How 40 minutes saved Tuju’s life after deadly accident in Magina

Raphael Tuju
Raphael Tuju. [Photo: Courtesy]

Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju’s survival to date was as a result of 40 minutes of quick intervention following a fatal road accident on the morning of February 12, 2020.

He was the man on the wheel. Tuju was rushing to Kabarak for the final sendoff of former President Daniel Moi.

However, barely an hour into his journey, he collided head-on with an oncoming Nairobi-bound 14-seater matatu at Magina.

The accident left him on the verge of death and it is the immediate medical response he got at Kijabe Mission Hospital that he is alive today.

“Had there been a delay of any minutes, I would be long gone. The intervention 40 minutes after the accident is what made me live,” he recalled in an interview with Citizen on Sunday.

Tuju, a key political figure in Jubilee’s administration was left nursing broken ribs which pressed his lungs making breathing difficult.

A team of doctors at Kijabe Mission Hospital performed a fast, life-saving procedure by cutting and stitching his intestine which had ruptured.

Another delicate chest operation was conducted to ease his breathing. Doctors told him later that this would have been fatal if it was left to continue.

Tuju was then airlifted to Karen Hospital and admitted to the ICU for a week before flying to the UK for specialized treatment at the Wellness Centre London Hospital.

“The doctors in the country observed that I needed another surgery to correct my three crushed vertebrae. They thought it needed a more specialized hospital because it would touch on the spinal cord and any mistake would be fatal or render me permanently dependent on a wheelchair,” he recounts.

The healing journey has not been an easy one, Tuju recalls. He couldn’t walk at first and when he did, it was baby steps with lots of pain all over his body.

It took him more than six months to take a dozen steps to his house’s gate in the posh suburbs of Karen.

Tuju now plans to give back to the hospital that saved his life.

As he continues making recovery, Tuju is hellbent on raising money through a 52-kilometre walk from Nairobi to Kijabe to refurbish the hospital’s theatre.

He has raised Ksh3 million for the refurbishment but is eyeing another Ksh14 million to equip it with high-tech equipment.

“It saved my life. With modern equipment it will save many more lives,” he notes as he explains about the charity walk.