Kenyan journeys to SA in a wheelchair

2012-08-21 15:52

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Cape Town - A Kenyan man who was paralysed after being shot by hijackers almost nine years ago has undertaken a 4000km journey in a manual wheelchair from his home country to South Africa to seek treatment for his spinal injury. 

The Guardian reports that Zachary Kimotho, a 44-year-old veterinarian, started his journey in June this year with the further purpose of raising £1.9million for the construction of a spinal injury treatment unit in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. While he is one of thousands of Kenyans with spinal injuries, there is currently no specialist care available in the country. South Africa is the closest country that offers this sort of treatment. 

Zack has managed to cover about 160km so far, having reached Kenya's border with Tanzania during the past week. According to an interview with the Observer he had continued despite cold and wet weather and he had blisters on his hands from turning the wheels. On this leg of the journey he has managed to raise £650,000.

He is the face of a Kenyan Paraplegic Organisation campaign to raise awareness about the suffering of spinal injury patients in Kenya. They appealed for the public to help "Bring Zack Back Home", urging Kenyans to each contribute a Kenyan shilling (about a penny) in the hope that enough money would be raised to build the unit, saving Kimotho from having to complete his arduous journey.

Kenyans managed to make #BringZackBackHome a top trend on Twitter.

While the Guardian reports that Zack's journey has momentarily been halted due to bureaucracy, as the organization has exceeded the 60-day limit of their welfare license, he seems determined to stay on the road. 

Watch this touching BBC video about Zack's journey and check out the Bring Zack Back Home website to track his progress.

Read more on:    travel international

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