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After being Abandoned & Rescued in Nigeria, he is being considered for a US Green Card under a Special Residency Law by the US Congress – The Inspiring Story of Sopuruchi Chukwueke



26 year-old Sopuruchi Chukwueke is currently a subject of attention at the U.S. Congress as special legislation that will enable him obtain permanent U.S. residency is being considered.

His bill, which is being sponsored by U.S. Senator, Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, applies solely to him. Vanguard reports that it would grant him permanent residency as long as he applies for it within two years of the bill becoming law.

You may ask why he has been singled out amongst thousands of Nigerians for a bill to ensure he gets permanent U.S. residency. Well, his story as reported by Bloomberg an inspiring one:

Sopuruchi Chukwueke grew up as an outcast in the village of Ovim in southeastern Nigeria. Tumors that distorted one side of his face wouldn’t stop growing, and doctors said he should be taken away and drowned. In 2001, when he was 15, his parents took him to an orphanage and abandoned him.

He was rescued by a missionary nun, who arranged medical care in the U.S. Eleven years and seven operations later, doctors have removed the benign growths caused by the genetic disease neurofibromatosis, and have performed reconstructive surgery.

In that time, Chukwueke, who lost his right eye to the tumors, has earned a High School equivalency Diploma, achieved a 3.82 grade-point average as a Biochemistry and Chemical Biology major at Wayne State University in Detroit and won acceptance to the University of Toledo’s Medical School in Ohio.

“My own personal struggles to receive treatment have motivated, inspired and continually encouraged me to pursue a medical career,” he told Bloomberg in an interview conducted by e-mail because extensive surgeries to his mouth and jaw make it hard for him to speak clearly on the telephone.
“Nigerian doctors told me that there was nothing they could do, that they do not have the facilities and expertise to handle my sophisticated medical problem.”

Chukwueke’s family – his father, who is blind, his mother, and his six brothers and sisters – is still in Nigeria. With help from Christopher Harris, an Administrator in the Pathology Department at Wayne State’s Medical School and Senator Levin’s office, his mother, Mary was in Detroit in May 2011 to see her son for the first time in a decade and watch him address his graduating class at commencement.

He had his seventh surgery that summer and applied to Medical School in the fall. In November he was admitted to the University of Toledo with one condition: that he obtain permanent-residency status by August 1 of this year.

“I was overwhelmed with emotion. I said wow! This is a dream come true.” he said by email about how he felt when he was accepted.

He can’t start classes this month, though, because the visa that enabled him to travel to Michigan for treatment expired 10 years ago, and he has been in the United States illegally since then. The only hope Chukwueke has of achieving his goal is enactment of the legislation sponsored by Senator Levin that applies solely to him and would give him permanent U.S. residency.

Chukwueke said he initially reached out to Levin’s office with the assistance of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, an Arlington, Virginia-based charity that works on refugee and immigration issues worldwide. A private-relief bill “was my only option given my immigration status,” he told Bloomberg by e-mail.

When the bill passed the Senate last month, he said, “it was nothing less than a miracle.”

Chukwueke will have to wait a little longer to find out whether House leaders will make time on the floor schedule for his bill, as Congress is in recess until September 10.

With classes starting Aug. 20, he won’t be attending medical school this year. The University of Toledo has told him that he can start in 2013 if his bill becomes law.

His goals now, Chukwueke said, are staying in the U.S., getting his medical degree and “alleviating the pain and suffering of others, especially those in underserved communities and nations.”

For the last year he has volunteered at a medical research lab, shadowed a surgeon at a clinic, and been involved with the Children’s Tumor Foundation, a neurofibromatosis support group.

Chukwueke still needs surgery to allow insertion of a glass eye and to repair his nose.

His story is indeed an exceptional one and it is hoped he gets the necessary legislation to enable him fulfill his dreams.

Well done Sopuruchi Chukwueke!

Photo Credit: Bloomberg

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Christine

    August 21, 2012 at 2:57 am

    miracle of God. my life challenges seem so trivial compared to his. God you are marvelous. Please grant him perfect happiness and fulfill ALL his dreams. God bless Sopuruchi, you are an inspiration

    • Purpleicious Babe

      August 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm


  2. MichelleWuChun

    August 21, 2012 at 3:45 am

    This is absolutely amazing. Sopuruchi you will be a blessing to so many people. As someone in the medical field myself I am so proud of you. You will achieve more than you can imagine.

  3. Ndidi

    August 21, 2012 at 3:53 am

    God bless u boy. Inspiring story
    Further shows that man cannot destroy destiny.

  4. Dee

    August 21, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Chuks,it is ok.God that has brought you this far will perfect all.God is indeed awesome,merciful and gracious.i am so inspired …love have mercy.

  5. Thelma

    August 21, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Thank God for him…God will surely continue his good works in his life

  6. triangle

    August 21, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Ovim is a 5min walk from my village, and I’m disheartened to read dis news as it hits close to home. Its amazing dt doctors
    recommended dt he be drowned!

