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I survived a terrifying motorcycle crash

Exploring Ibiza on a 50cc Piaggio Typhoon
8 February 2022
Moi North Lake Road, Naivasha
13 February 2022

By Collince Dibogoh

I’ve been riding a Yamaha XTZ 750 Super Tenere for about eight years now. About 3months ago I bought a 2017 new BMW R1200GSA, a beautiful machine, a very powerful machine with all the electronics on it.

One afternoon I was riding down ICD road Nairobi, a road I knew well. It was busy and I was filtering down the middle as one does. I overtook a slow-moving trailer going about 25mph but that was too fast to stop before hitting the lorry which pulled out of the side street in front of the trailer. I hit the ABS brakes hard and took most of the force out of the impact, but when the front wheel hit the lorry, it ripped the handlebars sideways with such force that it pulled my left wrist straight out of its socket, hit the door of the lorry with my head which caused a fracture on my lower right jaw (Good helmet saves life). It was stupid and avoidable but I count myself lucky to have learned a valuable lesson. So many bike accidents describe a similar scenario and sure, not all are avoidable but I’ve avoided countless accidents in Kenya this way while watching less experienced riders rush past trailers without a care. If they ever come to harm it may or may not be their fault, but the fact is, it doesn’t matter when you’re the one on the ground bleeding.”

My wife was called to the scene and was with me few minutes after a good Samaritan took me to a first aid attendant at Scion Hospital at Kobil Imara Daima. “What Prescription and Non-Prescription Medications do you take? What Allergies do you have?” Doc asked and I replied none. Immediately after seeing the needle, I said to my wife, “Babe, I’m going”. At first, she thought I was dying and she was like “please don’t go. Remember Liam still needs you and I need you too (Liam is our 4 months baby boy)”. “Huyu hajakufa he is alive ni kufaint amefaint” said Clava to my wife. Seeing a needle in a medical setting and smell surrounding or pain of being injected is enough to make even the toughest of us faint.


Whilst waiting for the doctor’s referral letterand ambulance to arrive, “We kijana, tumekuletea helmet na GSA iko hapa inje inakungojea, nyama lazima tuchome leo kwa ile land ume grab sai”, Said Clava aka the Chief Priest. “Na ujue tenere pia imeamka, ubuntu lazima tuende”, said Deno aka last born /Taro/chinku/Nunju. I was then taken to Nairobi South Hospital(NSH), one of the cleanest hospitals in Nairobi and well-equipped health facility with good doctors located in south C. Apparently, I was conscious,talking and trying to get up off the bed.

The NSH team at South C were ready for my arrival and worked immediately on me. My family and friends describe the situation at the time as confusing with little information early on. My injuries were such that my family were told to expect the worst during the first 24 hours but I pulled through to be well enough to have the 1hour 30min operation on the next day 20th January 2022. The family were told that my situation was potentially life ending and if I did survive, I would have a very long recovery.

“Hey Collince, please wake up and see your people”, The nurse who was pushing me on a stretcher trolly said. Approximately 4 hours later I woke up in NSH Surgery room, after Dr. Agunda Moses the orthopedic and spine surgeon fixed my wrist, extremely confused, with a dead hand, with my family and Rider friends who had not left my side. Yes, Ben Mbasu and Clava the chief priest were there for me all that time. “Dibs, do you know me?” Ben asked. Yes, I knew him but I was experiencing limited ability to move myjaw because of the dislocation on my jaw, I was experiencing the most pain and tenderness when chewing, laughing or speaking. It was past midnight, we managed to chat a bit then they took their leave.

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On my discharge day, my family and biker friends showed up to see me, I was so happy. Immediately they had left, dentist by the name Tobby Matundura came to inspect me. “Open your mouth, close, move your head left and right, the signs of a dislocated jaw can be different than those of a broken jaw. Pain is a factor, and it may become worse when you move your mouth or your body. Your jaw might appear to jut out too much and you might notice that your teeth don’t line up as they usually do and your bite might feel strange. An abnormal bite can prevent you from closing your mouth completely, and this might cause drooling”. Dr Tobby said. “Is it possible to see a photo of him smiling?” she asked my wife. My wife is scrolling my phone she is unable to find any photo of me smiling, my gallery is full of bike pics, she then turns on her phone, she finds a thousand photos of us, showed it to Tobby. “Yes, the dislocation is not that bad, I’ll give you a doctor who will diagnose a broken jaw or dislocation, but you’ll have to do a physical exam, and take relevant x-rays, a simple dislocation could be treated by an oral surgeon or dentist, but a serious fracture might require surgery and would need a specialist, such as a maxillofacial who is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, a head and neck surgeon” she said.

I was then taken with an ambulance to Upper hill, Plaza imaging to be examined and immediately we returned the maxillofacial which I won’t quote the name was ready for us “This is a dislocation which can be fixed, there are two ways of fixing it, one, wiring your jaw shut and elastic bands that keep your jaw closed and your bite in place and you won’t be able to open your jaw at all for at least six to eight weeks during treatment. You’ll also be on a liquid diet through a straw to provide you with nutrition during this time while you’re unable to chew solid food. Two, you might require jaw surgery to repair, we cut the bone of the lower jaw to allow us carefully move it into a new position, move the lower jawbone either forwards or backwards into a new position. place plates or screws to hold the adjusted jawbone in its new position. Then close the incisions in your gums with stitches”. He said. “And what’s the cost, for both surgery and wired one?” my wife asked. “Wired is between 40k to 70k and surgery is about 400k to 500k, doctors fee alone is around 100k to 150k” He said. “Doc let’s brainstorm then come back to you”, I said.


We had to call another maxillofacial by the name Dr. Atanasias Odhiambo who examined me and advice as follows; “Collince, worry less, this one will heal on its own, you’ll need to follow a soft diet as you recover. You just need to avoid food that are crunchy or chewy, avoid talking and laughing for at least two to four weeks because this is just a minor fracture. Avoid items such as fresh meats, raw produce, or crunchy snack foods can cause strain and pain to your healing jaw. In fact, you should be on liquid diet alone for now. Why would you pay a lot of money doing surgery? Now go home and rest”. And that’s how we left the hospital for home.

Appreciation to all my family, colleagues and friends for the overwhelming support you’ve shown- prayers, financially, physical visits in the hospital and at home. God bless you abundantly.

Advice to bikers

Lots of accidents happen on Kenyan roads because drivers are often overwhelmed with work, fatigue… hence make bad decisions. Your mission as a biker is to help them make good decisions by riding at a speed they expect. Then move laterally across your lane to allow them see you and assume they’re going to pull out anytime, so cover your brakes. Lane splitting is the main advantage of riding and it’s safe if you do it carefully. The main thing is to assume no car driver knows you’re there, and they will behave accordingly. While on motion, try to look as far ahead as is physically possible, to help you plan for a hazard rather than reacting to them. Remember to gear up at all times because no one knows where an accident will occur, it takes practice though, because our instinct is to check what’s right in front of us. Keep telling yourself ‘Eyes up’ and use your peripheral vision to keep tabs on the near stuff.

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