At 31, Rwamuguma Mwene Yongyera is recovering from a stroke he got in November 2016. His life took a drastic change. He was due to join graduate school for his masters in law but the stroke hit first and fast. The road to recovery has been slow but he is getting there. He is yet to get back on his feet. For now, he is learning to walk again. Speech is still a struggle just as is his writing. His communication is limited to typing using his right hand since his left is still paralysed. He signs off his work as the hand that speaks, a detail he speaks of here. Yongyera might be down but his spirit is so strong.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a prisoner of hope who is daring to live one day at a time.
How has the recovery process been like for the last 4 years?
It has been a journey of ups and downs. One moment I was walking unaided with the crutch next I was in a wheelchair. All the progress made was cut to negative 20 and making the positive 20 to go back to the starting point has been painfully long.
What is your story on stroke?
I was in Mbarara at my brother’s. I remember turning in bed a lot. Little did I know that it was the last time I was turning my body. We called a doctor who advised that we do an MRI scan and the journey to Kampala began. The rest of the story is archived here.
How have you managed to make it through?
Friends and Family. Friends held a fundraising for my rehabilitation and have continued to stand with me financially and spiritually. I must have done something right to deserve the love and support that I get from them. You see even up to now, they continue rooting for my recovery and that’s amazing.
What has kept you going on?
Well I am a believer and God gives me hope. I read the scriptures and they speak to my life. There’s John 11 and it’s about Lazarus and how Mary and Martha called for Jesus and he said that the sickness won’t end in death but rather for God’s name to be glorified. In 2019 I suffered stroke related seizures and was unconscious for three days so the fact that I am still here is testament to Jeremiah 29:11
For the time you have been down, what are those things that matter most?
Because of the fact that I need help with things like movement, I value my caretakers because of their love and care.
The older I grow, the more I realize that it’s not about the money or things that you have but the people that you love that makes you rich.
What would you tell young people about stroke?
Well the common myth is that stroke is for the elderly but even young people suffer from it. The most common causes are hypertension and diabetes. So eat well and know your heart (take regular checks otherwise). We need you to work towards a Nation that works for all of us. Turn the negative energy into positivity.
Read more about Yongyera’s journey with stroke on his blog.