John's Story

"The Challenge we faced, when john became well,
was where to discharge him to"

John was picked from the street in April 2014, where he had converted a bus stop into a house with rubbish. He wore rags and on his fingers were iron nuts and rings which had caused poor bloodflow, making his fingers swell. Some had started to decay.

Once he reached Amaudo he was cleaned up and during the physical assessment it was discovered that the rings couldn't be removed. It was also discovered that he couldn't speak. He was not literate so couldn’t write his name or his state of origin. Nevertheless, we focused on his fingers and referred him to a local hospital. The doctors managed to remove 2 rings but 4 remained and he was recommended for orthopaedic surgery to remove the affected fingers. He was in hospital for 14 days.

Back at Amaudo John gradually healed and became mentally stable. Though he could not speak he distinguished himself as a great sportsman. During games he showed great interest in football and played very well, leading to him becoming a popular member of the community.

The challenge we faced, when John became well, was where to discharge him to. Then one day a young man visited Amaudo. He introduced himself saying that he had been informed by someone that they had seen his mentally ill brother roaming the streets of Umuahia. He spent 4 days looking but didn't find him. On the fourth day a man advised him to visit Amaudo and search for him there.

The young man mentioned some of his brothers' characteristics, including that he couldn't talk. In fact he was the one who confirmed that his brother had 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 his education and couldn't read or write.

When asked if he and his brother could recognize each other, he said ‘yes, of course’. As soon as John saw his brother he jumped up and exclaimed ‘hooray!’. They embraced each other. It was amazing and  unbelievable. It was then that his brother called his name, 'John'. The same day he travelled home with his brother for a 1 month home visit. John was finally discharged from Amaudo and reintegrated with his family in December 2014.