Joshua Sopeju, despite living with cerebral palsy – a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination and caused by damage to the brain – for 30 years, was among 14,771 graduates of the National Open University Nigeria, Abuja awarded degrees in various disciplines during the last convocation ceremony of the institution.
Joshua who studied Computer Science and stood out among other graduating students, left his family members in celebration and joyful mood as they recounted all they’ve faced over Joshua’s cerebral palsy before his graduation.
Joshua’s elder sister, Mrs. Mojola Sopeju-Mufutau, who took to the social media to share her excitement further revealed that his condition was due to poor medical handling. She wrote;
“For 30 years, you lived with cerebral palsy. Yet, you didn’t give up. Yours was a case of prolonged labour. As an infant, it took you almost a whole day to utter your first cry. I remember how we, your siblings, took turns to carry you on our backs to church and school. Our backs ached as you grew older. But we carried you all the same. We took turns to bath you, clean you up and get you set for the day.”
Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth.
Signs and symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years. In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movement associated with abnormal reflexes, floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteady walking, or some combination of these.
Cerebral palsy’s effect on functional abilities varies greatly. Some affected people can walk while others can’t. Some people show normal or near-normal intellectual capacity, but others may have intellectual disabilities. Epilepsy, blindness or deafness also may be present.