    That town has produced a lot of influential Nigerians E.g the current Chief of Army Staff Lt. Col. Ihejirika, Former Pres. Aspirant Senator Ike Nwachukwu etc. I don’t want to believe Sopuruchi was goin thru these struggles alone.

    Thank God for mercies, he shall perfect all that concerns him. God bless America as they do this.

    • Ugochi

      August 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

      His story reminds us of one of the many reasons for which we stand in awe of God (as Sopuruchi’s name implies). However I can actually say that the part of doctors asking that he be drowned is false. No medical doctor would say that. Maybe they went to spiritualists or people of that ilk.

    • anon

      August 23, 2012 at 7:26 am

      And you can say this because you were with his family when they went to the doctor abi? You’d be surprised at what other Doctors have said.

  7. Chattyzee

    August 21, 2012 at 4:49 am

    God bless him and prosper his ways.

  8. Lois

    August 21, 2012 at 4:59 am


  9. purplepearl

    August 21, 2012 at 6:15 am

    God indeed works in miraculous ways. Am happy for you bro. May God continue to see you through

  10. iamfascinating

    August 21, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Awesome God. I pray he gets all the help he needs.

  11. LPS

    August 21, 2012 at 7:24 am

  12. AnONYMouS

    August 21, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Wow…God is Good!

  13. This life!

    August 21, 2012 at 8:53 am


  14. 22

    August 21, 2012 at 9:14 am

    May God continue to guide and protect him! Stories like this remind me how awesome the God i serve is

  15. lifeofastranger

    August 21, 2012 at 9:36 am

    “Even though all may leave you, I will never let you Go” – Paraphrased. Sometimes our struggles may seem bleak and the stench carried may cause many to look away from us, but if we but hold on, that struggle is all we need to fulfil our destiny. God is such a good God.

    Sopuruchi story is such an amazing one, as his names says (in my translation “Fear God”), The Lord that has been by your side, will bring His purpose to pass in your life. You will be a sign and a wonder to your generation and many will call you blessed. Your dream will not die, your vision will not be diminished. You will fulfil your purpose here on earth in Jesus Name. Amen. We praise and thank God for your life.

  16. Chee-chee

    August 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

    For the first time in my life I will say “God bless America”. It’s amazing that they are fighting for someone that is not an american by birth or otherwise and are giving him a second chance in life when Nigeria and his parents rejected him. It just shows the amount of value we place on human beings.

  17. Pendo

    August 21, 2012 at 11:16 am

    what kind of doctors are these advising the parents to go and drown him what happened to the oath you took wow they should be arrested just for making that suggestion who knows how many more innocent lives they have killed with such suggestions…Thank God for his life and i wish him all the best in the future wealth, health and proseprity. God bless the missionary who rescued him

  18. jummy

    August 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

    This is an actual story of the “The Rejected Becoming The Corner Stone”. Our country’s Medical system needs a whole lot of improvement.

  19. Gold

    August 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    God bless him and ease his pain!!

  20. OBORoOGHENErukokwo mey gwor nor tar ...OYOMA...

    August 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm


  21. Rachael Kelly-Taylor

    August 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    This is why I will continue to say God bless America. Stories like this makes me proud to be an American. Sopuruchi God is not finished with you yet, this bill will get passed and become a law. You will do an amazing job in Medical School and become a well renowned doctor. Your achievement will supersede what anyone can imagine. Sopuruchi keep up the good work.

  22. Sue

    August 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    i hope the mother hid her head in shame while attending his graduation, and i hope she reads this, a shameless mother who dumps her son in d orphanage at 15 and if not for the same boy u would never have smelt airport, not to talk of america, i’m not being judgemental but u carry a child for 9 months, dump him somewhere and walk around with a clear conscience???????????SMH…His testimony is a clear case of God’s Divine Intervention, God exists for unbelievers to acknowledge!!!!!!!!

    • AAsh

      August 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Pls stop being you know what his parents went thru in a vilage without proper transportation or healthcare facilities.she made the best decision by dropping him at an orphanage.if she ried ro manage thecondition herself,hewld avd av been an outcast andd tumor wld probably kill him. Do you know how many innocent children are killed because they were born with defects? GOD answered the woman’s prayers.she didnt allow them kill her baby.she took him to the orphanage where he wld be safe. SOPRUCHI is a miracle. May GOD continue to uphold him.Amen

  23. Speak2

    August 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Amen to ur prayers @Rachael

  24. ceo

    August 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Goose pimples all over my skin. Only if we knw God and how powerful He is. Testimonies like these strengthen my faith more in Him. When God says yes, not even a tumour can say no. Welldone SopuruChukwu, you’re surely destined for greatness. As far as the east is from the west His mercies and grace know no bounds.

  25. R

    August 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Wow wow wow, incredible. He’s so strong! May his dreams come true

  26. Tare

    August 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Our God is an Awesome God! May all things work 4 ur Good, Sopuruchi. Godbless u!

  27. lanre

    August 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    D story is inspiring.a clear testimony that God forgets no one.

