For Jamira…

15 Aug

He should have come in September but patience was not one of virtues. And so on Sunday July 27, 2003 at about 7.30am, Jamira opened his eyes to the world at just about 27 weeks! If you know your math, that’s less than seven months. This was a day after the doctor had discharged me from the hospital after trying to induce the birth for a week with me only achieving a 5cm dilation throughout the week. I had my son at home with the assistance of a nurse!

Just a week earlier, I was up all night working, trying to beat deadlines (as usual) when at about 3am I discovered I was sitting on water. I woke my husband and told him and he asked if the baby was due-he wasn’t. But the water just kept coming!

We waited till about 5am, by which time I had soaked up two ‘wrappers’, and then headed off to the hospital. I was immediately admitted and the doctor ran a scan. He said the amniotic sac was intact but he couldn’t explain where the water was coming from. He decided it was best to induce the birth and so he inserted catheter. After a day or so, the catheter dropped but I was nowhere near contractions-the water was still coming.

The doctor then decided to use injections and drips. This was already day 4 and I had been in constant pain with this water flowing non stop. The doctor did another scan and said the fluid in the amniotic sac was just fine. He still had no idea where all the water was coming from.

The induction started and I went into labour, plus the dilation increased to about 5cm but the baby’s head did not engage. It was at this state that I was discharged. I guess the doctor ran out of ideas.

As you already know I had my baby at home. All the nurse did to get the head to engage was to give me oedema. He was small, but very strong. He didn’t hesitate to grab my breast and suck hungrily. The nurse concluded that maybe he wasn’t premature. I may have miscalculated. I was happy, his father was happy and so were neighbours and friends who couldn’t thank God enough for us.

However three days later, my son slept and for over 24 hours, he did not wake. At about the 15th hour we took him to another hospital, where the nurses (the doctor was unavailable) told us he was just resting. By the next morning, the nurse who assisted in his birth came around and that was when we saw that he had turned blue.

We rushed off to another hospital where they had better facilities and he was immediately taken to intensive care and put in an incubator and diagnosed of apnea attacks. Did I mention that at this point he weighed less than 2kg?

That night, the medical director came to my ward and told me that if not for his religious convictions he would have opted for euthanasia. He said my son had oxygen cut off from his brain for so long and so he was going to be mentally deranged. I was devastated. However, he said he would do everything in his power to see that he survives. Though his chances were very slim, survival was going to be the easy part.

After the doctor left, his father and I got talking about how we were going to cope with a mentally challenged child. We already had one son and the doctor had said we should take consolation in that. During our conversation I realised I hadn’t named him. My husband had named him ‘Chizaram’ at birth which translates ‘God answered me’ but I was supposed to give him an English name. We agreed that he should be named completely so that even if he dies we would have a complete name for him. My husband then said his survival would be a miracle and I said Jehovah’s miracle and thus we came up with the name Jah-mira or as we choose to spell it Jamira.

By the next morning I was awoken by the doctors shout. Jamira had not only made it through the night but had made significant progress health wise. Within the next three days he was out of the incubator and in 5 days I was heading home with my baby.

Jamira is not mentally deranged but he has developmentally challenges. Every milestone has been major- holding his head steady, sitting, walking, talking, running, writing-everything has been delayed, but he has always conquered. In fact, it would seem like he woke up to each milestone. Like when he started talking, he didn’t do it like other babies, he just starting talking in sentences over night. And with his writing, he started drawing circles before he attempted straight lines.

School has been a major challenge. He can’t keep up with kids his age and the Nigerian school system has nothing for kids like him. You see, Jamira has a fantastic memory but he can’t spell or read well. So as far as the Nigerian system is concerned he should be – I don’t know, maybe at home?

I have had to work with the teachers in his school to see him as different and use his strengths to cover up for his weaknesses. They have co-operated so far making his tests oral, someone reads to him, he answers and they write it down. With this system he has been able to perform better than the average student. He enjoys drawing and building things. Sometimes working with him can be really frustrating, but I always like to remember where he is coming from.

Next year he moves on to primary four and the wonderful thing is, he has started reading up to four letter words! I’m sure that very soon, he will cross this milestone like he did others.

Jamira wants to be a doctor. It seems such an impossible feat given that he is still playing catch up with his mates. But who knows! Chizaram Jamira Anaba may yet live his dreams, but if he doesn’t, I’m sure he’ll make others. After all, he lived!


