By Lorraine Jimal
LAWRENCE Wadunah lost his right index finger and ultimately the use of his right hand in an incident while on holiday in 2017.
Then 20, he started using his left hand to write and do everything else “just like a newborn”.
But the misfortune did not dampen his resolve to succeed in his pursuit of a Bachelor of Property Studies in land administration and property management degree at the University of Technology in Lae. He is now into the final year.
It also failed to sour his drive to become a professional soccer player. It is still very much in the mix of things.
“My goal is to complete my study and pursue a career in life. I also am not giving up my dream to become a professional footballer. I know that God had a big plan for me and that is why I survived. I will push forward. I want to see what God has in store for me.”
Lawrence, 22, is from Medebur village in Bogia, Madang.
Dad Simon Wadunah is from Josephstall in Middle Ramu. Mum Paula Yami is from Medebur in Bogia. They are subsistence farmers.
Lawrence is the youngest in a family of seven – five boys and two girls.
He completed Grade Eight at the Ulingan Primary School before attending the Malala Catholic Secondary School which is an hour’s walk from the village.
After Grade 12, he was accepted by Unitech to pursue the degree programme.
He also loves to play soccer.
“My dream as a kid is to be a professional soccer player, while working. As I grew up, I realised that to make my dream come true, I had to move out of my village. And education was the only way out.”
Lawrence played in the local soccer competition while at school. He applied to go to Unitech when filling his Grade 12 school leavers’ form.
“I enjoy life at Unitech, playing soccer and at the same time studying.”
He played for the Sobou and Unitech football clubs.
In 2017, Lawrence was selected to play for Morobe United in the National Soccer League.
“ I know that God had a big plan for me and that is why I survived. I want to see what God has in store for me.”
“It was huge step towards my dream.”
Unfortunately he was injured during the holidays in 2017 while working in a coconut plantation with one of his brothers. It happened while they were sharing some coconuts. His index finger was severed.
“Since then I’ve been struggling to practise doing things with my left hand. I lost one finger. I can’t move the other three fingers. I started using my left hand to write. It feels like a newborn.”
But he remained determined to push forward towards his goals.
Last year, Lawrence lost his HECAS scholarship which put on hold his studies. But fortunately this year, the HELP programme allowed him to complete his degree programme.
As years go by, Lawrence matures and views life and its challenges with a positive mental attitude
“Today, every day is a struggle. If there is a heaven, then there is a hell. If there is good, then there is evil. And if there is no God, then there is no Satan.”
Lawrence does not expect life to be easy and prays that he remains strong to face whatever is thrown his way – even with a finger less.