By Olayinka Latona
The arrival of Barakat Akinrinmade about two years ago brought joy, happiness and gladness to her family especially the maternal grand father who looked forward to her growing up and succeeding just like other children.
Alas, today, Barakatâ€™s story has changed. Rather than being in school and running around the playground with her mates, she is at home, unable to walk, eat, use the toilet or do anything by herself. She was constantly sick. All means from orthodox to traditional employed to restore her health have proved abortive. Frustrated, Barakatâ€™s father, Tunji Akinrinmade decided to neglect both child and mother.
It was not until their search for respite took them to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Lagos, that Barakat was diagnosed with a medical condition described as Venticular septal defect and minimal pericardial effusion. In laymanâ€™s terms, she has a hole in the heart.
A medical echocardiography report fromÂ LUTH signed by one Dr. E.N Ekure affirmed that the child requires urgent medical and surgical managementÂ to improve her health condition chances at survival.
The recommended treatment, it was noted, is to be carried out preferably inÂ India. A sum of N2 millionÂ is required for this procedure.
For Barakat, life is generally uncomfortable. Although she eats normally, she is always very weak, cries all the time and wants to be cuddled. Muritala, Barakatâ€™s maternal grand father laments he had never heard about such a disorder in his life. The man who earns a living as a vulcaniser regretted that it was as if his dream is being shattered because the girl is his first grand child.
â€œIt is very unfortunate that my first grand child is like this. We have spent a lot of money on this girl, all to no avail, but I want the people of Nigeria to help me out. Please help me save Barakat because she is our hope for tomorrow. We are appealing to the public, corporate bodies as well as the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola to please come to our aid.
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