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Navigating parenting amid suicidal thoughts

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Pain, lost love and disappointment strike Lucia Musyoka’s mind

whenever the phrase ‘fatherly love’ is mentioned. Even though all is now in the past and she has forgiven her father, her traumatic experience of being raised by a violent father will forever be etched in her mind.

“I forgave him. But I have just never had the strength to forget the pain that he put me through as a child, and how it has affected my parenting,” she says.

As an intelligent, book-smart student, Lucia always thought her excellent academic performance would win her father’s love. She always worked hard to top her class and be the best student to please her father. But all this did not matter to him, she would always come home to a violent man.

War zone

“I remember our neighbours making fun of us for always being thrown out of the house every night. Our home was always a war zone.

My father would beat my mother and then the beatings would come down to me,” she recalls.

This went on and on for years and she started developing suicidal thoughts. She remembers her first attempt at taking her life when she was nine years old and in Class Four. “One day after another mega fight, I went for the medicine cabinet and swallowed all the pills from a certain container. It backfired. But I suffered serious symptoms from the pills including severe headaches and fatigue. Nobody knew about it. My mother concluded I wasn’t feeling well and asked me not to go to school,” she says.

Her second attempt to commit suicide was in 2003. “I was in Form Four when I called home and I received news that my mother had been admitted in hospital after being maimed by my dad. I was shattered.” She could not take it anymore, she took several gulps of jik, a strong bleaching detergent hoping to die. “Being in a catholic school, I was rushed to hospital and I was expelled afterwards. I was only allowed back to the school to sit for my final examinations, the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education,” she narrates.

She attained an A minus and was called to pursue an aeronautical engineering course at the Technical University of Kenya.

Beatings while pregnant

But as fate would have it, at 19 when in her second year in 2017, she got pregnant by her classmate. Once again she faced the wrath of her father. “When my father learnt that I was pregnant, all hell broke loose. He beat me up ruthlessly saying how much of a disgrace I was. He further blamed everything on my mother, who was not spared the beatings,” she recalls. The worst happened when she was 38 weeks pregnant. Her father kicked her belly that her water broke. She is only glad she did not have complications while giving birth.

Lucia Musyoki with her daughter.

But life became even more unbearable after her baby came. One day, last year, she lost it again with her dad and for the third time tried to dilute rat poison with water and drank it all.

Her mother and daughter found her lying on the floor fighting for her life.

“I lay there unconscious with my face swollen. I am told that I was kicking my legs and some of my organs were failing,” says Lucia. She was immediately admitted in the Intensive Care Unit for three days, and later admitted in the general ward for three weeks where she fully recovered.

“I had never been so close to death like I was this day, I was so scared for my life and suddenly, I felt pity for my helpless daughter,” she recalls adding, “While in the bed I just kept on wondering how bad everything would have turned if I died. I started thinking about who would have taken care of my daughter and if she would ever understand and forgive me after finding out what I did,” says Lucia.

It is at this instance that she realised that she had hit rock bottom and needed help before things got worse. She checked in at Nairobi West hospital mental ward.

As a result, she was separated from her daughter for two months while receiving treatment. “Children were not allowed to visit and that meant missing my now three-year-old daughter all that while. It was a hard time for me, especially knowing that there was nobody to take care her as my mother went to work,” she tears.

When she got discharged she took it upon herself to ensure that she educated people on suicide and depression through social media

platforms. She is glad that this is working well for her as it is helping with the healing process.

She also decided to go back to school and finish her education.

Her father has been apologetic about his mistakes and she hopes she will be able to forgive and forget what he did to her.

By People Daily


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Health

KQ loses second pilot to Covid-19 in London

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The national carrier Kenya Airways has lost another pilot to Covid-19.

Captain Salah Salim Jeizan, 57, died at a London hospital on Wednesday, the airline’s chief human resources officer Evelyne Munyoki said in a condolence message.

Captain Jeizan flew to London’s Heathrow Airport on November 7 from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport but developed difficulties in breathing while in a London hotel.

Jeizan was rushed to the hospital from his hotel room and put on oxygen.

According to Ibrahim Johnny, a close colleague, the deceased will be buried on Thursday in London under the Islamic law.

Captain Jeizan joined the national carrier in 2001 as a junior pilot and rose through the ranks to his last position as a senior captain on the Boeing 787 fleet.

He flew to different international destinations in Europe, US and the Middle East.

