Indigent parents require N3m to save boy’s life
With indigent parents, who can barely feed, eight-month-old Emmanuel, who is battling hole-in-the-heart ailment, faces a bleak future. He requires N3million for treatment, an amount which his parents cannot afford.
His father, Henry Mekwunye is a casual worker; the mother, Oluchi, a petty trader.
Emmanuel was diagnosed of the ailment at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, on June 14 following an x-ray after he developed sudden cough.
With her hands resting on her bosom, Mrs Mekwunye looked hopeless as she sat on the bed where her son was laid at the hospital yesterday. She watched how her son was being drip-fed instead of breast feeding him. “Life has not been fair to me,” she said, sighing.
On June 13, it was discovered that Emmanuel had a cough and he was taken to a neighbouring pharmacy for first-aid medication.
His father, who said the family thought it was a minor thing because they had always taken the boy’s health seriously, added that they were forced to take him to a private hospital when the symptoms persisted.
After examining him at the hospital, the baby was referred to LASUTH, where series of tests were conducted.
A chest x-ray exposed the hole in the boy’s heart which is known in medical parlance as Tetralogy of Fallot.
“I was destabilised when it came to my knowledge that my son was going through such pains. And sadly, he could not talk to explain the extent of the pains.” Mekwunye said.
Emmanuel has been on oxygen for eight weeks to aid his breathing.
The consultant in charge of the Department of Paediatrics at LASUTH, Dr Barakat Animashaun, has assured the family that Emmanuel’s ailment is curable.
Since the hospital lacks the facility for the surgery, it was agreed that Emmanuel should be taken to Rak Hospital in Ras al-khaimh, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the treatment, which would cost N3million.
Mrs Mekwunye burst into tears as she bemoaned her family’s helplessness: “I know if my son is not treated with utmost urgency, it may affect other organs in his body system. He has rapidly lost weight, his tongue and lips have turned black. Each time he coughs, he throws up. I have no job, let alone bank savings. How are we going to raise such amount of money since we have nothing to put on sale? And my only child is my life; God, please help me,” she said.
Mekwunye is an employee of a chemical company in Lagos struggling to make ends meet. Sources said the family has been surviving with God’s grace.
The family is looking up to well-meaning Nigerians, government and non-governmental organisations for help.
The family has an account with Access Bank Plc, No: 0690421712 and First Bank, 3085435732, under the name: Emmanuel Obinna Mekwunye.
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