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Kamukunji MP marks eight years since grenade attack left him in ‘darkness and despair’

It is eight years since a grenade blast almost killed Kamukunji Member of Parliament Yusuf Hassan in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate.

Yusuf posted on Twitter on Monday how the incident left him in ‘darkness and despair’ but was grateful to God for the strength to persevere and endure the pain.

“8-yrs ago, a horrific bomb attack left me crippled & plunged me into a protracted period of darkness & despair,” he posted.

He went on, “By the grace of God, I found the strength to persevere & endure the pain and suffering and mend my shattered body and resuscitate my wounded soul and spirit.”

The MP said the attack taught him a tough lesson in forgiveness; “I’ve also learnt the healing power of forgiveness. I am thankful for the chance to arise, to serve, and to make a difference.”

The December 6, 2012 grenade attack at al-Hidaya community centre in Eastleigh left him badly injured.

“I survived because I had just moved from the epicentre of the attack. I missed by a whisker as two or three people who were standing with me and had moved a few seconds before me died,” he told Nation in a previous interview.

After the attack, he lost muscles on the left leg and suffered a broken right leg. One of his arms was shattered.

Hassan also suffered secondary burns and had to endure shrapnel stuck in his body.

The soft-spoken lawmaker spent weeks at the Aga Khan hospital before he was moved to South Africa where he underwent reconstructive surgery.

By April 2013, his left leg and hands had healed but his right leg faced amputation.

“The leg had broken bones. They were removed, but still it would not heal, and I had to go through a second operation. The doctors then decided to amputate because ‘it was not healing properly”.

Hassan, however, went to the Hospital for Special Surgery, a top orthopaedic facility in the US, where doctors performed a third operation that saved his leg.

Yusuf spent five years in a wheelchair and crutches, but he can now walk on his own.