Praise Sunday lost his voice after a three-man gang broke into their home, slashed his throat deep to the windpipe, raped, and knifed his mother to death nine months ago. His 10-year-old sister was also slaughtered during the attack in Delta.
By what the 13-year-old later described in writing as divine intervention, he became the only survival of the attack he said was an armed robbery. But he lost his voice, and his ability to breathe.
Praise had lost his father 10 years earlier.
After seven surgical procedures at hospitals in Delta, Kaduna, and Edo, it was certain the boy would remain dumb for the rest of his life except his scarred vocal cord and damaged windpipe got all the surgical help they could.
“We sold everything we had to pay the bills for the initial surgery, and to take care of him,” his Auntie Mabel said while telling the blood-chilling story at the Synagogue Church of All Nations February 12.
“We had nothing else left to save Praise or fly him to the U.S they referred us to. It was my uncle that suggested we bring him to The Synagogue,” she said.
A tearful Mabel holding her speechless brother breathing through a pipe was seen in a video recorded last May by the church’s media team. The Emmanuel TV also doubles as the humanitarian organ of the church.
Help eventually came when SCOAN’s Prophet T.B. Joshua took up the matter. And that marked the beginning of a life-changing experience for Praise.
The church checked Praise and her sister into a hotel for rehabilitation months to the surgery—because the boy was weak and famished.
For their upkeep and accommodation in the few weeks they stayed in Lagos, Mabel estimated SCOAN spent about N2 million. As that went on, the church had already contacted two world-renowned specialists at Vincent Pallotti Specialist Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.
Praise was now livelier, and Mabel happier—largely because Prophet Joshua had plunked down $7000 for flight and initial expenses.
In all, according to Emmanuel TV, Joshua spent $52,000–$40,000 for the five surgical operations Praise went through to get his voice back.
“It was a long journey,” Mabel said, confirming how that divine power again saw the boy through pain so easily the doctors gave him certificates of bravery twice.
It was obviously a heart-rending experience for a teenager to have gone under the knife 12 times to save his voice, after losing his mother and only sister in a cold-blooded attack.
But the prophet ensured the boy also soaked in the sunny side of life in the Rainbow nation after the surgery was over.
With the help of the Emmanuel TV partners in South Africa, Praise was taken on a two-months-long sightseeing around the country, with a princely reception from the airline crew, the media crew, and the hospital.
As he told his story to an emotion-ridden congregation, Praise was all thanks to Prophet Joshua. “He’s done for me what any good father can do for his son,” the boy said.
He seems not to be thinking about vengeance now. When the television crew asked him what he had to say, Praise said, “I will advise the rich in society to always help the poor like me.”
Praise’s was one out of many life-and-death medical emergencies Prophet Joshua has bank-rolled over the years.
The prophet said he was surprised when an international magazine wrote he didn’t believe in orthodox medicine.
“Doctors, scientists, and faith-healers are all servants of God working together,” he said.