks out

In Summary

  • Gatungu, who hails from Ngere village in Gatanga Constituency of Murang’a County and whose body is now paralyzed from the waist downwards narrated to Citizen Digital how his life took a painful turn at the tender age of 16 years.
  • “They kept me in handcuffs at Kenyatta National Hospital only for them to escape after doctors said my case was serious. This is abuse of office and police brutality and I feel the poor have no place in today’s society,” he said.
  • The paralyzed 23-yer-old now struggles with  elevated blood levels,a condition that leaves him constantly in pain.

Meet 23-year old Peter Gatungu Njoroge, a man whose life knows nothing but pain.

Gatungu, who hails from Ngere village in Gatanga Constituency of Murang’a County and whose body is now paralyzed from the waist downwards narrated to Citizen Digital how his life took a painful turn at the tender age of 16 years.

A seemingly irate Gatungu recounts how he had woken up early one morning, at 4am, in 2011, to get milk for a hotel he was working for in Thika.

On his way, the then 16 year old boy met police officers who were in pursuit of suspected robbers and in an act of mistaken identity, the police shot at him, a bullet that went straight to his spinal cord leaving him for dead.

According to Gatungu, on realizing what had just happened, the officers quickly laid charges on him claiming that they were after him over an alleged theft at the Kenya Power offices in Thika.

Gatungu, was rushed to Thika Level four Hospital by well-wishers and shortly after transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital in handcuffs and under tight security.

It was after further examination that the doctors at KNH advised that it was safer for him to live with the bullet saying attempts to remove it could endanger his life.

“They kept me in handcuffs at Kenyatta National Hospital only for them to escape after doctors said my case was serious. This is abuse of office and police brutality and I feel the poor have no place in today’s society,” he said.

“Upon hearing what the doctor said the police officer who used to guard me and whom I only knew as Kamaliza uncuffed me and told me to go home after recovering,” said Gatungu

After a month in hospital, Gatungu’s father took him out of the hospital and back to their village in Ngere where the painful journey of living with the bullet began.

The first born in a family of four could not walk or work and had to lie down and depend on others to take care of him, as a result,  his health worsened in 2015 when he developed bed sores in his backside that slowly started to decompose.

The paralyzed 23-year-old now struggles with elevated blood levels, a condition that leaves him constantly in pain.

For a man who had gone to Thika to try his luck after his parents could not afford to secure him Secondary education, Gatungu’s dream was to see his siblings join Secondary School.

“But look at me, of what importance do I have in this world why didn’t I die to save my already poor parents agony and suffering of feeding me and taking care of m every need,” said a frustrated Gatungu

To date, Gatungu still questions why the police never took him to court even after accusing him that he had taken part in robbery at Kenya Power offices in Thika.

His father, John Njoroge, said he has been struggling with his eldest son, moving from one hospital to the other in search for better medical attention to no avail.

Njoroge says he has since forsaken his tea picking job to attend to his son while the wife feeds the family from her casual labour proceeds.

Njoroge added that he has had suicidal episodes over this suffering that has left him unable to fend for his family.

Well-wishers who visited Mr Njoroge’s house took Gatungu to Murang’a Referral Hospital owing to his deteriorating  state where he is currently admitted.

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Story By Dennis Nduhiu
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