Letters from Teresa/Ozioma

Letters from Teresa/Ozioma

Ozioma Hope for Wellness USA Corporation

Ozioma update: Newsletter from Adam Matson


Last summer, the moment CJ told me he was thinking on going back to Nigeria, I told him I would be joining without hesitation. Just because of the enthusiasm CJ used while explaining how unbelievable his trip was in 2012, there was no question whether or not I wanted to be a part of it when he went back.  He spoke so highly of the villagers he was able to help and of the work he and Ozioma did. I kind of just signed the dotted line without reading the fine print so to speak.  After that, the trip was still not a reality in my mind as so often things like this can fall through.  Then it came time to send my information to the Nigerian embassy and apply for a visa, and again I didn’t hesitate. Next came the night CJ sent me the information to purchase our not so cheap plane tickets.  I tried to not think much about my bank account and kept repeating my friend Steve’s mantra of “YOLO” (you only live once), and I continued to sign that dotted line.  Then when it was about two months before our trip, I finally told my parents about my plan.  That didn’t go over so well.  After much disagreement, dozens of emails from my father about the dangers of Nigeria, offers to buy my plane ticket back, and as the date of departure got closer, the reality of what I was doing still had not hit me. Ozioma later told me this was because God was guiding us and had placed us in a state of peace with our mission. I thought it was just because I was too busy applying to medical schools and wrapping up any work I had at my job to think about what I was getting myself into. Either way I am so happy that I decided to take part in this adventure with one of my best friends, CJ, and his crazy aunt, Ozioma, or Theresa as many of you may know her as.

            To introduce myself, my name is Adam Matson and I graduated from Northeastern University in 2010 as a Health Science major with CJ.  In the past I have been an EMT and I am currently doing clinical research at UMass Medical School.  This coming year I will begin my medical education to become a physician.  As you are reading this you probably fall into one of three categories. One, you have no to little idea of what the Ozioma Hope for Wellness Corporation does or how it operates.  Two, you have been told about the near miracle work that Ozioma does in Nigeria yet cannot fully appreciate it because you have only heard secondhand.  Or three, you have had the opportunity to witness firsthand the life changing mission work that is done essentially by one person. If you fall into the first two categories I will do my best to describe how incredible Ozioma’s work with the poor in Nigeria truly is, and if you fall into the third I only hope to accurately describe what you have had the distinct pleasure to witness yourself.




I have heard many questions from people throughout the whole process of planning, partaking, and returning from my three week trip. Like, “why give to the poor in Nigeria when there is poverty at home?” Or “how do you know you are going to make a difference in these people’s lives?” I asked myself many of these questions before Nigeria, but I knew that if someone is dedicating their whole life to this mission then it has to be more meaningful than I could imagine.  This was proven to me when I traveled with Ozioma this past March.  I will try to give you a glimpse into the life I lived while in Nigeria and the life I witnessed the Nigerian people lead.

Our day would often start quite early, as we rose at 5:30 to get ready for morning mass. I learned that many Nigerians got up much earlier to trek and fetch water for their families.  In my normal life in the US, daily mass is a foreign concept for me but as we were staying with the loving and generous Father Godwin, we were happy to pray with him every morning.  When mass got out around 7:30 we would start our health clinic.  People would come from all of the surrounding villages to see us, some waking up at 4 or 5 am to trek miles just to receive our care! We would meet with patients right outside of the church from the end of mass until we had seen everyone, usually lasting until about 12-2pm. I describe the care that we gave to the villagers as; we were the primary care physicians for people too poor to go see doctors at a hospital (there are no forms of health insurance in Nigeria). Most of what we did was basic screening for very preventative diseases. Blood pressure, diabetes, malaria, typhoid, worms, and HIV screening etc. We were able to teach patients ways to improve their health including simple diet changes and more sanitary lifestyle habits such as where people get their water. Ozioma also partners with local hospitals and well trained physicians in Nigeria that are willing to help our patients, sometimes free of charge, and this is just because Ozioma also helps the doctors by donating medical equipment.  When our clinic ended, we would have our lunch and relax a little during the heat of the day.  CJ and I often used this time to go outside and play with the children in the village, teaching them AMERICAN football among other activities. Later in the afternoon we would trek to the homes of those in the village that could not make it to the clinic yet needed our attention. The basic care that is needed and the poverty that exists in Nigeria astonished me.  But the thing that I can still not get over more than that is the appreciation the villagers showed us for the work we did.  The way their faces lit up when we would give them advice or even give them a hug is enough to put a smile on my face whenever I need one for the rest of my life.

While we were seeing patients at the clinic, often times we were able to make an impact on someone’s life just through our knowledge of leading a healthy lifestyle or screening them for very preventative illnesses, however sometimes we came across patients that had a life-threatening sickness. The story of Hippolitis is one of these occasions. It started when an elderly woman walked up to CJ and me after morning mass.  Most people approaching us at this time of day are seeking help for themselves but this lady hunched over using a cane had a different mission.  She told us a tale of her son that had just suffered a “stroke” the previous week and also got a “cut” on his foot.  She asked that we visit him in the neighboring village because he could no longer walk. We often try to have people come to us because it would be impossible for us to visit every person in need, however we agreed.Later that day CJ and I trekked 2 miles to the neighboring village and found the nicest most humble 40 year old man named Hippolitis who we could tell was literally days or weeks away from death.  His blood sugar was 625, heart rate was 120, and the diabetic ulcer on his foot had caused an infection that was about to spread through the rest of his body. We were able to clean the ulcer on his foot, and through our partnering with Dr. Jeff (a Nigerian MD who is awesome!) we were able to obtain him some antibiotics, insulin, and medicine to get his blood sugar under control. This could not be done in one visit, so CJ, Ozioma and I went to visit Hippolitis every afternoon for the remainder of our trip to change the dressing on his foot and make sure he was taking the medicine Dr. Jeff had given him. We were also able to teach his mother how to help care for his wounds.  When we met Hippolitis he was bed ridden and could barely understand us because he was so confused .  By the time CJ and I left 3 weeks later, he was able to move around in the wheel chair we gave him and was a much livelier soul.  He would joke with us while we were there and could never thank us enough for what we had done to save his life.

This is just a glimpse into what Ozioma does EVERY DAY in Nigeria.  She is truly an amazing person blessed by God for dedicating her life to this work. I did not even get into the work Ozioma has done to obtain clean water for those not able to retrieve it, but this may be her greatest gift to the Nigerian people.  I hope to someday return to Nigeria and help these wonderful people.  All being well, next time I will be a fully practicing physician and able to offer even more care to those in our world who need it most.  The people of Nigeria deserve this help as they struggle through a life without reliable sources of electricity, water, food, housing, and healthcare, yet they still love life and welcome others like myself with open arms and a smile on their face.  Anyone who has ever brought help to Ozioma in the past or will in the future is truly doing God’s work.


P.S. Special thank you to Father Godwin, Dr. Emeka, Dr. Jeff, Dr. Ken, Dr. Obina, Bernard, Mr. Kennedy, Ekena, Michael, and all the others who helped us along the way by feeding us, keeping us safe, caring for us, and making this a trip I will never forget!

P.P.S. Sorry for calling you crazy Ozioma!!! Please don’t flog me next time I see you!


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