Mr Ebere was picked from the street at the Holy Rosary bus stop Umuahia where he had converted the bus stop to his house with all kinds of garbage. He wore about 12 rags as clothing. On his fingers he wore iron nuts and rings which had caused poor flow of blood and inflammation which made his fingers swell. Some of them had started decaying.
Once he reached Amaudo he was cleaned up and during the physical assessment it was discovered that the rings could not be removed. It was also discovered that he could not speak. His lack of speech became a major impediment to the rehabilitation and reintegration process. He was not literate so couldn’t write his name or his state of origin.
Nevertheless, we focused on his fingers that were festering and referred him to a local hospital. The doctors managed to remove 2 rings but four remained and he was recommended for orthopaedic surgery to remove the affected fingers. Mr Ebere was in the hospital for 14 days until he discharged.
When he returned to Amaudo for further treatment and rehabilitation it was still surprising that he still could not speak. However, the fingers gradually healed and he became mentally stable. Though Ebere could not speak he distinguished himself in the Amaudo community as the best sports player. During outdoor games he showed great interest in football and he played very well. This lead to him becoming a popular member of the community.
The challenged that faced us, when Ebere became well, was where to discharge him to. The difficulty in discharging Ebere and reintegrating him with his family was a challenge that we did not know how to overcome. In fact we were confused.
The rehabilitation of Ebere became awesome because one day a young man visited Amaudo . He was directed by the security to see the Director, Very Rev Kenneth Nwaubani. The young man introduced himself saying that he had been informed by someone that they had seen his mentally ill brother roaming the streets of Umuahia. He said he left Abuja to travel to Umuahia and he spent four days looking for his brother, Ebere, along major streets in the town. Unfortunately, he did not find him. On the fourth day one man advised him to visit Amaudo and search for him there.
The Director of Amaudo was very reluctant to listen to him because of the security issues. Nevertheless, the young man mentioned some of the identities of his brother including the fact that he could not talk. In fact he was the one that confirmed that his brother has been silent since childhood and that this disability had been a major setback for him during his early school years. He had been unable to continue with his education and could not read nor write.
These revelations aroused the interest of the Director who asked him if he and his brother could recognize each other. He said ‘yes, of course’. As soon as Ebere saw his brother he jumped up and exclaimed ‘hooray!’. They embraced each other. It was amazing, unbelievable. It was then that his brother called his name ‘Ebere’. Rev Kenneth personally shed tears because in an unusual way God brought this resident together with his brother. The big challenge of discharge and reintegration were automatically overcome.
The same day Ebere travelled home with his brother for a one month home visit. Amaudo staff did not want him to breakdown psychologically after seeing his brother and being abandoned by him so he joined him back to Abuja.
Ebere was finally discharged from Amaudo and reintegrated with his family in time for Christmas.
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