Mwingi Accident Victim Excels in Exams despite Health Hurdles

Counties Editor's Pick Education Kitui News

When Grace Kiema, 13 years old, set out for a school educational trip on 4th August 2018, she did not know that the events of that day would forever change her life.

That evening, the school bus they were travelling in was involved in a tragic road accident that claimed the lives of ten of her schoolmates.

She was rushed to Mwingi Level Four Hospital and later referred to Kenyatta National Hospital.

Grace was placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on 5th August, 2018 with brain trauma, internal bleeding and spots on her brain.

She stayed at the Hospital until December of that year and spent the following three months in the regular ward.

Grace, who at the time of the incident was a class eight student at St. Gabriel’s Boarding Primary School in Mwingi, Kitui County, began physiotherapy, which again was interrupted by the emergence of Covid-19 that forced her parents to make arrangements to get the services at home, thus accumulating more costs.

This went on again till July 2020 when she suffered a tibiofemoral dislocation on her left leg while trying to walk without crutches, and she was back in plasters again up-to December 2020.

Being the ever industrious and ambitious young girl, Grace requested to return to school upon re-opening on 12th October 2020.

She was often assisted in daily duties and personal clean-up by the school matron, teachers and her fellow students, since she was in a boarding school.

Grace beat all these odds to sit for her KCPE examinations in March this year, and scored 343 marks out of possible 500.

While she is confident, she would have performed better, Grace and her parents are grateful that she was still able to score highly despite having missed out of school for a year.

Grace is still not fully recovered physically and mentally. She still limps and experiences some pain while walking.

Her father, Mr Philip Kiema, said that Grace was still in trauma as she still gets triggers of the accident whenever she sees such news on television or sees images of people in critical conditions in hospitals.

GraceKiema, the Mwingi Accident survivor and her father, Mr. Philip Kiema, at their home in Mwingi, Kitui County. Photo by Kasera Onyango

“Sometimes she even gets convulsions as a result, and I had to seek professional counselling for her, which together with medication for her nerves, has completely burdened me financially,” the father narrates.

Despite all of this, Grace’s determination has not wavered. She would like to join Mary Hill School, Thika and would like to be a doctor in future.

She and her father expressed concerns over being able to raise school fees for her high school education, since most of their funds were depleted in the medications.

Mr Kiema, thanks the public for helping them out when they went on national television to seek financial assistance in December of 2018, and hopes well-wishers will again come and support them as he continues to strive to make his daughter’s dreams come true.

By Kasera Onyango

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