Education over Limbs

“ Education over Limbs ”
My story

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you and expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV).

It was May 1, 1988, when my mother gave birth to me in the hospital. My family was so excited when they knew that a baby would be added to the family circle. The attending doctor informed my mother about the real situation, and her blood pressure went high. The nurses took good care of me in the nursery room and nobody knew about my real situation, except my mother. When my mother was about to be discharged from the hospital, the doctor called my father’s attention.

My father was surprised when the doctor said, “Mr. Mariano, I have something to tell you about your baby boy.”

“Unsa mana, dok?” My father asked. The doctor showed up my right crooked hand. Father was dumbfounded then tears welled from his eyes. After wiping his tears with a “panyo” he answered, “Okay rana doctor kamot ra bitaw na.” The doctor sighed and uncovered the lower part of my body. My father was stunned by the sight. The doctor explained my case.

On our way home, my father kept on looking at my lap and began talking to himself, “kalooy sa akong anak oy! Walay mga tiil…” And tears rolled down from his eyes.

Mother was drowned by her emotion every time she realized my situation. She would immediately cry and hug me tenderly, instead of murmuring and blaming God. Mother knelt down and prayed that everything would just be fine.

It was not easy for my mother to accept my real condition; she kept on thinking what would be my future. She hid her real feelings every time she saw my situation. Despite my handicap I never experienced being bullied by my peers.

One day a representative from Philippine Government Hospital (PGH) visited our place. My parents referred my situation for the first time I’ve underwent a check-up for my artificial limbs. They advised us to ask help from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Agency to process our papers as soon as possible. I was so happy to hear their suggestion because at last I could walk and live normally like my siblings. After processing the papers we waited for the call from PGH Manila. But sad to say one year had passed we didn’t receive any call from them. I was a bit disappointed for what had happened. Until one day my parents decided to send me to school. It’s been a couple of months after they made their decision. That time I was so excited because after being a “tambay” for several years I could go back to school to continue my studies.

April of 2013, we received a call from the PGH Manila, giving us an instruction to have our flight as soon as possible. I was confused that time. When my parents asked me to choose between education and artificial legs, I, no doubt, chose education because I know that artificial legs are just a part of the package of the education I would have.