Efena Otobo's Restoration Fund
On the 21st day of April 2014, one single catastrophic event completely altered my sister's universe.
My sister tells the story from her heart, in the write-up below and in the video titled "Efena's Story: Overcoming paralysis one step at a time".
A reckless driver caused a horrible car accident that had immediate and severe consequences.
After numerous tests and scans, the diagnosis given was a complete T4 spinal cord injury which in 'regular person speak' meant I could not feel anything from the waist down, plus there was very little chance of ever walking again.
My family, friends and I were beyond devastated because we were told that the road to recovery would be long, hard and punishing.
My life came to a screeching halt and I was torn from everything I knew.
I was an Asset Manager at the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) with a background in Economics and Politics (BSc.) from the University of Bristol, England and a concentration in Development Studies (MSc.) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
I loved travelling, writing, poetry, art, architecture, the world of movies and TV shows, running, yoga and Pilates.
Now with this prognosis, being labelled a paraplegic meant I was confined, restricted and immobilised.
Suddenly, I was a baby once again.
I had to re-learn how to sit up and balance at the edge of the bed, be taught how to dress myself and I had to learn how to roll over.
It seemed like a never-ending nightmare I could not escape from.
Physiotherapy became a constant and I spent hours in hospital gyms and rehab facilities trying to build up my upper body strength, learning how to execute perfect transfers from the wheelchair to any surface and preventing my leg muscles from dying.
Without the tireless guidance from the physical therapists and the aid of the different breakthrough assistive devices and technology such as standing frames, exoskelton machines that enable me to walk etc., I would not be where I am today.
To get the best chance of total recovery from my current state of paralysis, I desperately need specific equipment that I can use at home.
Continuous use of rehab programs at Wellington Hospital, London, Project Walk San Diego and Beyond Therapy, Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia has been essential but the bills have been, and continue to pile up.
This GoFundMe campaign is aimed at securing the funds to:
1. Purchase an exoskeleton which is an assistive device that enables me to stand and walk.
By using an exoskeleton on a regular basis, my muscles and nerves in my legs and brain will begin to 'wake up' and get strong enough so that reliance on the machine to walk will become a distant memory.
The cost ranges between $80,000 - $100,000.
2. Buy the Whill motorised wheelchair which will enable me to transport and wear the exoskeleton for outside excursions.
The current wheelchair I own is too narrow for the exoskeleton to fit.
The Whill costs about $10,000.
3. Acquire a standing frame and other necessary rehab equipment needed on a daily basis to ensure the maintenance of core and arm strength, flexibility and bone density which are steps towards full recovery. Cost of standing frame and other equipment $12,000 - $15,000.
4. Pay for rehab costs and travel expenses till year end $55,000 - $65,000.
(N.B. All costs given are conservative estimates)
I need your help while on this journey to total healing. Every single cent and penny counts and will be directed towards any future rehabilitation costs and purchase of physical therapy equipment.
I will include periodic updates of my progress, equipment purchases and rehab milestones.
Thank you all in advance for your kindness, generosity and open hearts.
With each donation, prayer and well wish sent, I pray a blessing falls on each and every one of you.
With all my love,
Dear Awesome People,
Thank you to all the amazing angels that donated to my campaign through various acts of love. We wholly appreciate the sacrifice and generosity. Without you, we would have never not only reached, but exceeded our target of £170,000.
So a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! I pray that great blessings fall on each household this season. Y'all are truly, totally, unarguably, undeniably awesome!!!! Thank you! Thank you! A million times Thank you!
Tomorrow I shut down this wonderful fund raising campaign. It has been an amazing 8 months experiencing your big hearts and generous spirits.
Thank you all so much for being such an inspiration. Without y'all, I would not be where I am today.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
One week left till the end of this fundraising campaign.
We are grateful for your support. Thank you all!
Thank you all for your kindness, generosity, love and support. Two and a half years have gone by and I still cannot fully convey my gratitude and express my excitement for things to come.
Practically all the physio equipment has been bought with your awesome donations - the Whill, a standing frame, a plinth, free weights, etc. Doctor's visits and medical supply costs are being covered. Living expenses are taken care of.
The journey to total restoration continues and all I ask is that you send us healing thoughts and prayers whenever you can.
The campaign will be shutting down soon as we get nearer to the end.
Thank you again for being angels of support and benevolence. Thank you for being so awesome.
So glad you've made the target. You've truly earned it through your faith and positivity! Have a wonderful Christmas!!
Dear Efena, This is truly inspiring and a great source of inspiration to always rise above seeming setbacks or limitations. I believe strongly in God's unfailing love and support at all times. Your mother was an amazing boss to work with, I learn't a lot from her.
You have fought a good fight,Efena .FBFM women belive the good Lord will bring about the expected end!We love you!Keep your joy and smile! Thanks to all who responded to this appeal.