Video: US Hospital Gives Nigerian Amputee New Limbs, Free
“After a madman hacked off both her hands two years ago, 17-year-old Ruth Idowu prayed to Jesus for new ones.The faith of the shy Nigerian teenager and the kindness of strangers – who are now dear friends — have prevailed.
Today, the people at Johnson’s Orthopedic Appliances in Riverside are making Ruth two new appendages free of charge to restore the limbs and the independence she’d so brutally lost in her native country.
The journey was set in motion by Ruth’s sponsors and hosts, Tunde and Titi Akinremi – a married couple with residences in both Colton and Nigeria. Tunde, 57, a paraplegic, founded a support group decades ago in their African homeland for the disabled.
Learning about Ruth’s plight, he quickly notified friends he knew through a special-needs family camp in Southern California who had connections to Johnson’s Orthopedic.
The camp had inspired Tunde to launch a similar one in Nigeria in 1995.
Called Tunde And Friends Foundation, the organization is funded by donations to provide health-care screening and equipment such as canes and wheelchairs. With airfare and other expenses paid through this nonprofit, Ruth Idowu and a friend from her hometown are staying on six-month visas with the Akinremis at their Colton home.
Since October, Mike Openshaw, 35, the head prosthetist at the clinic, located at 7254 Magnolia Avenue, has been fitting Ruth with temporary mechanical limbs, readying her for the finished products in a couple of weeks. “She’s doing wonderfully, better than I expected,” he said. “When she came she said, ‘Get my hands back’.” Idowu had never heard of or seen artificial limbs. Openshaw explained that he could only make her arms functional again, not restore her hands.