This is the story of Adenike Adebayo, a student of the Polytechnic of Ibadan. In this first part, Nike’s mother narrates the story of how her legs were amputated at the age of 5.
“When she was born, she was born whole. When she clocked one and she couldn’t walk, I became worried. The only sign that she was growing were her teeth which had begun to show but she couldn’t use her feet. Years passed and still she did not walk. We had no idea what was going on. Unknown to us, her legs had been infected and had begun to decay from the inside. In fact by the time we took her to UCH, the legs had begun to stink and one of her legs had completely come off.
I had no money for her treatment but the doctors rallied round me because by the time I took her to UCH, her case was a critical one. The doctors at the A & E took over the case and began to provide care for her. In the end, they had to cut off her two legs. That was when she became legless. Then, I used to trek from Odejayi to UCH every time to check up on her and be with her. We were in the hospital for a while and at some point, the whole experience became so overwhelming.
With no resources to keep her in the hospital, one day I carried my daughter, put her on my back and left the hospital. The doctors thought that I wanted to abandon her at home and stop her treatment but that was not my plan. She had no prosthetic legs as I couldn’t afford it at the time and so everywhere I went, I’d carry her on my back. There were occasions when I took the bus people would wonder and ask me why I am carrying a grown up girl on my back. They didn’t know that she no longer had legs.
Sometimes, I’d look at her and just burst into tears. At some point, everything became frustrating and I wanted to abandon her and forget about her but I had a strong conviction from the Holy Spirit not to abandon her. That was when I decided to take it as my cross to seek the best care I could get for her. I began to go round with her, trying my best to seek help from well-meaning Nigerians to help procure prosthetic legs.
It was in the process of running around that I wriggled my way to see the wife of the former governor of Oyo State – Mutiat Ladoja. I explained my daughter’s situation to her and she swung into action. It was through her, that Adenike got her first prosthetic legs.”
In this second part, Adenike talks about life as an amputee, her perception of her condition and her aspirations in life.
I attended Queen of Apostle Secondary School. Currently, I am running my ND program at the Polytechnic of Ibadan, studying Banking and Finance. Current prosthetic legs are not fully enhanced – I have outgrown them. I can walk around, I can take a bike with it but I can’t walk for long or climb a staircase without any one supporting me. Whenever I find myself stuck because of my prosthetic legs, I just hang around and wait till someone comes along and can support me.
I have 4 younger ones and they have really been supportive. They help me run errands and do my chores in the house. Sometimes, they get tired too and I understand. At those moments, I encourage them and tell them that it is not my desire to be sending them around and not be able to do my things by myself.
When I am with my mates, it’s a different experience all together. I don’t feel like I am disabled and they don’t make me feel like I am different from them. My friends in my department always assist me. They never treat me like I am an outcast or that I am odd. They are always ready, and eager to support me in whatever I am doing. Always, I reaffirm to myself that I can do anything that my mates are doing. Even when it is something really difficult – I tell myself that I can do it. It may take me a while o, but I will see to it that I do it.
When I see people going somewhere that I can’t go because of my condition, I would sit down and think about why this has to be my predicament but after a little while, I try to get it off my mind. Or sometimes when people go out to someplace that I cannot go and they return with all the juicy details, I would begin to brood over what I had missed and would wish things were different for me. But I have also learnt to not be overwhelmed by the things I can’t change and for the things I can change, to work on them.
Whatever I don’t have, I believe that God will provide it for me. He will bless the things I do with my hands and make me successful at them so I can do the things that I can’t presently do. That’s how I keep my spirit up.
In 5 years to come, I hope to have a good job and also to have a craft making outfit that will serve as an extra source of income for me.
A year ago, 28th November 2018, we shared a tweet seeking help for Adenike to get a new pair of prosthetic legs. That one tweet would go on to get 4,357 retweets and drew the attention of foundations, companies and respected individuals to Adenike’s condition. Today, 28th November 2019, Adenike has a new pair of prosthetic legs and has begun to walk with them.
This post is to say THANK YOU to everyone who played one role or the other in ensuring that this dream became a reality.