Twelve years old... young and tender I was when I started my journey living with epilepsy. It all started in school during games. As we were doing some warm up, the school dogs, which were really big and fierce, found their way to the field. Everyone fled but I was left. I could not get up. I was shaking but I was conscious. My sister who was in the same school eventually came to my rescue. It was followed by other instances but we all thought I was shaking because the region was very cold and the school nurse advised I should keep warm. Luckily my mum witnessed one instance and rushed me to the hospital and my sister also explained to the doctor about the other episodes. An EEG (electroencephalogram) was done and I was diagnosed with 'epilepsy'.
School life was so hard. Some teachers didn't make it any easier using harsh statements. I remember one time I was locked up in a dormitory until my mum came to get me. I surely thought I would not get through high school, just as one teacher had said. But I thank God that I live and I believe to tell a story of victory.
After high school I joined an empowerment program for people living with epilepsy, "YOUTH ON THE MOVE" . Here I was able to find myself. I learned about epilepsy and that helped me understand and accept my condition. In book club and weekly meetings I had a chance to speak my mind. Their belief in me lit a spark that had previously refused to shine.
Life in the employment world hasn't been easy either. I lost my first job after after falling ill with status epilepticus and needing to spend a week away in the hospital. More recently, however, I have had a really nice boss, who treats me with respect and accept my me with my condition.
Struggling to survive and having a disability is not easy. In Kenya with the myths and misconceptions it's even worse. It's time we enlighten people about the different disabilities. Let's choose to make this world a better place by teaching those without disabilities to treat those with disabilities well… Instead of teaching those with disabilities to fit in.
Epilepsy heroes were born to sparkle.
If you want to know more about Sally and follow her along on her journey click below to visit her blog.