By CHIOMA OBINNA
Currently, he has lost his right limb to the disease which cancer experts at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, described as right lower limb osteosarcome.
The sight of Joseph at the Children Cancer Ward of LUTH last week, could unlock even hearts made of stone. He wants to playfoot ball like every other active child but that is impossible now. At nine, he has been confined on a hospital bed for months. He dropped out of school as a result of his condition.
Though, his parents have sold all they have to raise money for initial treatment which included the amputation of the same leg, the wound has refused to heal. Doctors have recommended another amputation with further treatments which would cost N3 million.Unfortunately, his parents, Pastor and Mrs Sunday Olorunlagbara cannot afford the amount needed for the life saving procedure.
According to the father, Sunday, his school mate pushed him while on break at school and he broke his femur bone. He said a traditional bone-setter treated him and Joseph was on his feet again by December 2011.
But the worse happened when Joseph couldn’t get up to undress himself on January 10, 2012, the day he was supposed to see the bonesetter.
“The shock discovery we noticed was that the leg had become shorter than the other one. So, I contacted Dr Segun Odunaike at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos (NOHIL) and he instructed that a Plaster of Paris (POP) should be cast on the leg.
After that, my son couldn’t sleep all through the night. The following day, I took him back to the hospital and the POP was removed and part of his diseased bone was removed for pathological analysis. After the test, it was discovered that my son had cancer of the bone,’” he said.
The doctor recommended Dr Samuel Eyesan of Bowen University, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, “who asked us to take the sample to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, and after 21 days the histological report showed that my son has high grade osteosarcoma.
“That was when they ordered my son’s leg to be amputated. But the leg became swollen again after about two months. So, we did magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and they asked for further amputation, but I protested that what has been cut was close to his buttock and they saw reasons with me. And a team of experts met and agreed that we should place him on radiotherapy.
Today, the only option is amputation which we can no longer raise money for. I am appealing to Nigerians and corporate organisations to please save my son’s life. If you are touched by Joseph’s story, please send your donation to account number: Olorunlagbara Sunday: UBA 2001112603 or call him on 07031661803, 07084290066 and 08074842799.