Sunday Magazine

I’m in hospital to regain my sight and go to school, says blind 8-year-old boy

The only thing that matters to Master Michael Olonlokun is to regain his sight and go to school in order to live out his dream of becoming a soldier, this, he said before he was wheeled into a theatre for Cataract surgery on both eyes.

 

At the Eye Foundation Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, where he was operated upon by a consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr. Alarape Taofik, who spent approximately four hours in the theatre battling with the little boy’s sight. Sponsored by Anthony Village Diamond Lions Club, Anthony, Lagos, District 4041, Nigeria, the Club’s members, including its President, Lioness Funke Orimolade (NLCF), were all at the hospital in their numbers, praying for the little boy’s survival and a successful surgery.

 

Their joy was consummated upon receiving a heart-warming call from the Surgeon that Master Michael has been wheeled out of the theatre to a private ward where he would be recuperating.

 

One could feel the excitement on their faces as they considered the project another feather on the Club’s cap and life-lifting for the family and the little boy who will now be on his path to the school towards achieving his dream which had hitherto been put on hold by his eye defect.

 

Though he couldn’t communicate in English Language due to lack of formal education, he, however, was able to speak in Yoruba, saying, “I came to the hospital to regain my sight so that I can go to school.” Reflecting on what he wants to become in the future, he said, “I want to become a soldier in the future. It has been in my mind to be a big soldier in Nigeria.”

 

Unfortunately, for the past eight years, when he ought to have started the process of getting closer to his dream by starting his formal education, he was busy fighting blindness but hope is heightened that he will be fine again with the successful eye surgery.

 

 

His mother, Mrs. Olanlokun, also confirmed that he wants to become a soldier but hadn’t the opportunity to go to school due to his bad sight, adding that God will help him to be well again after the surgery.

 

According to the consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr. Alarape, who operated on him, Michaels’s eyes, before the surgery, were dancing and not connecting to the brain, but he reassured the Club and the family that Michael’s eyes will be fine again.

 

Thus, Michael’s bleak future received a positive turn around when he was adopted for surgery during the screening activities and cataract surgery organised by the Anthony Village Diamond Lion Club, Anthony, Lagos, District 4041, Nigeria.

 

The Club’s Chairperson, Sight Project, Lion Chinenye Nwaka NLCF, whose Committee organised, adopted and recommended Michael for further investigation which led to his eye surgery said the club was happy in its entirety to give hope to the little boy and happiness to the family in this ‘Night of the Blind’ project.

 

She said: “It was a night of the blind for little Michael at the Eye Foundation Hospital as our club took a giant stride project by carrying out a surgery on both eyes of an eight years old boy.

 

The surgery took four hours and our club members stood still and saw the end of it. “This became necessary during the eye screening conducted by the club, where the little boy’s flipping eyes were noticed. Further investigation confirmed that the little boy would go blind on both eyes if not operated upon immediately. “In our quest to end blindness, we are determined to give hope to this little boy. It was  a great day for us, seeing the joy on the faces of the boy’s parents.”

 

 

Corroborating her, the President of the Club, Lioness Funke Orimolade (NSCF), who said the Club, sequel to this discovery, the Club adopted him as a project to be sponsored, hence took him to Eye Foundation Hospital where the doctors said there is more to his condition and opted for more screening to determine what should be done since Michael is a minor and the doctor wouldn’t like to operate on him twice.

She said: “We brought him here because this is a foundation. And because we are a Club, the Foundation subsidised the cost. The surgery ordinarily would have cost us N1million.

 

That’s N500, 000 for each eye and both of them N1, 000, 000. At the end of the day, we got a bargain way below half a million naira. “When we brought in the child, the doctor said that the eyes are dancing and that two of them are not connecting well to the brain.

 

He said he will be in close monitoring after the surgery.” Speaking of Michael’s sight after the surgery, she said, “Lion is going to follow him up. We did the same for adults. Another one is coming next week for operation. This is not the first time we are doing this, but this one is a minor case. “Michael can’t go to school until we do this surgery. His eye defect is from birth. I am happy, I feel great for helping someone to see.

 

Even late Thursday, I was happy when another beneficiary we sponsored said his eyes were as clear as glass after the surgery.” In her remark, she added: “I thank the chairperson of this project,

Lion Chinenye and all the committee members. I thank my club members who stood by me financially, physically, materially and morally.” However, the parents of the boy were thankful to the Club for giving the boy reason to live and the family the reason to celebrate Michael’s life.

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