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Okeoghene, 29, seeks N5m to save his feet

By Sola OGUNDIPE
IN the last six years, 29-year-old Okeoghene Ighiwotho John has not had much of a life. The undergraduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, has been having a running battle with diabetes. Now he needs at least N5.0 million to save his feet from being amputated.

Just over two years ago, he developed a complication called Diabetic foot – a foot that exhibits pathology  directly from diabetes mellitus or  long-term  complication of diabetes mellitus.

Okeoghene who is completely bed-ridden, has lost his big and little toes on the right foot, as well as all five toes on his left foot. According to the youngster, he was a victim of medical mismanagement. When he came up with diabetic foot in March 2009 while at the OAU, the doctor he was referred to agrravated the problem by delaying to check the dressing on the sore, which began from his big toe on the right leg.

It was not until three days later after Ighiwotho began to feel really uncomfortable that the doctor was compelled to remove the dressing.

By then, the sore was festering and maggot infested. It was gangrenous. “I had never been so confused or afraid in my entire life,” he confessed. Before he knew it, he was a patient at the General Hospital, Ikeja where he spent eight months. During this period, the affected big toe was amputated. The gangrene was so bad, the amputation of more foot tissue had to be carried out.

By the time he was discharged a week later Okeoghene’s small toe had been infected. “I went to Gbagada General Hospitalwhere the little toe was also amputated. But in the process, a major nerve was cut which made it difficult f or the wound to heal. “I was discharged,but the problem transfered to my other foot,on which I lost all five  toes and my entire sole.” Because of lack of funds, he did not go to the hospital, but was being treated by a family friend.

Initially, the results showed promise but his condition relapsed. At the moment, he requires  surgery on both feet.

A clinical opinion from the Indian hospital  Ighiwotho was referred for treatment noted that he  needs further debridement and also need plastic surgery. The medical report suggested two options. Option 1 – If on x-ray examination signs of Osteomyelit is present, might require below knee amputation.

The estimated cost of investigation is about N155,000 while estimated cost of surgery would be N755,000- N1.5 million with up to  five days of stay in hospital.

He would require pre-operative investigations, consultations and follow-up, etc, including stay for one accompanying attendant.

After discharge,  Okeoghene would need to stay in India for a week for recovery and followups, we would arrange a decent guest house for patient’s post discharge stay and a taxi for local transfers for followups as and when required. He has been required to budget N155,000  separately for the cost of stay, meals, local taxi transfers, followups and consultations during post discharge stay of one week

For Option 2 – In case of salvage procedure,  Ighiwotho may need 2-3 interventions with 4 -6 weeks of stay in India in hospital and in guest house. The all inclusive cost of the procedure plus post operative care would be in the range of N4.5 million – N5.0 million.

•If you are touched by this story and wish to assist  Okeoghene Ighiwotho, kindly get in touch with him on 08063255842.


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