Angela Kinyua, a mother to Samara Wakio Kinyua says her life changed overnight one evening in June 24th, 2012 when Samara was admitted with meningitis. Samara was barely two weeks old at the time and was admitted in hospital for a month. “That was the
toughest moment of my life. I had longed to be a mother but it had never occurred to me that I would be a mother to a child with special needs. My pregnancy was smooth, I had a safe delivery and didn’t anticipate any challenges,” she explains.
Baby Samara left the hospital after a month of fighting for her life for a month. The doctors explained that there were chances of her developing complications that could lead to a disability from the meningitis. Samara would later on lose her ability to hear. In addition she became epileptic. Angela sought support from her family throughout this tough time. “I am forever indebted to my mom and younger brother who have been there for Samara no matter what.
We parted ways with Samara’s dad even before I gave birth and given what happened to Samara at a tender age of two, it made things worse between us. Accepting her was not easy for both of us. Eventually, he warmed up to her but I wouldn’t say he knows her
well since he meets her once in a while.
He really has no idea the daily struggles I endure alone,” she explains. According to Angela, juggling between attending to the needs of her child with special needs, working and having time for herself has been quite tough. However, these challenges have made her build a closer bond with her daughter who she says is now her best friend. “I couldn’t ask
God for any other perfect gift than samara in my life. I have learnt to appreciate the
different milestones in her life. Her pain is my pain and her success is my success,”
she says exuding a lot of pride. It has been difficult for Angela to get into another relationship because her daughter comes fist in her life. She believes whoever loves her, should love and accept her daughter first. Therefore, whenever someone shows interest in her, she lets the person know in advance that she is raising a child with special needs so that they know what they are getting themselves in from the onset.
Her advice to parents who have differently abled children is to love and accept them as they are. She adds on, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you feel like you can’t take it anymore. Have someone whom you can open up to about your worries and fears. Beware because children have a way of picking up on your negative energy.”
She recognizes many times when faced with challenges people tend to ask God, why me but says she has learned to ask if not me who else? “God gives those who He loves the most what seems like the hardest burdens. Each is different and differently abled kids tend to have hidden skill that if nurtured early would benefit them. Choose to focus on the blessing,” she concludes with much conviction.
Story by Mercy Muruge.