One bullet is lethal enough to take a life within seconds. Eight would be an overkill in a murder attempt.
Lilongwe-based Agnes (not real name) now looks death right in the eye and challenges it to take another shot at her because she lives with eight bullets in her body after her attackers failed to silence her forever.
Agnes is a living testimony of a rare survival tale following a brutal attack in August that has left her paralysed from the chest to her toes. Now in one of the local hospitals (name withheld for her safety), she struggles to rebuild her life, but believes she will walk again someday.
Seated on her hospital bed, her right leg in a plaster of Paris (POP), Agnes, a staunch Catholic with a foreign tongue, narrated her ordeal in a tone that showed her spirit had not been broken.
In her sadness and trauma, she still holds on to Godâ€™s promises and acknowledges his power; protection with the strong belief that He kept her alive for a purpose.
She remains determined to face her situation and take it head-on. For her, it is one of lifeâ€™s challenges that she must endure with hope; a kind of hope that she wishes will lead her to her assailants to bring them the gospel of Jesus Christ and His saving power.
Said Agnes: â€œI was shot at from my bedroom window when about five robbers entered. This was after they had struggled with the main bedroom door. Their attempt to break the door failed and that was when one of them shot from the window, hitting me instantly.
â€œI fell to the floor, but was conscious. I was stepped on as the men finally entered our bedroom after the door was shot at with the bullet that hit me, breaking my ankle. By then, I could not feel anything as the paralysis had already taken its toll.â€
She remembered the men demanding money from her husband and the screams from her children. These were men on a serious mission because not only did they take an unspecified amount of money, they practically â€œmovedâ€ the family by taking a computer, radio, cellphones, clothes, handbags, blankets and mattresses.
The mother of three fails to comprehend the loot and the pain the robbers inflicted on her as she displays an X-ray photo of the eight bullets. Two of the bullets are lodged in her spinal cord and the rest are seen scattered in various parts of the body.
Said Agnes, pointing to her left rib cage: â€œI feel pain here and my chest swells sometimes. The back is where the bullets entered and that area hurts too. For my ankles, I do not feel pain, but it gets very hot in there (POP).
â€œPhysiotherapy has become erratic because it stops when the chest swells and resumes when it gets better. Sometimes I cough blood during physiotherapy. I am now completely dependent on others for movement and all. I am in pain day and night even when I breathe.â€
She has been to four hospitals so far and none has the capacity to remove her bullets.
â€œI remain forever indebted to God for the protection that has kept me alive from that date to now. Even doctors are baffled by my survival. My family was not harmed except for cuts my husband sustained,â€ she said.
Lilongwe Police spokesperson Ramsy Mushani said three people have been arrested in connection with the crime.