Kenyan policeman wakes up from coma to find he was sacked
A Kenyan policeman has awakened from a nine-month coma and found that he has been released for desertion.
Neither the family nor the police knew where Constable Reuben Kimutai Lel was - his niece told the BBC they believed he was dead.
However, it turns out that he was the victim of a traffic accident and spent the entire time in one of the largest hospitals in the country.
He only regained consciousness last week.
His niece Joan Jeptoo told the BBC about the family's horror when they searched morgues for his body after giving up his chance at life.
At one point they almost pulled a decaying corpse from a morgue that it was said was him.
"We thought he was dead because his phone was off. Earlier this year we were due to pick up a body that we were told looked like him, but the fingerprints did not match," she said.
The policeman was admitted to the main referral hospital in the capital, Nairobi, as a stranger on December 21, 2020. He did not have any identification papers with him.
He has since been fired from his job, charged in absentia with desertion, and an arrest warrant issued against him. The case was later withdrawn after police failed to find him.
He regained consciousness last week, and although he still has not regained his full memory, he was able to identify himself by name and that he was a police officer - and so the search for his relatives began.
His niece was contacted by the police last Wednesday and asked to identify him at the hospital.
"I found him at Kenyatta National Hospital. He couldn't recognize me and he couldn't make out the names of his family members," she said.
The policeman was released from hospital last Friday and is recovering at his home in Koibatek, Baringo County, under the care of his wife and family.
Preparations are being made to return him to the police force, according to the Daily Nation news site.
However, his niece said the constable, in her late 50s, was looking forward to retirement.
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