Posted by on August 15, 2012 in General


49 responses to “For Jamira…

  1. BragginRightz

    August 15, 2012 at 9:10 am

    WOW!!! I’m speechless. May the Lord guide him through… And I think he’s a wonderful story yet to unveil, not a conventional one but a wonderful one.

    May God guide him.

    • anagail

      August 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Thank you. I try to remember that when I get frustrated with him.

  2. sage120

    August 15, 2012 at 9:31 am

    The most terrifying time was at the beginning, you overcame that…know that it can only get better..keep at it!!! Every miracle has an essence, there is a divine plan for his existence, so as a good mother prayerfully lead him to fulfilling destiny.

  3. akintunde abisola

    August 15, 2012 at 9:53 am

    OMG! Dis is so Touching! Jamira would definitely excel and make d news By God’s grace, can’t wait 2 meet him in Person

  4. Efosa (@fossiiee)

    August 15, 2012 at 9:53 am

    wow….the only thing close to this is the story of Wole in Mobolaji Adenubi’s Splendid…kids like this are special…God’s way of teaching us numerous lessons we keep refusing to learn. The first — I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

  5. Azubbie

    August 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Touched. Speechless. Awed by God’s faithfulness and miracle.

    This is an unfolding story of how God can transform a life to greatness. Jamira is “work in progress” in God’s hands.

  6. Mark Amaza

    August 15, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I’m hoping that Jamira gets to read this one day. I sincerely believe he’s a child of destiny and he’s meant to be strong and do great exploits in this life. My prayer for him is that he lives to fulfill his purpose. I also believe that God never gives us more than what we can handle, and this is evident that his parents have been up to the task of nurturing the greatness that’s in him.
    Jamira, may you grow up to inspire others with your story.

  7. ABCD

    August 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I had tearsi reading this. Jamira is a blessed child, never forget this.

    I have worked with a Down syndrome baby and I know d pain one goes through watching a child who has any challenge at all grow.

    Jamira is blessed, always remember that Abby.

    • anagail

      August 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

  8. eyerenezz

    August 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Wow! So touching. One thing I believe after reading through all of this is that, this child was born for greatness! Just watch out…

  9. Adetutu

    August 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I’m teary! Very emotional write up. i

  10. supersanusi

    August 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Wow…May God continue to strengthen you guys…and may He strengthen Jamira to fulfill his purpose…and be a blessing to the world.

  11. Inspired-by-ideas

    August 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I read through this piece and I remember the movie ‘Like stars on earth’. No doubt that Jamira is special. I strongly advise d parents never to give up for one moment, because in that little boys mind, lies ideas that will rule the world. Jamira is indeed special!

  12. Esan Fola

    August 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    God has a purpose for him and definitely it will manifest.

  13. Samuel Jonah Abbey

    August 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    My Bible tells me that he new us even before we were born and that his thoughts for us are of good and not of evil…One thing I’ m sure of is that the will of God must surely come to past in Jamira’s life…He will rule his destiny.. As a mother, do the best you can and leave the rest for God..He knows best..It is well..

  14. agali

    August 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    He’s already a blessed child. Jamira was born to be great.

    With Chizaram, God answered your prayers…. Just be grateful you have this wonderful boy..

    The point is to love him with your deepest passions. Live excited every moment with him and wake every morning delighted.

  15. topeolowu

    August 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    This story gave me goosies all over. He is super talented, forge conventional way of measuring talents. Jamira is way above his peers. He needs your patience and praise, praise and more praise for every single thing he does, no matter how little. Well done to you and your hubby.

  16. zebbook

    August 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Jamira…………. I read with tears in my eyes. What can I say?

    Friends, Jamira needs a special school where he can learn properly. Jamira needs not our pity, but our help! Jamira needs to go to school!

    • anagail

      August 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Thank you Bukola and you are right. Jamira needs to go to school. Despite all my best efforts, he may not be allowed to proceed to the next class because of his reading and spelling and even though I may insist and get him a promotion, I have no guarantee that he will be schooled or that his potentials will be harnessed. I’d like help with finding him a school that will do that.

  17. pegomay

    August 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Thank God for his mercies! God will continue to be with you Jamira!

  18. Olufunto

    August 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    That child is a testimony waiting to unfold. Always remember this when as a human being you tend to despair. Have you considered home schooling him. If you can afford it please do, don’t stop at nothing to bring out the obvious best that lies in him. God will always give you and your family all you need to bring him up accordingly.

