Edmond Eli, the 24-year-old man who regained his sight after 21 years, is learning to walk without his crutches.
Edmond’s situation has been described as a “miracle” by his father Humoshe Eli, who said his son who turned 24 this year is now learning to wear his shoes correctly.
He said, “When he came out of the darkness which he had been thrown into in the last 21 years because of our poverty, we noticed that one of his biggest challenges now is wearing his shoes correctly.
“He’s still learning to do this just as he makes the adjustment to walk without any support.”
Edmond became blind at the age of three, and his father described his “cure” as one exceptional case of the impact of free medical outreach to 8,030 beneficiaries of the medical intervention offered by Senator Binos Yaroe, representing Adamawa Southern senatorial district in the National Assembly.
The motivation, according to the senator, for the intervention to the people of his constituency covering nine local government council, is to assist the poor who are unable to access healthcare, either due to affordability or the parlous state of health care delivery in his constituency.
Unable to conceal his joy, Humoshe recounted how poverty and his inability to fund a trip for a treatment at an eye centre in Kano confined his son to blindness for 21 years.
This was after several visits to the local health center in Kpasham, a village in Demsa local government area of Adamwa State, and the Numan General hospital, from where they were referred to the Specialist Eye Centre in Kano.
“But I am now happy, that he can now see,” Humoshe said.
He said, “I imagined that were it not for our poverty, my son would not have been blind as a child.
“Edmond is still learning to take his steps. You can see him still raising his hands up as he walks, thinking he still needs assistance, perhaps thinking he is still blind.”
Dr. Ugochukwu Anunwa, the ophthalmologist who treated Edmond, attributed his blindness to cataract of the cornea, adding that many corrective surgeries on Edmond and other patients revealed a prevalence of cataract of the cornea and advocated research to unearth the cause of its prevalence in the area.
Dr. Kalimu Wycliffe, leader of the medical consortium who said the free medical outreach was done with the collaboration of Soteria- Afrique Rural Health Care Initiative and the Christian Broadcasting Network, added that the target of the outreach, which was 8,000, has been exceeded.
“The target was 8,000, but we got 8,030, so we have even exceeded our set target,” Wycliffe said; adding that there were so many people who had lived with their health challenge for so many years, but their situations were addressed through the opportunity offered by the free medical outreach.
“There’s the case of this aged man with endometrial hernia who has been living with the ailment for more than 10 years, which had made him immobile.
“He was always in one place and had to be carried around.
“But we were able to remove it for him. When this man woke up, the first thing he said was, ‘Thank you, thank you very much . Tell Senator I am grateful.’”