Anastacia Mikwa was fast asleep when she heard the staccato sound of gunfire drawing closer to the women’s hostel at Garrisa University College.

Mikwa,23, was a student at the campus at the time of the attack.

“When the attackers struck, around 5.00 am in the morning, I was asleep,” She told BBC.

“I heard gunshots and suddenly everyone started scampering for safety. But I had nowhere to go because the terrorists had already entered my dormitory.”

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Uhuru Kenyatta visited Anastacia Mikwa - ‘When the attackers struck…’ Garrisa terror attack survivor talksShe says the bullets were flying everywhere.

“They shot me multiple times and thought I had died. I lay there for hours until the Kenya Defence Forces came to my rescue,” Mikwa narrates.

After her rescue, Mikwa was flown to the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi where she underwent operations and received counselling.Her father Charles Mikwa,57, a primary school teacher, told BBC about the hours of agony the family endured when they learned of the assault.

“It was a very difficult moment,” he said.

“I just sat down and started praying because I could do nothing at that time I could not walk there and nobody could go there.”

After her rescue, Mikwa was flown to the Defence Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi where she underwent operations and received counselling.

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“The bones were entirely shattered and it was impossible to tell how many bullets hit her,” one of the doctors told a local daily. 

Today she is able to walk again, albeit with the aid of crutches.

Still traumatized and crippled – but feeling lucky to be alive – she spoke to BBC about her recovery.

“I’ve had 32 surgeries performed on me to be up on my feet. Most people don’t believe it but it’s the truth,” she says.

Mikwa is currently back in the university. The feelings Mikwa harboured following the al-Shabaab slaughter are slowly melting away and she can now afford a smile.

“I am not bitter anymore,” she said. “I hope nothing like that will ever happen again.”

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The third-year student wants to become a university lecturer.

“It has slowed down my university education but certainly it has not killed my dreams,” she said.

She is the last born in a large family – she has three brothers and three sisters.

Mikwa was admitted to the Garissa University College in September 2014 to pursue a Bachelors degree in education.

The attack happened as she was preparing to sit for her final second-semester examinations.

The attack claimed 147 lives and left several critically injured.

It was was the worst atrocity in the region since the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, which killed 213 and injured thousands of others.

-BBC

Mpasho News

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