“On behalf of the board of directors, the management and staff of Kenya Airways, we join the family of the late captain Jeizan in mourning their beloved one and pray that the almighty God will strengthen them during this time of sorrow,” KQ said in a statement.

In April Kenya lost its first captain, Daudi Kibati, days after commandeering a flight that evacuated Kenyans stranded in the US after the outbreak of Covid-19.

The captain was taken ill on March 29 after returning from New York and he died on April 1.

By NN


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Health

Tribute: The Dr Njoroge I Knew

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Doctor Jacqueline Njoroge, or Jacque as we fondly called her, was a self-driven, kind, passionate and hardworking doctor at the Thika level 5 Hospital.

She started her life as a first born child in a family of three siblings in Gatitu, Nyeri County.

Through hard work, she excelled in school and joined the University of Nairobi as a medical student and later pursued her masters degree in medicine at the same university.

Jacqueline, who succumbed to Covid-19 complications at only 38, was a dear friend to many.

She made all her friends feel so special, which won her many close friends and acquaintances. A beautiful lady inside and out, she was always smiling, easy to love, cared deeply about everyone and was very generous. Her warm personality brought calmness to even the most difficult situations.  She liked to tease those close to her with words like “you spoilt brat, you will burn in hell, and often called people sweetheart, sister, my dearest”.  She loved cakes, especially fruit cake, which she looked for every small opportunity to share with her family friends and colleagues.

Sense of style

Jacque had a great sense of style in her dressing, hairstyle and even home décor. She loved being neat, presentable and well-groomed. It was rare to find Jacqueline with a bad hair or bad nail day.

She put her husband, Joshua Chokera, and children Adrian and Angel, and her parents first.

Sundays were spent in church and with family. She loved to cook and bake cakes for them.

Her colleagues loved her both as a doctor and a manager. She was the deputy medical superintendent at the Thika level 5 Hospital as well as the proprietor of Equity Afya clinics in Thika and Kahawa Sukari.

She was a practicing physician both in the public hospital and part-time private hospital. She was passionate, especially about cancer and HIV.

At Thika Level 5 Hospital, she was the head of the team that began the Thika Cancer Care Centre and went ahead to fundraise for the same through a marathon in August 2019. She also chaired the technical working group (LAKATI) that offered a platform to discuss complicated HIV cases.

Admirable leader

Jacqueline was an admirable leader whose colleagues describe as approachable and a problem solver. Her office was open to all and she would make everyone feel at home and welcome. She listened to everyone’s challenges keenly and tried to provide solutions. Most importantly, she was a team player.

She will be remembered for bringing all the specialists together and this way improving service delivery. She mentored many young colleagues and, as a believer in excellence and attention to detail, she hoped to pass this traits to the younger doctors.

We are all saddened that she had to die on the front line. She, like many doctors, was concerned about the coronavirus and had to balance between the fear of contacting the virus and infecting her loved ones and the need to be on the frontline both as a leader and a doctor. Her main challenges were ensuring all workers had adequate PPE (personal protective equipment). She even approached Equity Bank, through the CEO, James Mwangi, for help. Mr Mwangi promised to supply the hospital with PPE for 18 months. She was looking forward to a day when the Covid-19 vaccine would be discovered.

She has left a huge gap as a dedicated leader, manager, physician, mother, wife and daughter.

May the almighty God rest her beautiful soul in eternity.

By Nation.africa


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Lifestyle

Village in shock as dogs attack and kill man in Meru

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Shock engulfed Kiandugui Village in Kibirichia, Meru County, after residents found the mutilated body of a 30-year-old man who had been mauled to death by dogs.

It is suspected that the man, identified as Mbaya wa Ndethu, was attacked by the dogs as he went home. It was drizzling at the time.

The dogs tore his clothes, stripping him naked, before mauling him to death.

Area elder, Nteere Muguna, said the man’s legs and hands had been partially eaten by the dogs while pieces of his clothes and shoes were scattered all over.

“Many parts of his body have been mauled by the dogs and the ground where the attack seems to have occurred shows signs of a major struggle. The dogs dragged the body and left it under trees,” he said.

Distraught residents rushed to the scene to view the body on learning of the shocking news.

“I was worried it was my child who was coming from school. It is an ugly scene which has left me shaken,” said a mother who did not give her name.

Mr Muguna appealed to dog owners to ensure the canines are properly secured on chains and leashes to prevent them from attacking people.

“They should not be left to roam on the roads where they can attack people,” he said.

by nation.africa


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