    • anagail

      August 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Home schooling is an option but I’d have to consider the psychological effects it would have on him with his two brothers in school and him at home. He loves going to school. And making friends there.

  19. ifeoluwa

    August 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Wow! Dat jamira Survived and is alive today isn’t an accident…there’s definitely a purpose for this and I pray it’ll unveil in time! God strengthen and uphold you as u pull through and also open doors for his schooling! amen!… the question is how again can we help Him tru social media?

    • anagail

      August 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      Sincerely, I shared this story because I would love to find help for him. See if I can find a school willing and able to set up an intervention programme to cater to his specific needs.

      • ifeoluwa

        August 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        Well….can I av ur email address so as to contact u, I really biliv we can make dis happen, though we r limited in Nigeria cuz there are no provisions for challenged kids, buh I biliv there’s always a way out!

  20. dami

    August 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    special children are unique. with d reading, writing problems i think he might be dyslexic. albert einsten was also dyslexic i think.

  21. Olufemi Ademokoya

    August 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Let’s assume u miscalculated, and that the pregnancy wasn’t 27 weeks… Which doctor would discharge you home @ 5cm dilation after induction! Even if you miscalculated, he did a scan for God’s sake! Why induction if the scan suggested 27weeks? He had no idea where the water was coming from? Interesting! There are 2 possibilities- It’s either this is pure fiction or the guy in question is NOT a doctor.

  22. hassan

    August 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I think he’s a special child you just need to be happy that he came through you because he’s a hero and always say to yourself that he’s special anytime u feel like doing sometin bad to him…..I pray to God to make him a blessing to the family.

  23. EpheeMartins

    August 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    What do I think ?! Wow.I honestly thought it was another classic fiction.”He is not mentally retarded but developmentally challenged”………I strongly believe that God rewards this kind of positive,stubborn, optimistic faith.He may get help with a special school,yes,but I believe that Jamira will grow up normally as your faith believes.Its well Abigail ! God bless you,your husband and your entire family.

  24. kuluwaz

    August 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    This is the story of a blessed child. Not to be felt sorry for, but to be loved and admired. May God in his infinite mercies keep you and your husband long enough to see the great things he will do/be. God bless him!

  25. Dupe

    August 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Tears stand in my eyes, bold and strong. But they are not for Jamira, oh no. I have nothing for Jamira but fierce affecttion and pride.

    As a mother, I feel an immediate sense of proetection for him but he won’t need it apparently because what a story of triumph he is. The tears are for the journey – the pains and love of a mother. The tears are for the limitations of man’s expectations and the beauty of God’s limitless Favour. Jamira is a manifestation of favour. You are most blessed.

    I have no doubt that we will all learn many lessons from Jamirah. Please don’t forget to share the great milestones with us.

  26. Amaka

    August 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I’m deeply touched by Jamira’s survival story. It shows us that a strong will is all we need to have a success story. Big ups to Jamira’s parents for believing that anything is possible. I pray that Jamira can live his dreams.

  27. Bimade

    August 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    You are a gem… He’s got wonderful parents! And you’ve got yourself a wonderful husband!
    This reminds me of my youngest brother, May God continually surprise you and yours with Jamira.
    Hmmmm…some things beyond human comprehension.

  28. folasade

    August 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    This really touched my heart..He is a blessing to the family,and I believe he is gng some where and we be great…

  29. Doubra

    August 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    God bless Jamira. And may God bless you too my sister. I have a wonderful story about my son too, i will share with you soon. These children will bring us joy, happiness and favor. Always pray for him without ceasing. For him to be alive this far, God has a plan for him. A great one. Well done Abi.

  30. olabode

    August 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Am so inspired. May God continue to strenghten him.

  31. sisijacobs

    August 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I’m deeply touched by this story. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and God who has brought you all this far will certainly see him through to greater heights. Don’t give up, there’s an open door just around the corner

  32. debeun

    August 15, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    God that has helped you thus far will lead you through. Your son is destined to be great in life,be optimistic that he will make it. I have a similar experience with a friend’s daughter. She was delivered at term but the labour took so long that the mother was eventually sectioned. At birth, the baby was just like a lifeless log of wood. According to the doctor-if she survives, she will be a vegetable for life, but she survived,and is doing well. Whenever i see her, i see faith,hope and love. That is what you have,keep up the good work.

