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Domestic violence victim to undergo reconstructive surgery

Jackline Mwende whose hands were cut off by her husband over allegations that she could not conceive is fed by nurse Rose Kawira at PCEA Kikuyu hospital. (Photo: Willis Awandu)

A woman whose forearms were chopped off by her husband in domestic violence will from today, August 5 undergo reconstructive surgery.

Jackline Mwende is set to get artificial limbs after the operation to be conducted at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Kikuyu Hospital.

Electronics maker LG promised to take care of all her medical expenses, including getting the artificial limbs.

Mwende, accompanied by her father Samuel Muthoki, uncle Stephen Kyule and sister-in-law Faith Kyalo, arrived at the hospital Thursday morning where she underwent a series of tests to determine the best kind of treatment for her.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Michael Maru said the 27-year-old's limbs had been infected at the tips of the stumps arising from the cut and would need some treatment before prosthetic limbs are fitted.

"We have to refashion the stump by first shortening the bone, which will allow for rounding of the stump before it is ready for prosthetic limbs," explained Dr Maru.

Mwende will be fitted with myoelectric prosthetics – functional electric limbs - which will allow her to use her arms since they will react to electric pulses from the muscles in her arm. These prosthetic limbs, Maru says, cost about Sh3 million and that surgery for a case like hers would cost Sh70,000.

Mwende is expected to have healed within six weeks. The surgeon said Mwende will first undergo counselling to allow her to accept the prosthetics before the actual surgery starts.

Mwende, whose head has gushing wounds, was jovial as she sat on her hospital bed being fed by a nurse. She appreciated Kenyans for their goodwill after her story was highlighted by the media.

"I feel happy that I will be able to do some work again after all this is over and I would like to thank everyone who has come to support us through this," she said.

Her father on the other hand expressed optimism that in the end all will be well.

Mwende dispelled media reports that she had decided to drop charges against her husband Stephen Ngila, saying she would not interfere with the case already in court.

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