While millions of children were observing the 2013 Children’s Day at various locations across the country, five Nigerian children with different surgical problems were reeling in pains at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH.
These five children; Blessing Olatunji, Nathaniel Oboh, Abdulahi Balogun, Raji Nofisat and Glory Joseph have one thing in common. They are all indigent and require urgent life – saving surgeries. Unfortunately, their parents cannot afford the cost of surgery.
Some have spent months in the hospital while their parents run from pillar to post to raise the required hospital bills. But only a miracle could have provided this life saving surgeries. Just last week, this miracle manifested through a US-based Philanthropist, Dr. Oluyemi Olawaiye.
This large hearted Nigerian paid for the surgeries of these five children even though he has never met them or known their parents.
Olawaiye, who is a Clinical Pharmacist, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Centre, was on a visit to LASUTH in commemoration of this year’s Children’s Day when he heard about their cases and took interest in their plight and eventually cleared their hospital bills.
Blessing was operated for colostomy post PSARP, (closure of colostomy), Nathaniel; left Inguinoscrotal Hernia, Glory; Soft Tissue Mass, Nofisat; Anorectal Malformation with rectovestibular fistula and Balogun for Hirschsprings disease. Those who know Olawaiye better may not be too surprised about this extra ordinary show of kindness. It would not be the first time such gesture would be exhibited, as the Founder of YELOTO Foundation,a philanthropic organisation focused on children issues.
For the parents of these children it was a miracle. Narrating his ordeal, one of the parents of the children, Mr. Godwin Oboh said:”I was relieved when my wife broke the news to me. It all began when we discovered that her appendix which has been there for some time now has swollen and we immediately rushed her to the hospital. Getting here, we were asked to pay for an urgent surgery but we did not have money.
I have gone to all my friends and family members but all I got was that month has not ended. But getting to the hospital this morning, my wife told me that someone has paid for the surgery and already my daughter has been wheeled into the theatre. I thank YETOO for saving me from this shame.”
Another parent, Mr. Adelaja Olatunji said: “YELOTO has wiped away our tears.” According to him, Blessing ordeal started on the day of her naming ceremony and since then, she has underwent two surgeries and this last one, making it three. “We were referred from Badagry General Hospital to LASUTH but today, God has given us a reason to smile.
YELOTO is God’s sent and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Reacting to the gesture, the Founder of YELOTO, Dr. Oluyemi Olawaiye who explained that the gesture was part of the Foundation’s activities to mark this year’s Children’s Day said it is time for well- to-do Nigerians stand up for the Nigerian children without depending on international donor agencies.
Olawaiye said he was touched when he discovered that a particular child has stayed over four months in the hospital without treatment because the family could not afford to pay for the diagnosis.
“As Nigerians, our motto is that it takes a village to raise a child. So even in cases a mother cannot pay for her child it doesn’t mean that the child should be allowed to die.”
Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Wale Oke described the gesture as noble. He called on other Nigerians to come to the aid of other indigent patients in the hospital.