By Joke Adeniyi
Like every ambitious teenager, Ibrahim Garuba has tall dreams, achievable through education. The Junior Secondary School 2 student of Cherubim and Seraphim College, Ilorin, Kwara State had all going well for him in line with his aspiration vis-à-vis educational pursuit, until an incident added an ugly twist to the story of his life; crashing his world leaving him with shattered dreams.
Wednesday, 11th January, 2017 marked an unexpected horrible detour in the life of the schoolboy. A black day shrouded in sorrow.
The day started for him like any other day, but he was oblivious of the evil that lurked therein for him. When the young lad waved his mother goodbye at the doorway on his way to school, he had no inkling that he won’t set foot in the house again for a very long while. Fate played a hard and fast one on him.
On the fateful day, the 13-year- old was observing the routine sanitation exercise of the school when a massive log of wood fell on his back and fractured his spinal cord. An incident that has since plunged the family into penury and misery.
Presently he lies motionlessly and bedridden at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), in need of N500,000 for first stage of corrective surgery. The once ebullient teenager, bubbly with life, is now a shadow of his former self wearing gaunt and frail appearance. He is a pitiable sight to behold.
He wants his life back but this seems a mirage as help seems elusive. The family of the boy has not been able to raise the sum needed for the first surgery, 5 weeks after the incident and his medical bill at the health facility has since accumulated.
Speaking to this writer last night, the distraught mother of the boy, Mrs. Kafilat Garuba in an emotional laden voice, said life has taken a dramatic turn for her since the incident happened, which has cast a dark veil of pain and sorrow on the family. For the hapless woman, she wished her son’s predicament is a bad dream from which she could wake up. Seeing her son writhing in pain is a torturous experience for the mother who has kept vigil by Ibrahim sickbed since the incident occurred.
She blamed the school management for what she described as lackadaisical attitude towards plight of the poor boy. She claimed the school abandoned the family to their fate after picking the initial bill of N75,000. Her fear is that the boy may not be able to walk again, except he is flown abroad for further medical attention, as recommended by some doctors.
“How on earth can I raise money for him to be flown abroad for surgery when I don’t have the financial wherewithal for his treatment here,” she lamented.
The mother, a tailor by trade said the family’s savings has been exhausted on giving care for Ibrahim on sickbed.
She explained that the first surgery with cost implication of N500,000 will only enable Ibrahim sit upright, as further surgical may be needed to make him walk again. But, painfully the hope of seeing Ibrahim whole again seems a pipe dream in the face of family’s financial challenge, leaving them in a state of perpetual quandary over the situation.
With nowhere to turn to for help, the family is desperate for a miracle.
It is, however, pathetic that the case of this boy has not attracted attention from relevant quarters, despite that the state Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development is aware of the development. The boy is just a victim of circumstance and needs help for a new lease of life. He could just be anyone’s son. We should not let the dreams of a bright future nurtured by Ibrahim to be abruptly truncated by the unfortunate incident, which, is not in any way his.
I want to therefore call on the present administration of Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed to step into this boy’s case with a view to putting back smile on his face. So, also the Leah Foundation, the brainchild of the first lady, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed can extend a helping hand to the schoolboy whose condition is on a downhill. Non-Governmental Organisation and well meaning Kwarans, philanthropists, religious bodies can also play a role in impacting Ibrahim’s life positively.
“Never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help-Pablo.
NOTE: For assistance Ibrahim’s mum, Mrs. Falilat Garuba can be reached via her mobile phone number-0803 223 5365.