Michael Kung’a, student at Kenyatta University

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He once was blind but now can see, a little First appeared in the local 'Nation' newspaper by DANIEL WESANGULA, February 6, 2010

Michael Kung’a, a student of education at Kenyatta University who had gone blind, is beginning to see again after a well-wisher stepped forward to cater to his medical needs. He is been receiving treatment from doctors at Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Loresho, Nairobi. Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE

Good Samaritan funds a fresh start for student who had lost hope of ever seeing again

When his world went dark four years ago, Michael Kung’a resigned himself to a life of broken dreams and lost hope. The only light in his life were the fast-fading memories that defined his happier days when his eyes could make out the shape of every object in front of him.

In an interview last October, Michael told Sunday Nation he felt as though his whole world were crumbling. All he had lived for was slipping away as a result of his sudden blindness, and there was nothing he could do about it.

“I felt like I had let everyone down. In some way, I thought it was my fault,” the 20-year-old said in a recent interview. “But now it feels as if I have been given a second chance in life.”

After Sunday Nation highlighted his plight, the young man had no idea that somewhere in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, Jolly Singh, a garage owner, would be touched by his predicament.

“I tried to think about what Michael was going through at that time and the stress the family might have been going through. So together with a number of friends and colleagues, we decided to do something about it,” Mr Singh said.

At first, he and his friends offered to pay for Michael’s hospital consultation bills.

“Due to the high costs of medication he had not been seen by an eye specialist. We wanted to get a professional opinion on what his chances were,” Mr Singh said.

But the news was not very good.

“The doctors told us that my son’s chances of ever seeing again stood at a mere five per cent. We lost hope, thanked Mr Singh for his sponsorship and decided to enrol Michael in a special school,” said John Kung’a, Michael’s father.

As the family sought placement in a school for the blind, Michael could not believe that his opportunity to join Kenyatta University was just going up in smoke. A letter of admission from KU lay in a drawer in the family’s home in Nairobi’s Innercore estate.

“Something inside me kept telling me not to lose hope. And I did not. Mr Jolly was taking care of my medical bills. All I had to do was to keep my appointments with the doctors at Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Loresho,” says Michael.

The doctors told him his options were limited but that they would do everything they could to restore his sight.

The whole experience started on April 17 last year when Michael woke up and saw nothing. Only darkness. He thought something was covering his face, but he was wrong.

“I tried to pry my eyes wide open by pulling on my eyelids and still couldn’t see,” he said. Just like that, he had lost his sight.But as suddenly as his sight had disappeared, it reappeared.

“I do not know how it happened. One day I noticed some light coming through my right eye. I couldn’t believe it,” Michael said.

The returned sight to his right eye may not be what it used to be, but it was the sign he needed to get his life back on track.

“After being completely blind in both eyes, I cannot complain about the partial sight in my right eye,” he said.

His father, who was laid off from Kenya Bus Service, immediately registered his son at Kenyatta University.

“We still had the admission letter. I took this as a sign that things would be better with time,” Mr Kung’a said.

And they were. After getting news of Michael’s progress, Mr Singh decided to take him on board as one of the individuals he and his friends support. Thanks to them, Michael is now pursuing a bachelors degree in education (mathematics and geography) at KU.

“If you are in a position to help someone in whatever way, don’t hold back. We are all one people meant to pull each other up,” Mr Singh said.