A man lost his legs as a child after being caught in a bomb explosion. The doctors then amputated him, giving him prosthetics to walk. He led a miserable life as an orphan, but things got better when he found the love of his life.
For people with disabilities, life can be full of pain and struggles. They are often ridiculed, bullied, and rejected, adversely impacting their emotional and mental wellbeing.
A Rwandan man experienced such bitter feelings firsthand when he suffered a tragic accident that made him lose both his legs. One after the other, life kept testing him. He had nearly lost all hope when a miracle encounter changed his life.
Ndayisenga Jean De Dieu fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo after war broke out in his home country, rendering it unsafe for living. But while returning home, he and his family were caught up in a terrible bomb explosion.
Resultantly, Ndayisenga was badly injured and taken to the hospital, where he spent two months in a coma. When he woke up, he learned that one of his legs had been cut off.
Later on, his second leg was amputated and posed a further threat to his life. Ndayisenga, who was only seven years old at the time, ended up hating the doctors for what they had done to him.
Life became cumbersome for him as he lost three family members within a period of one year. At first, his younger brother died. His mother then gave birth to a dead baby, and she too died only a day after delivering the child.
While any woman in her place would have left her husband after discovering such a secret, Debora chose to stay by Ndayisenga’s side as his life companion.
His father began looking after him and his sister, but he too passed away after some time due to a severe illness. Ndayisenga and his younger sister led miserable life as orphans.
Due to his physical disability, his remaining family members abandoned him, and nobody wanted to help. Owing to the constant bullying and harsh treatment he received, Ndayisenga started to harbor suicidal thoughts.
It was then that a few nuns found him one day, and after seeing his terrible state, they took him for movement therapy. He was given prosthetics to walk, but it took him a while to get used to them.
During his therapy sessions, he met other people like him. After talking to them, his perspective began to shift, and his hopeless state gradually began to subside. Ndayisenga now wanted to live a normal life, just like any other human being.
After finishing high school, he discovered his hidden talent of singing. The first song he wrote was about disabled people. In 2018, Ndayisenga met the love of his life when he took part in a singing competition. He shared:
“We met when I was in a competition. From the stage, they congratulated me. We talked but I could see she was curious with a lot of questions to ask (sic).”
Soon afterward, Ndayisenga and Borah Muteteri (Debora) got in touch and became good friends. After spending some time together, the two became lovers and agreed to refrain from physical intimacy before marriage.
This was one reason why Debora never got a chance to see his legs. She was aware that Ndayisenga walked with a limp but thought it was due to some injury and wouldn’t last long.
On the other hand, Ndayisenga feared telling Debora the truth about himself. He was afraid that if she learned about his physical disability, she would leave him.
People had also told Ndayisenga that he should either remain single or marry a disabled partner. Thus, he wasn’t prepared to face rejection from the love of his life.
Eventually, the couple tied the knot in a grand ceremony. Even while marrying Ndayisenga, Debora was utterly oblivious to her groom’s physical disability. It was not until they went home after the wedding that she learned the truth.
Ndayisenga mustered up the courage to tell everything to Debora, starting with how he had lost his legs and everything he had endured in his life. But instead of mocking him for his disability and abandoning him, Debora surprised him with her reaction.
In their interview with Afrimax, the couple shared how people tried to convince them to leave each other. Debora was advised to end her marriage, while Ndayisenga was told his wife would abandon him within a week of their marriage.
While any woman in her place would have left her husband after discovering such a secret, Debora chose to stay by Ndayisenga’s side as his life companion. She shared that after learning about his condition, she began loving him even more.
As of now, Afrimax has set up a GoFundMe for Ndayisenga, as his prosthetics have become old, and he is in dire need of new ones. The incredible story of Ndayisenga and Debora is proof that true love always perseveres, and nothing can come in its way.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org