- Goes suddenly blind at 2, deserted by mother, now paralysed
From GYANG BERE, Jos
for five years now, despair has become a constant companion for Abdul-Jabbar Abdulrazak, a primary two pupil of Islamiyah Pilot Science Primary School, Bauchi Road, Jos, Plateau State, who slept one night and woke up blind in the morning. The minor was said to have been struck by a strange illness suspected to be occasioned by demonic attack about 1.00 am on the ill-fated day during his sleep, barely two years after his birth in 2012.
Efforts by his poor parents to find medical help took them from one clinic to another, before they were advised to visit the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), where he was diagnosed of a disease called eclampsia.
After spending six months in the hospital, he was discharged, but without regaining his sight. Later, he started suffering feats of convulsion, during which his mouth foamed with the eyeballs popping out of the sockets especially at night. However, his distraught parents forged ahead in their search for a solution, this time, seeking help at the doorsteps of traditional doctors and spiritualists. Yet, they returned home disappointed after each attempt.
Rather than relief, the boy’s condition worsened daily, with his parents increasingly becoming frustrated after exhausting their meager financial resources in the elusive search for cure. Soon, his mother, Halima, who was nursing a six-month-old baby slid into an emotional wreck, becoming dejected and angry at the slightest provocation.
Unable to bear the agony and trauma she had been subjected to as a result of Abdul-Jabbar’s condition, she woke up one day, packed her belongings and moved out of her matrimonial home, abandoning the child to his fate, and his father. That was in 2014, but reports indicated that she has remarried.
Sources said the hapless boy was left alone at home whenever his father, Abdulrazak, went out in search of menial jobs to put food on the table, prompting Khadija, his aged paternal grandmother, to relocate him to her home at Angwan-Rogo, a suburb in Jos North Local Government Area of the state.
Despite his health challenges, she enrolled him at Islamiya Pilot Primary School, Bauchi Road, Jos, in 2015, where he is currently a primary two pupil in a class for the visually handicapped.
But as if constantly trailed by misfortune, Abdul-Jabbar was hit by another strange disease in April, this year, which paralyzed his arms and legs. On that day, he suffered a severe bout of convulsion, which eventually affected his arms and legs.
After being rushed to a General Hospital at Toro, Bauchi State, where he was treated, he was said to have got some relief, which however, was short-lived; his grandmother’s hope of seeing him regain the use of his arms and legs, crashed like a pack of cards.
Undeterred, the woman who is engaged in commercial grinding of grains with hired machine to earn a living, took him to two eye centres, Arab Eye Clinic, Bauchi, and Arab Optical Clinic, Kano, with a view to at least, restore his sight; sadly, that effort also ended in vain.
Since then, life has been a nightmare for Abdul-Jabbar, now aged seven, even as he invests hope in God. Though resolute in his quest for education, his greatest worry is how to get to school; more so, as Kabiru and Dahiru, his schoolmates, who usually assisted in carrying him to school on their backs, graduated last month.
“My friends who usually carried me to school on their back have completed their studies in my school; they are going to JSS 1 in another school. How I will go to school in September when we will resume from the current vacation has been my biggest problem,” he remarked recently in Hausa at the Crest Hotel Jos, during an event where the President of the Rotary Club of Naraguta-Jos, Theresa Oritsemajemite Eyetan, presented a wheelchair to him, alongside seven of his classmates.
That gesture, he says, has lifted his spirit and given him a flicker of hope, and he did not mince words in expressing his joy. “Rotary Club has given me a wheelchair to ease my movement; the challenge now is that my hands are weak and not strong enough to push the wheel of the chair, but I am grateful because I can get someone to push me to my destination. I hope to walk and regain my sight someday, as I was not born with my present condition,” he said.
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