Sometime last year, Valerie Kerubo was on the verge of losing her eyesight, yet she was about to sit her final high school exams. Kerubo stayed close to five months out of school as her parents sought a solution to her crippling eye problem.
So bad was the issue, she could not read a book yet she was expected to prepare for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams that were due in November. According to specialists at PCEA Kikuyu Eye Hospital, if an urgent eye operation was not done, she would go blind in six months. Her corneas, a critical component of the eye, was diseased and the only hope was a transplant.
By May 2016, her parents had almost lost hope of her sitting the exams with the rest of her classmates or ever seeing again. Hope was dimming because the figure was staggering yet, no money was coming through. But thank God miracles still happen.
Just before the worst happened, The Standard highlighted her plight and well wishers stepped in to save the situation. Led by the Nyamira County Government, funds were raised and she was taken to PCEA Kikuyu Hospital where a successful cornea transplant was done.
Though dim, there were now hopes of her siting her exams with the rest of her classmates who had been preparing while she was unwell. In September, she returned to school after healing fairly. However, this was against the doctor’s advise. Apparently, she had been advised against going back to school because the intense reading would strain her eyes which were yet to heal properly.
When she returned to school, St Charles Lwang’a Ichuni Girls principal Joyce Orioki received her with joy and high expectation.
“Given that she had missed on a lot while she was away, the teachers and I made a deliberate effort to ensure she was at par with her peers. We encouraged and helped her keep hope alive. She had such a positive attitude,” said the principal. Given the odds she had faced prior to the exams, when the results were announced, nobody imagine she would perform this well. She had scored a B minus.
“We were simply overjoyed when the good news came in. She has gone through so much,” her father Kefa Mokua said.
Kerubo is overjoyed. “With this good report, my dream of being an ophthalmologist is possible.”