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Will to live drives on injured Westgate victim

19 September 2014, 16:20 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The will to live has driven Justus Koech to continue with his life after suffering serious injury in the Westgate attack.

Koech was shot seven times, five on one leg and two on another, losing one leg in the incident and crippling the other.

Previously a security guard, he lost his job since he is now in a wheel chair but he does not see the need to wallow in despair.

" I lost my life and lively-hood in the attacks, but I thank God that I can still live and share a life with my family and children, he says of his predicament.

Read also: Survivor remembers plight of Westgate dead

Koech was shot severally by the gangsters who raided the mall and killed 67 people.

He says that they thought he was dead after hitting him severally at the entrance of the upmarket mall.

" I was at the entrance when they arrived. I saw a car pull over at the parking lot and then gunshots went off immediately. I run out to see what was going on when they hit me and I fell down, he said.

He says survived the ordeal because he fell over a pavement and onto some flowers.

" I fell on the other side of the entrance and that probably that is what saved me from death, he said.

After being saved by well-wishers, he was to hospital and after several attempts by the medical team, was told he would have to lose one leg as it was too injured.

" I was told that I had been shot in several places and would have to lose my right leg. The other one was badly fractured at the ankle and so I would have to use a wheel chair, he adds.

Read also: Harassment haunts Somalis in Kenya, a year after Westgate attack

After learning his fate, he spent one month in hospital before being released to his new reality.

" It was tough at first because I was not used to sitting at home but I have got used to it slowly, he adds.

He says that he does not keep a grudge against the ones who executed the attack.

" I have moved on. I thank God for life. I just pray for families of those that perished. I hope they have some strength at this difficult time, he finishes.

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