By EBELE ONUORAH
Walking into the dialysis centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), you could see a young girl lying on the bed as her dialysis session went through. She looked innocent, pale, weak but amidst all these, one could also see a strong and determined spirit in her.
But she can no longer partake in house chores, can’t run errands, play with my friends or go to school because of her predicament. She can no longer do those things she used to; all she does now is to wake, eat and sleep. She barely even makes it to Church on Sundays.”
These were the lamentations of 16- year old Amarachi Uwazie – Ogbata who has since her predicament been sentenced to an unusual and worrisome lifestyle. her mother, who was at her bedside took up the story.
“Amarachi fell seriously ill in March 2011 just a few weeks after she had managed to complete her examinations. She suddenly became restless, and then she fell and started vomiting blood. At this point, I told my husband the situation had gone beyond malaria and typhoid.
“Considering the fact that she was a teenager I had thought for a minute that she might have got pregnant so I insisted we took her to the hospital. After series of tests pregnancy was ruled out. The following month she was diagnosed of an ovarian cyst and a kidney dysfunction. The ovarian cyst started out as an infection and could have been saved if detected earlier.”
That was the beginning of the Uwazie- Ogbata’s problems. For a mother into small scale business and civil servant father, Amarachi’s dialysis bills which cost about N35,000.00 every other day was a serious challenge. There were also other expenses on drugs as well as three other children had s back at school and home. Hmm!
Initially, Amarachi was not passing urine normally and it was like she was on an uncontrollable menstrual flow. She would be on her menstruation for up to a month non- stop; she lost a lot of blood. She was put on antibiotics and now it appears to have been cured of the infection as she no longer bleeds but still has not menstruated since February this year. Doctors say it is as a result of the amount of blood already lost so it would take some time for her body to return to normalcy.
The same doctors warn that it would be best if she was flown abroad for a kidney transplant as the dialysis sessions and drugs would only yield temporary relief,. but there is a hitch. The cost of the surgery, drugs and trip to and from abroad would cost at least N5 million. Certainly they cannot afford that kind of money.
Lamenting on her escapades during the Lagos doctors’ strike she told Vanguard that her dialysis session used to be twice a week but as her condition got worse, she is now on dialysis every other day. “During the doctors’ strike, it was hell for us; most times we had to go to a private hospital against our will. Though very expensive, we had no other choice.
“Last month, we were at LUTH and unattended because there were no materials as a result of the nurses strike. We then took her to EKO Hospital, Surulere to have her get some oxygen into her system because on this particular occasion she was too weak to breathe and was practically gasping for breath. After two days of admission at the hospital, we were told her sudden loss of control of breath was as a result of accumulated water in her lungs because she was not passing urine regularly.
Amarachi called on government and well meaning citizens to come to her aid and help raise money for her to undergo a kidney transplant. “I have always dreamt of becoming a doctor one day so that I can save lives; please I plead with my fellow Nigerians to rise towards my cause and donate money so that I would be strong again and continue with my education. I miss school, I miss being who I used to be before my predicament” Amarachi cried.
In a bid to pull all resources towards saving Amarachi’s life, the education and well being of her siblings have been at stake. She has been on admission since last year; the hospital is now her second home. “She is still a little girl and has her life to live and we have tried everything we know just to help save her . I have sold all my valuables and I truly wish I had more, I would do absolutely anything within my reach to save my daughters life.” said the mother
If you are motivated to assist Amarachi, kindly utilise the information below. Ndubuisi Ogbata, Account No. 2011482639, UBA Plc OR Ndubuisi Ogbata, Account No. 1760047055, Skye Bank. Obtain more information through 07031148560, 08028984814