Gospel Ime Henry, a fifteen year old student of Unity Model College, Obo Ntong, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, with eyes impediments is sending save our soul (SOS) to Akwa Ibom State Government and indigenes, Nigerian government and well meaning Nigerians for immediate surgery follow-up as further delayed action my cost his sights.
Amidst his present agony, Gospel Henry remains grateful to the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State and wife, Mr./Deaconess Udom Emmanuel who took interest in his petiable case and funded his optical surgery at referred Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, in December, 2016 and January, 2017 respectively.
“I am appreciating the Governor and his wife Mr./Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel who showed compassion on me. She showed me milk of kindness. She took me out of isolation, mockery, shame, discrimination and gave me a sense of belonging among my friends through that operation, I pray God to bless her and her household alongside all the people that projected my case to the world, may God bless them.
“I also thank God for Passing through her to give me a meaningful life.Today, I can see partially with my left eye, a feat that was difficult before now.” Master Gospel appreciated!
Recounting his ordeal after the surgery, Gospel cried out that due to financial incapacitation of his parents, who are peasant farmers with eleven other siblings to cater for, he can’t afford a single check-up as was scheduled by the team of surgeons.
Gospel being the sixth child of the twelve children enumerated occasional dripping of water from the left eye, excruciating pains and itching of the eye, eye redishness and respiratory difficulty at night as some of the anormally encountered after the surgery.
The JSS1 student who also lamented losing his right eye, said he could only visualise with his left eye and panicked for immediate help to save the only functional one that is fast becoming blurred every passing day.
“I am calling on the wife of the Governor, well placed Akwa Ibomites, Nigerian Government and Nigerians, religious bodies, Non-Governmental Organisations and everyone wherever you are seeing my picture, please assist me for a complete surgical procedure to enhance complete healing. I don’t want to go completely blind. I want to go to ……. (sobbing inconsolably) ….i want to go to school as every normal child, I want to be educated and become useful to my family and society. I can only achieve this with your help and support”. He sobed uncontrollably with other inarticulate sounds!
“Right now, I can only visualise things with my left eye which gets blurred in most cases especially when I am experiencing excruciating pains, pepperish feelings and redishness in the only functional eye. I know all is not well and my sight is deteriorating every day”. Gospel elucidated!
Narrating his reasons for being in JSS1 at age fifteen, Master Gospel buried in shame said; suffering from the lingering ailment from the early age of four has been a major set back that almost marred his educational pursuit but for his determination to swallow shame, scornful gaze and discrimination from other school children.
“Under normal cricumstances, I should be in SS2 if not SS3, but here I am in JSS1 with children who are meant to be my junior students in School, I cannot recount the resentment I face on daily basis in class from my classmates. My mates have gone far ahead of me because of my ailment. I am calling on the entire universe to as a matter of urgency to please come to my aid. My life will be meaningless and an additional burden to my parents if i completely go blind”. He solicited with a shaken voice.
THE AGONY OF A HELPLESS MOTHER
On her part, the mother of the boy, Mrs. Mary Ime Henry who was caught inbetween mixed emotions, while appreciating the Governor’s Wife and Akwa Ibom State Government for the benevolence on her child, admitted that government of Governor Udom Emmanuel fully sponsored the optical surgery at Ebonyi State. She said the operation to a greater extent has ameliorated the plight of the boy and gave him some sorts of relief.
She aligned with the son and called for urgent help to salvage the helpless situation the family is facing at the moment.
ISSUES ARISING AFTER THE OPERATION
“After the operation, we were scheduled for a check-up to ascertain the condition of the eyes. Due to dearth of funds, we haven’t gone for any medical check-ups nor administered any recommended maintenance since that 2017. We have made several efforts of reaching out to our benefactor (Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel) for appropriate updates but I always met a brick block at the government House’s gate, after several fruitless efforts with the family lean resources, I decided to look on to God for his perfect will”. She narrated!
THE PRESENT CONDITION
“Presently, Gospel is experiencing five major health and life threatening issues; uncontrollably dripping of tears from the only functional eye, redishness, objects appearing in twos, excruciating pains and itching of the eye. Another threatening development after the operation is his inability to breath normally in his sleep. He gaspes for breath in his sleep with a disturbing and abnormal snoring sounds that force night vigil on us most nights” the mother worried!
THE WAY FORWARD AND REQUEST
She called on Governments, organisations and individuals to lend a helping hand to the deplorable state of the son.
“We want Government and other well placed individuals/organisations to assist us with routine check-ups for appropriate medical maintenance for a lasting panacea for his sights”. Mrs. Henry requested!
A BRIEF BACKGROUND TO THE CASE
Gospel Ime Henry could also be referred to as Nsit Ibom 2016 Independence Child, Whose health condition captured the attention of some female journalists at Nsit Ibom Sports Council Studium during 2016 Independence day celebration during School children march past to commemorate the day.
Gospel as at 2016 was a12 year old primary 5 pupil of St. Andrew’s African Church School, Edeobom 11, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, with an unscertained eye ailment that could be described as unusual growth in the eye region, causing swelling of the eye-ball and the eye-lid. The disproportionate size of the eye-ball outgrown the eye-lid, keeping it constantly open, dripping water continually.
According to the parents, “it all started when Gospel was three years old as we left for farm.On returning from the farm, we were told that while Gospel was playing with his siblings, he struggled for an instrument which mistakenly choke his eyes. Gospel’s eyes was blood-stained and we were not able to decipher which eye was affected. Since they were all kids, nobody was able to give adequate explanation of what object choked Gospel’s eye.” They gave some insights!
Also the parents then disclosed that: “we have taken him everywhere. We took him to hospitals in Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, we have even taken him to where I was given leaves and to churches for prayers but no help. We do not have money again and we can not take him to anywhere again for treatment and this eye is really paining him”.
However, the news of the boy’s ailment which went viral on social media and on pages of Akwa Ibom State based daily tabloids got the attention of the wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor. She took inventory and funded the medical bills, feeding and other logistics throughout the surgery session at Specialist Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State .
Currently, after the last surgery in 2017, Gospel has graduated from St. Andrew’s African Church School. He is now a JSS1 student of Unity Model College, Obo Ntong, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.