  33. ope says

    August 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    What Jamira needs is a really special school,which we don’t have in Nigeria.My heart bleeds every time I remember that.He is a survivor, a special child who really fought to live and should be given the very best.

  34. SheCrownLita

    August 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Been a while i cried over an article, God will continue to give you and you husband strength, Thanks for sharing your story

  35. Omotola

    August 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Congrats to Jamira’s parents who refused to kill hope and gave their son a name that pleaded their case to the heavens. They are as inspirational as the story of this boy that has overcome more challenges than most people have in their lifetime

    I am sad, but my sadness isn’t for Jamira alone. It is for the many Jamiras whose parents gave up on, for the Jamiras whose parents have no platform to plead their case.

    Nigeria has come of age and schools should be provided for this wonderful beings like Jamira who can and will bend convention to become success stories

    We shouldn’t pity Jamira, let’s do something for him. No matter how little, let us agitate, let people make suggestions, let’s take this beyond a touching story and make it a success story.

  36. tara

    August 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    First what kind of medical personnel do we have in this country. A premature baby should be put in an incubator especially a baby weighing less than 2kg. Having said that we thank God for Jamira, indeed that he has come this far is a miracle and shows he is an overcomer. He could have dyslexia ( a reading disorder t ) so you could test him for that.

    Please let him go at his own pace he can become a doctor and needs you to believe that as much as he does. God bless you and your son.

  37. oscarpoems

    August 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    This really moved that innermost part of me. God has brought Jamira this far, He’s not done with him. I’m particularly impressed by the way he covers ground. He might not be doing it at a time, but perfection follows almost as soon as he does, does that not tell you he’s chosen by the Almighty? With more support and encouragement, he’ll reach heights hitherto unexpected.

  38. MielP

    August 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Wow! I’m in constant awe of God and His ways. Because his ways beat our comprehension, we tag them “miracles”… This is a classic “NON-FICTION”

    This story is another gentle reminder that we have an irresponsible government. What if something went wrong before dawn? No emergency management system! No healthcare system! No school for “special children!”

    As with all other things we must take up the responsibilty of providing a special school. I hope someone will take up the initiative and est a special school for kids like Jamira. With all the “oyinbo-like” schools we have, someone should be wise, thoughtful and sensitive enough to est such a school.

    I value education so much and I fiercely believe each child deserves it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with home schooling. Its just strategy and patience and patience and patience and more patience you need. Then you’ll balance it up by giving him a good “social life”. Expose him to many things his peers are enjoying. Get him a private music teacher, let him take swimming classes, dance, sports… Just do anything to unearth and sharpen his talents and innate skills. God is the strength of your heart

    The name “jamira” sha looooooooooool

  39. tope bela

    August 16, 2012 at 5:12 am

    In every situation give thanks for all will be well ,so I belive his status will change for it wouldn’t be permant IJN amen God bless you Jahmira .

  40. Olu Aladeyelu

    August 16, 2012 at 10:04 am

    He is Such a wonderful child. And he will be blessed indeed to. Well done for the great work you have done with him so far. I would have suggested us starting a school for him and for other children who may wish to learn in his school but thank God you have people who are able and willing to work with him at his own pace. It is not easy. So God bless them too. Please be encourage as I haven’t seen anything that can keep him from learning anything he want to learn. That includes learning to be a doctor

  41. toyinfab

    August 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    What we sholud do is discuss extensively about dis,we can make dis a discussion on twitter.I am sure somebody somwia wil kno of schools dat cld help Jamira, someone might know someone who has gone through a similar experience and what they did. I am sure there are oda special children like Jamira out there. We must not allow his dreams to die, we must make sure that he becomes the Doctor which he has chosen to be. He doesn’t need our pity,he is special and what we need to do is find him a place that can cater for his needs. I believe his desire to become a Doctor stems from the fact dat he knows our medical society failed him. He wants to become a Doctor so he can fill dat gap and contribute his own quota to d devpt of our health system. It is our duty to assist him.

  42. Rose

    November 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I’m speechless. What can I say? All I know is that the purposes of God has never and will never be defeated. Aptly named ‘Jehovah Miracle’, he will live out his purpose.
    And I pray for strength for u to carry on inspite of the difficulties. You will see ur son become what God has ordained for him to be.
    It is well!

  43. Adebayo Adeyomola O. (@Yomola)

    August 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm



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