Physically Challenged Candidate Makes 6 Credits in WAEC Writing With Her Legs (Photo)
She is a personification of God’s miracles in modern times having been born with her two hands paralysed. “God has done wonderful things for me since I was born. He opened doors for me and now I have faiththat I can go to school and be a graduate,” Miss Patience Ijeh, joyfully testifies.
Her story is like that of David A. Paterson, captivating and compelling. Patterson was New York’s first black Governor, from 2008 to 2010, thefourth black governor in America’s history, and second blind governor (after Bob C. Riley of Arkansas). Paterson has been legally blind since infancy, unable to see with his left eye and having extremely limited vision in the right eye.
But in his condition, he said:”I have had this desire my whole life to prove people wrong, to show them I could do things they didn’t think Icould do.”Like Paterson, Miss Patience Ijeh has every cause to convince critics that disability is not courage in the face of adversity but an ingenious way to live. Moments, her cell phone rang.
Amazingly, she picked it up with her teeth and with little assistance with her hands began a conversation with the caller. Shortly, she returned to her amazing story with infectious smiles.
“See my hands. Everybody thought it was all over for me. Due to the way I was born, I had said, I would never be successful in life, but Godhas proved otherwise. I have passed all my papers in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), including English and Mathematics, even though I wrote them with my leg,” she spoke with an air of confidence.
She was born with both hands paralysed, a situation that forced her touse her right leg in writing. Now in her early 20s, Patience has developed her writing skills with the right leg since she was a child andsurprisingly has been able to right faster and better than some of her classmates.
“I grew up to seeing and knowing that I have problem with my hands. Icould not even know how it started. When I was in the primary school, I saw myself writing with the right leg. I then began to develop it. I usually place my book on the bare floor with handkerchief to prevent dust and would place my leg on it so it would not look rough,” she said.
After her primary education at Ikelike Primary School, Ogwuashi-Uku, Delta State, her zeal to acquire more knowledge took her to St. Roses’Girls Grammar School also in Ogwuashi- Uku. While there, she became the cynosure of the entire school community. “Interestingly, they took me as one of them and treated me as a normal student. At school, all my friends would bring their notes and request that I help them write since I wrote faster than they did.
I was doing well academically,” continued Patience, a native of Ubulu- Okiti in Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State. But what must have been responsible for the paralysis of her hands? She narrated her ordeal thus: “When I discovered my condition, I enquired from my mother the cause and she told me that it occurred during child delivery process.
She revealed that during her labour, I was pushing out with both hands rather than the head and since there was no facilities for Caesarean Section at the hospital, the medical team tried to push me back into the womb in order to make me stay in the right position for delivery”. She said her parents did not notice earlier that she had problems with her hands until when she was three months old.
She said it was at that time that they noticed she could not properly move her hands. With the rude shock, her parents took her to different hospitals, all to no avail. In fact, the cause of her hands paralysis was diagnosed at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), where experts tried all they could to restore them to life.