…..jobless father appeals to Nigerians
By Bose Adebayo
Kehinde and Adebola Onilude are a young and dynamic couple, both indigenes of Oyo town who occupyÂ a small apartment at Ikotun, a Lagos surbub. Kehinde 32, a former teacher got married to Adebola, 30 on May 23, 2009 with a lot of expectations. One of such expectations was to give birth without stress and their joy knew no bound when Adebola was later confirmed pregnant at a private hospital in Lagos.
As fate would have it, Kehinde lost his job as a teacher and the family had to depend solely on Adebolaâ€™s meagre salary of N11,000 even in the face of mounting expenses.
Although the Expected Date of Delivery, EDD wasÂ given asÂ May 2010Â Adebola had a contraction in March and was rushed to New Life Hospital, Orelope, Egbeda for the normal ante-natal treatment. Being a first timer, she never knew she was in labour until the nurses announced the arrival of a set of triplets- two girls and a boy which were born prematurely on March 10, 2010.
This turned out to be the genesis of their joy and pain as they had to run from pillar to post to save their premature babies from dying. The females Precious and Peace weighed 1.1 kg and 1.1kg respectively, whileÂ the male Praise, weighed 850g at birth. â€œI was downcast when the nurses told me I had given birth to a set of triplets. Even though the scan had revealed this but we have been planning to have them two months later as the EDD had revealed,â€ Adebola said in tears.
Although Kehinde had secured employment with an insurance company (on commission basis) but the stress of the job is already taking its toll on the family.
When Vanguard Metro visited the hospital, the couple said the arrival of these premature babies had brought untold hardship to them on account of the money it has gulped.Â To add to the problem, Adebola might soon be relieved of her job as she is only entitled to a three months leave being a teacher in a private school. â€œFrom New Life Hospital, we were referred to a private hospital in Surulere and the cost of keeping the triplets in the incubators at the hospital is about N131,000.00 per day which is beyond us,â€ they lamented.
â€œFrom new Life Hospital, we went to General Hospital, Ikeja in search of lower costs but we became confused when they said the incubators were filled up. From there we went to Lagos University Teaching Hospital and they said the incubators were also filled up. That was why we were forced to go to Lifeline Hospital, Ogunlana Drive, Surulere where we were asked to deposit the sum of N600,000 which we could not afford.
So, we moved to Good Tiding Hospital, Fasoro, Surulere which provided incubators for the children although we could not cope with the daily bill of N131,000 per day. They would have died if not for the effort of some kind hearted Nigerians,â€ they chorused.
The childrenÂ are presently incubated at Ayinke House, Ikeja. When Vanguard Metro visited the couple recently, Kehinde whose aged mother Madam Sherifat Onilude, was also around and had this to say: â€œWe have taken a loan to the tune of N463,000 to settle some bills.
I just got a job in January in an insurance company where I earn less than N30,000.00 per month on commission basis. I thank God for the safe delivery but the expenses have dampened my joy. We spend an average of N30,000 on daily basis and both of us have stopped working in order to take care of the triplets. I have sent for my mother from the village but feeding has been difficult; all of us stay in the hospital with the babies.
I have been running here and there to raise some money but I have reached a dead end. I cannot run away and abandon my wife and the innocent children. I am therefore appealing to the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, corporate bodies and other public-spirited individuals to assist us as I donâ€™t want to lose the c
hildren,â€ he pleaded.