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Joy as Garissa terror attack survivor is discharged

One of the students admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital two months ago after surviving Garissa University College terror attack has been discharged.

Mercy Chepkorir, 21, says April 2 will forever remain the darkest day of her life.

As a member of the Christian Union at the ill-fated Garissa University, she was meant to accompany her colleagues for prayers on the morning terrorists struck killing 142 students.

But as fate would have it, she did not attend the prayers for reasons unknown to her.

“I did not accompany my friends for the morning prayers. I chose to remain in the hostel,” she narrated to hundreds of people who gathered at Sachangwan Primary School to receive her.

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto, Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui and other senior county officials and MCAs attended the celebrations to welcome Mercy.

“Out of the blues, I heard loud bangs that sounded like gun shots,” she says.

“At first, we thought the institution was on fire due to an electric fault. Little did we know  that terrorists had attacked the university,” she said.

UNDER SIEGE

Ms Chepkorir says it later dawned on her that their school was under siege.

“These people were firing bullets all and over killing many. Most of us took to our heels but unfortunately, one bullet hit my right leg as I fled,” she went on.

Ms Chepkorir added: “I requested one of my roommates who had not been injured to push me into the wardrobe. She did exactly that.”

“A few minutes after that, the militants came into our hostel and killed my colleagues. Those who were hiding in wardrobes opposite the one I had taken refuge in were not lucky.”
The second year bachelor of Business Management student said: “While in the wardrobe  I felt a lot of pain as blood oozed out of my wound. My legs could no longer support me.”

The militants, she said, were shooting everyone. “In the process, they killed one of her friends who fell on me. This is perhaps what saved her life.”

Chepkorir added: “I continued praying to God to save my life and He saved me. That is why am alive today”.

RESCUE TEAM

“The militants came back into the room and as if they were looking for me, looked under my bed and saw me but because I was lying in  a pool of blood, they thought I was dead and off they went.”

Chepkorir said she asked God not to let her die before completing her studies so as to help her mother and siblings.

Chepkorir said when the Recce Squad rescue team arrived at the college late in the day, they called on students still in the hostel to come out but she says she was hesitant to do so because she thought they were the terrorists who wanted to ensure that none of the  students were left alive.

She eventually mustered the courage and dragged herself from her hideout to the arms of the law enforcement officers. She then passed out and when she woke up, she found herself in hospital.

She was later to be told that they were airlifted to Kenyatta National Hospital where she had been before she was discharged last Friday.

Chepkorir was brought back home on Saturday aboard one  of the six ambulances that the county government of Bomet has hired from the Kenya Red Cross Society to provide  quality health care services to the local residents.

Mr. Ruto and MP Tonui hired vehicles that transported residents from Chepkorir village and neighbourhood to travel to Nairobi to escort her home.

Mrs Roseline Tarkweny, her mother said: “I have been having sleepless nights from the time the incident befell my daughter and the rest of her colleagues but prayers have kept me strong.”

This story was written for publication in the Daily Nation