Abled Differently To Make A Difference

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Do you ever ask yourself what you’d do if faced with sudden danger? I know you probably don’t have an answer and you will never find out until it’s that time.

Life is unpredictable and we can never be certain about a situation. Things may look normal, but it only takes a millisecond to change it all into something disastrous.

Meet Patricia Mativo who, at 16 years old, and in form three survived a gruesome accident that changed her life completely, an incident she took on her Twitter account to mark 10 years since it happened.

Mativo in her Twitter post @Mativotrish disclosed that in 2012 while traveling alongside her mother and her cousin, their car lost control rolling over three times and suffering a tire bust.

Mativo suffered serious spinal cord injuries which resulted to partial paralysis to her limbs. Her mother and cousin were admitted to the ICU but got discharged a while later after recovering. It was not the same for the young girl as she lost control of her body.

Patricia describes her early days in her new life as difficult. She entertained suicidal thoughts because she felt useless. She could hardly move as the spine injury rendered her immobile.

She was unable to make even a single step and could not turn on her bed. Her family took turns in nursing her as they bathed, fed, and clothed her.

Her major turning point came when she realized that her future was in her control and it depended on her persistence. With time, she gathered strength and pushed herself beyond limit.

At the moment, she is using crutches but she started with a wheelchair and then a walker. Patricia is proud of her milestones as she is now able to do her laundry.

Due to her injury, her education suffered a two-year hiatus as she recuperated. upon resumption of her studies, Mativo enrolled at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School where she beat all odds and emerged the top of her class in her national examination.

Mativo secured a place at the Multimedia University of Kenya where she attained first class honor’s in Analytical Chemistry.

Her stay at the university birthed her interest in being an advocate for the rights and welfare of Persons With Disabilities.

She began by spreading awareness on the matter and involving herself in school politics working closely with non-governmental organizations to make sure PWDs are involves in crucial areas.

Patricia is currently a coordinator for the Global Network of Youths with disabilities. She is also the vice chairperson of UNFPA youth advisory board and a Kenyan star of the South to South HIV Prevention Learning Network. (SSLN).

With budding confidence, Patricia chases her dreams knowing that her disability is not an inability, but rather an inspiration to PWDs to never give up on their dreams.

She is also a Rhodes scholar finalist and a Ms. President contestant for Season Two which was recently concluded just before the general elections.

She is also a mental health advocate who aims to share her story in a bid to prove there is hope even when survival chances seem bleak.

Patricia is not only a brand ambassador for Riziki Source( An organization that expedites employment for people with disabilities) but also the Country Representative of the Global Youth Consultant towards eradicating Female Genital Mutilation(FGM).

Indeed, Patricia’s story is a glorious epitome of disability is not inability.

BY CHRISTINE OMONDI

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