  28. IJEOMA

    August 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    This is the best and most inspiring story i’ve ever read on BN. our God is too great

  29. Tabitha

    August 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I am ashamed of my country. This is the SECOND bellanaija story that I am reading where a rejected Nigerian youth is picked up by the United States and given a chance at greatness. Hopeless nation, useless leaders, wicked people. I hope he is the last generation of Nigerian in his lineage. I hope he marries an American woman and has AMERICAN children who have American children and so forth. Stupid country.

    BTW, God is very interesting. His miracles don’t seem to be sustainable because guess what? A MAJORITY of children like Sopuruchi will probably be outcast and left for dead. America can only take care of so many Sopuruchis. I wonder why God doesn’t perform a “miracle” such as making Nigeria a place of opportunity and development. Then, so many more people will benefit.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      August 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      I see where your point is coming from about God but I assure that just humans make a nations. God that has provided all the means for the nation to make wealth and sustain it should do so. But as we know, our people are not in the act of doing so… so its easy to for us to make this subjective….

      Yes they are plenty children not just in Nigerian that are poor and ill.. The question is what have u done about it or any of us that makes this about God..?? As humans we can also offer miracles so why make this about God…. Having said that, I believe God miracle is sustainable, and I know this young man will be a point of contact to many.

      Anyway not to make this a debate. I pray God does helps our generation not to be corrupt minded but to do our part beautifully.

  30. zoomzoomzoom

    August 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Wow! God works in mysterious ways! Keep on flying high, Sopuruchi,the sky is your starting point.Wishing you the best in all your future endeavors.
    God bless America.

  31. Abayomi Jide

    August 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    May you dream come through in Jesus name. Imagine, God is so gracious and merciful as He is using an American to fight for an helpless Nigerian in a foreign land.

  32. faith

    August 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    God iNdeed should bless America!

  33. Abayomi Jide

    August 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    May your dreams come through in Jesus name. Imagine, God is so gracious and merciful as He is using an American to fight for an helpless Nigerian in a foreign land.

  34. Latifah

    August 21, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Know I understand why my friend who’s base in the US is always saying God Bless America! I’m happy he found himself in the US because he would have been 6ft below if he hadn’t being helped out of Nigeria. God is still in the business of doing good. God bless you Sopuruchi and He’ll perfect all that concerns you, Amen!!

  35. Chika

    August 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing God cannot do. may God continue to keep him in sound health.

  36. konnie

    August 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Thank God for the love in the hearts of all the people that have helped him. May God bless them all. May your dreams come true and stay pain free. amen

  37. Maxy

    August 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    God Almighty please hear his prayers. i pray and pray and pray that all his desires be granted. so insiring. God will surely see u thru cos nothig is impossible with God.

  38. Lulu

    August 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    ***Tears***Storeis like this just motivates u to keep going!! Its never too bad, someone else might be going through worse!!

  39. lilly

    August 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    sopuruchukwu may your dreams come to fruition. Amen!

  40. Pd

    August 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    U are blessed …….from the rejected stone to being the corner stone…..God never abadons his own…..favour is urs in Jesus name….Amen

  41. destined for greatness

    August 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    It is at times like this that we know that God is truly God and not man. When we look at people like Sopuruchi we see their disabilities and the things that they cannot do. But God looks at him and sees endless possibilities and a Destiny to be fulfilled no matter what man says. May his name be glorified

  42. ljeoma

    August 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    To God be the glory, ihe chidere ga abu ihe Suruchi ga abu. Madu apugh imoshi ya.

  43. usman musa abugi

    August 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    one’s destiny can only be delayed but can never be changed or taken away from him.

  44. bess

    August 22, 2012 at 12:49 am

    God is in deed a miraclous God. What an inspiring story.. Thank God for you Mr. SC, You are an inspiration and you will inspire millions to truth faith in God.

  45. NNENNE

    August 22, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Sopuruchukwu(Respect God).
    Chukwueke ( God creates).
    …And God does not make a mistake.
    Congratulations, boy!

  46. Klaire

    August 22, 2012 at 1:44 am

    God is good!

  47. Teris

    August 22, 2012 at 10:27 am

    really? so in 1986, registered medical doctors suggested that he be drowned like a rat? biko, give us their names.

  48. Cutey55

    August 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    How great is our God……God is awesome….I really thank God for his life

  49. D Fairy GodSister

    August 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I know they’ll give him permanent residency status. They’ve seen something Nigeria didn’t see (doesn’t ever see); his brains.

    God bless you Sopuruchi..

  50. Cee

    August 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I’m glad you got help Sopuruchi. Keep living above those limitations. Keep working at your dreams, they sure will come true for you. I pray for many more that need help to receive such as will be useful to them in Jesus name. God bless the missionary nun, God bless America. Salut’

  51. X factor

    August 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I love bella naija and all it stands for… guys have shown consistency with your ethos brand..keep it real

  52. bella

    September 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    God Bless the Nun who picked him up .All the many many churches and Pastors in Nigeria should please learn from this .

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