The President of The United States, Barack Obama has signed a rare private bill that has granted 26-year old Nigerian Sopuru Chukwuke permanent residency in the United States.
Sopuruchi who grew up as an outcast in the village of Ovim in southeastern Nigeria because the tumors that distorted one side of his face wouldn’t stop growing.
In 2001, when he was 15, his parents took him to an orphanage and abandoned him. Thankfully, 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.
He had been living in Michigan on an expired visa. His doctors performed surgeries over a period of time, he says, which contributed to his expired visa.
In a rare act, the United States Congress passed a private bill a few weeks ago granting Sopuruchi permanent residency after years of his living in Michigan on an expired visa. The bill was awaiting President Obama‘s signature but has now been signed. According to CNN, his is the only private bill to pass in Congress in two years.
With his permanent residency, Sopuruchi can now attend Medical School at the University of Toledo. He had earlier attended Wayne State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, obtaining a 3.82 GPA. Soon after that, he got admission to study medicine. Speaking about his ambition to become a doctor, he said “My own personal struggles to receive treatment have motivated and encouraged me to pursue a medical career … to alleviate the pain and suffering of others.”