Losing Eyesight to Malaria and Surviving a Urethral Rupture: Journey of an Ondo Graduate

Kareem Babatunde, a 30-year-old graduate from the Federal College of Education (Special) in Oyo State, shares with TOYOSI SANUSI how a life-changing accident resulting in a bulbar urethral stricture has impacted him.

Becoming Visually Impaired: Kareem Babatunde, originally from Ondo State, attended Owo High School before enrolling at the Federal College of Education (Special) in Oyo State, from which he graduated in 2016. Married with a child, he lost his sight on July 19, 1998, due to complications arising from malaria treatment.

Adapting to Life: Following his sight loss, Kareem received assistance from another visually impaired individual who guided him to the Ondo State School for the Blind. There, he learned braille, mobility, and orientation skills. Despite his visual impairment, he excelled in various leadership roles during his education, displaying a strong social nature.

Higher Education and Beyond: Kareem’s determination led him to win positions such as Director of Handicap in the Education Students Association and President of the Association of Visual Impaired at the Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo. Though unemployed after graduating, he engaged with his community by coaching football.

Meeting His Wife: Married to Mrs. Roseline Babatunde, who also has a visual impairment, Kareem met her during his time in school. Despite concerns about childbearing, they embraced their faith and tied the knot in February 2022.

The Accident: On May 23, 2023, Kareem had an accident while on his way to check an employment letter. He fell into a gully on a motorcycle, injuring his genital area. After initially being rejected by three hospitals, he was admitted to one where he underwent surgery to address urethral rupture.

Challenges and Hope: Following the surgery, Kareem experiences ongoing pain, especially during urination. The accident has taken a toll on his relationship with his wife, impacting their intimacy. While the initial surgery was a temporary solution, a second surgery, open urethroplasty, is required for a permanent fix. This procedure, which must be done within a specified timeframe, comes with a cost of N1 million.

Appeal for Assistance: Kareem has reached out to various agencies and churches for help with the surgery costs, but so far, his efforts have not yielded results. He and his wife have invested their own money in his treatment, straining their finances. He appeals to Nigerians to assist him in obtaining the necessary funds to undergo the crucial surgery and regain his health.

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