Terry Apudo (now Gobanga) of Nairobi, Kenya may have been one of the most unfortunate people handed with such a cruel fate. But despite that, she never gave up in life. Instead, she gathered all the strength she had and showed people how to turn the sourest lemons into a sweet, tasty lemonade.
Terry didn’t show up to her wedding one day and her family and friends immediately knew something was off. What guests didn’t know was that Terry was in terrible danger and she was left fighting for her life.
The young female pastor was kidnapped and thrown into a car where she was raped by a group of men.
She was gagged, hit hard and was told to cooperate or die.
“The men took turns to rape me. I felt sure I was going to die, but I was still fighting for my life.”
In her intimate interview with BBC, Terry recounted the horrors she had been through. The men took turns to sexually assault her. When one of the perpetrators took the cloth from her mouth she saw it as an opportunity to escape. She bit his manhood but then she got stabbed in her stomach. It may have worked since the men then threw her out of the car while it was moving. Terry may have freed herself from her captors but she wasn’t out of the dark yet.
Someone got help and when the police arrived, it was thought she was dead since Terry had no pulse.
On the way to the morgue, Terry choked and coughed and that’s when the police realized she’s actually alive. They then took her to the biggest hospital in Kenya where her injuries were treated.
“I arrived in great shock, murmuring incoherently. I was half-naked and covered in blood, and my face was swollen from being punched. But something must have alerted the matron, because she guessed I was a bride.”
The hospital knew what to do and that was to call churches to check if they’re missing a bride. Coincidentally, the first church they called was All Saints Cathedral, where Terry and fiance Harry Olwande were supposed to get married.
When Terry’s family learned what happened, they, along with the entourage, went to visit her in the hospital. The media also heard about what happened so reporters were also present. The doctors stitched her up, tested her for HIV and AIDS, as well as gave her preventive drugs. Then the heartbreaking news was delivered to her.
Because of her deep stab wound, Terry could no longer bear a child.
There were times she felt she had let Harry down. Some people blamed her for getting herself in a dangerous situation. But despite what happened to her, Harry remained supportive and he was firm about his decision to marry Terry.
In July 2005, seven months after the failed attempt at marriage, Harry and Terry finally pushed through with the wedding.
It may already seem she got the happy ending but not quite.
Terry has yet to face another major heartbreak in her life. Twenty-nine days after her wedding, a fire broke out in the couple’s house while they were sleeping. Terry lost consciousness but was saved. Harry died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Terry told herself and everybody she doesn’t want to get married ever again — that’s until Tonny Gobanga came to her life. Tonny became Terry’s support during those dark times when she lost her husband.
Eventually, she fell in love with him.
Tonny proposed to Terry but she told him first to buy a magazine where he can read all about her story. He did learn about Terry’s devastating story and the fact that she can’t bear children but that didn’t change his mind. The two got engaged but Tonny’s family objected, especially after they knew about Terry’s story. They thought she’s cursed.
They married anyway and a year after Tonny and Terry’s marriage, she started to feel unwell. She went to the doctor to get herself checked and that’s when they found out another shocking news.
Terry learned that she was pregnant!
She was put on bed rest but her pregnancy went well. She and Tonny welcomed their first baby, a girl named Tehille.
Four years later, Terry gave birth to another girl who they named Towdah.
Terry is a mom to these two wonderful girls.
Today, Terry works as a trauma counselor.
Her story is detailed in her book, titled "Crawling Out of Darkness."
She also started the organization called Kara Olmurani, which works with rape survivors. Terry’s attackers were never caught but she said she already forgave them.
“You have to keep moving, crawl if you have to. But move towards your destiny because it’s waiting, and you have to go and get it.”