In the quiet university town of Nsukka, Enugu State, a heart-wrenching story unfolds, highlighting the unpredictable nature of life. The family of 75-year-old Edwin Eze from Umabor village, Eha-Alumona community, has been struck by a mysterious illness that has left him blind and his three sons with withered limbs and speech impairments. The sole responsibility of caring for the family has fallen on their 60-year-old mother, the only member without deformities.

Eight years ago, the family’s dire situation came to the attention of Prof. Victoria Onu, Head of the Special Needs Education Department at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Moved by their plight, she has been their lifeline, providing food, medication, and basic amenities. Prof. Onu’s compassion has given the family a glimmer of hope amidst their overwhelming challenges.

Living in a single-room mud house, the Eze family faced insurmountable hardships until Prof. Onu intervened. “I was touched by their unbearable health challenges and the struggle of their aged mother,” Prof. Onu remarked. She has since been tirelessly supporting the family, emphasizing the need for broader assistance to improve their quality of life.

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Eze Edwin Onyebuchi, the 45-year-old first son, recounts the family’s descent into their current condition. “We were all born healthy. I learned phone repair but couldn’t start a trade due to lack of funds. One morning, I woke up paralyzed, and soon my brothers followed. Our father eventually went blind,” he shared, illustrating the inexplicable nature of their illness.

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Despite Prof. Onu’s unwavering support, the family’s needs are vast. Edwin Onyebuchi highlights the importance of external aid, appealing to federal, state, and local governments, as well as philanthropists and NGOs, to provide much-needed support. “No assistance will be too small,” he said, underscoring their reliance on external help for survival.

Mary Ugwoke Eze, the mother, expressed profound gratitude towards Prof. Onu. “She has been our only support, providing food and necessities,” she said, her voice filled with both sorrow and appreciation. The family’s plight has garnered local attention, but more help is desperately needed.

As the Eze family continues to navigate their daily struggles, their story serves as a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and the enduring power of compassion. Their appeal for assistance resonates deeply, calling on the community and beyond to offer a helping hand.

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