She had just turned 25, had a stable job after graduating with a First Class degree from Karatina University, and was preparing to begin her Master’s degree programme at JKUAT.
She was also preparing to walk down the aisle with the love of her life, Boniface Kinini. A traditional marriage ceremony was scheduled for June before a wedding in September.
Then came Monday, March 25, and her dreams were painfully shattered.
Today, Faith Mbeyu is a pale shadow of herself, spending her days and nights in pain at the High Dependency Unit of Bellevue South Hospital.
She weeps nearly all the time she is awake, unable to speak, eat or do anything on her own. Her fiancé, the man who she was to wed in four months, recalls the exact time when their plans came tumbling down.
“It was at 7.30pm. She was heading home to Banana, Kiambu from her workplace along Mombasa Road when someone suddenly attacked her,” he says.
Mbeyu was attacked about 200m from the gate to the home of her aunt, Nelly Kamau, who has lived with her since she was in secondary school.
“Whoever attacked her hit the right side of her head with a heavy blunt object. It looks like she fell after the first blow,” says Kamau.
The attacker then removed Mbeyu’s coat and used it to cover her head before leaving her for dead.
The family says they are unsure whether Mbeyu was attacked by a single assailants or group, since no one witnessed the incident. Since the attack, Mbeyu has not been able to speak. She only weeps quietly.
The motive of the attack also remains a mystery. Whoever attacked Mbeyu did not take anything from her.
“They just emptied the contents of her bag, which we found next to her. Everything, including her phone, was there,” says her aunt.
Also strewn at the scene of the attack was Mbeyu’s dinner shopping.
“She had bought milk, vegetables and meat, which were also found next to her,” says her fiancé.
Mbeyu slipped into unconsciousness after the brutal attack. Passersby found her lying in a pool of blood and took her to a nearby dispensary.
Here, nurses could only administer first aid to stop the bleeding. So severe were her injuries that she could only be moved to a hospital in an ambulance, which was not immediately available.
“We waited over two hours for an ambulance. The entire county of Kiambu did not have an ambulance. Eventually, we had to get a private ambulance,” says Kinini.
By the time Mbeyu arrived at Bellevue South Hospital in South C, Nairobi, she had drifted into a coma.
“We didn’t even think she was alive,” recalls Kamau.
At Bellevue South Hospital, doctors immediately put Mbeyu on a life support machine. By then she had lost nearly half her blood.
“They spent Tuesday giving her blood to prepare her for surgery, which was conducted for six hours on Tuesday night,” Mr Kinini recounts.
Ashihundu Khayumbi, the administrator of Bellevue South Hospital, says Mbeyu required round-the clock care by several specialists due to her delicate condition. A CT scan revealed that part of her skull was shattered in the attack and had to be removed to prevent brain damage.
Today marks 40 days since Mbeyu was attacked.
During the 40 days, her hospital bill has shot to nearly Sh45 million after days in the ICU, where the expenses averaged Sh80,000 per day.
Mbeyu has since been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to the High Dependency Unit, where the cost is up to Sh40,000 per day.
But even as the family worries about how the rapidly rising bill will be cleared, it is impressed by Mbeyu’s fighting spirit. She might not be going home anytime soon, she might not be speaking, but she is fighting.
“Doctors say it is a miracle she is alive,” says her fiancé.
The family is welcoming contributions through pay bill number 833054 and account name “Faith”.