Ayedun Aishat, Undergraduate, Explains How Spinal Tuberculosis Kept Her On Wheelchair From JSS 2 To Date


Miss Ayedun Aishat Midasola is a 200-level undergraduate student of Biology Education at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) affiliation programme with the Federal College of Education, Technical, Akoka, Lagos, on the wheelchair. She was born 24 years ago like every other normal child. However, between 2012 and 2013, she was afflicted with a disease doctors confirmed as spinal tuberculosis, also known as Pott’s disease or tuberculous spondylitis at the age of 14. Undeterred, Ayedun in a wheelchair since 2013 has never looked back but is determined to acquire knowledge despite her predicament. Excerpts

Tell us about your background.

I attended Bariga Primary School and
later enrolled at Gbagada Girls Grammar School for Junior Secondary School. For my Senior Secondary Education, I enrolled and completed secondary education at Jagunmolu Girls Grammar School also in Bariga.

I wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and secured admission to study Biology Education at the Federal College of Education, Technical, Akoka and obtained a National Certificate in Education (NCE). I graduated in December 2021.

Still, in search of further knowledge,
I enrolled for a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) and secured admission to study Biology Education at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) affiliation programme with FCE, T, Akoka, Lagos for a three-year direct programme in 2023.

What happened that has confined you to the wheelchair?

I was born 24 years ago like every other normal child in the neighborhood and was growing into a promising child until 2012 to 2013 when I was afflicted by a strange illness. It started like a normal pain in the leg in 2012. Whenever I walked a short distance I would feel very weak. Distances I trek with ease became a challenge to me and effort to brace up and conquer the fatigue I ended up falling on the ground or observing a
The situation got worse as my parents
moved from hospital to hospital seeking medical attention. Before I was confined to the wheelchair, I used walking sticks and later crutches all to no avail. I never had a fall or was engaged in any physical activity that could damage my spine.

However, further medical examination
showed that I suffered from Spinal tuberculosis caused by Spinal Cord Compression. Movement around that I used to do with ease became a burden and I was confined to a wheelchair in 2013. The incident occurred when I was in JSS 2.

How did you cope with learning considering the movement restriction caused by the disease?

It was not easy coping with learning
and having to be dependent on someone else to move me from one location to the other. other.
However, with firm support from my
mother, father, siblings and some good people around, I was able to move from home to school. But not as much as I would have loved to do it myself. Despite all odds, I moved on with my studies without a break.
The only period I had a break was after my NCE.

You suffered the attack in secondary and undeterred, what inspired you to continue with learning for NCE and
now B. Ed given your plight?

I got inspiration in 2017 when my parent relocated to another community. It is an area populated with children and I took it upon myself to assist them in learning as I encouraged them to bring their books after-school for coaching, reading exercises and general learning. That further strengthened my aspiration and passion for teacher education. I took it up as a challenge and applied for admission into NCE after passing JAMB.

What reception do you receive from people around and how do you feel when it finally dawned that you could not use your legs again?

In the words of my mother, ‘You cannot be loved by everybody. My parents and siblings took up the challenge and showed me love. Kudos to my Junior Secondary School Principal, Mrs. Iweze Adevibo. She loved me so much and expressed affection to my family. She made education attractive to me. She is a wonderful woman.
Learning they say is a life-long affair as such I will continue to acquire knowledge. I pray to God to give me the strength to complete the B. Ed and further. I feel uncomfortable when I see able-bodied boys and girls abandoning education when resources are available to provide help for their education.

What are your current challenges?

Every human has one challenge or the
other. In my case, moving around and visiting places I desire to visit is a huge challenge .My predicament has short-lived my ability to go to places I would have loved to visit as a normal student. Going for lectures could be challenging at times but thanks to my colleagues who sometimes carry me or push me around. Some buildings on the campus are not built with ramps to ease the movement of people that are physically challenged.

How do you secure seats for lectures in large classes?

Kudos to my lecturers because they are also considerate by moving lectures to places I can easily access. At other times, they encourage my colleagues to push or carry me into lecture halls.

At the point, your parents were told your predicament, what efforts did they make to remedy the situation?

It was a harrowing experience and period for my parents as they moved fromhospital to hospital. Concerned people in the neighborhood even told my parents the affliction was spiritual and required spiritual solutions.
To remedy the situation, my parents were scammed by some heartless
people who got paid for nothing.

What do you want the government to do?

I want the government to make special
provisions for people that are physically challenged to fulfill their ambition and be better citizens. Besides, the government alone cannot do it all. The citizens can also render assistance where and when necessary.


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