‘We never believed baby with hole in the heart could survive’

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By Kehinde Adeleye

Children, as they say, are the heritage of God. It is actually the dream of every parent to have children, especially in this part of the world where much emphasis is also placed on child-bearing. Again, considering the period at which a woman carries a baby, coupled with the pains of child birth, she is always thrown into ecstasy when the innocent creature arrives, just as there is a sigh of relief.  However, in a situation where the child comes with certain health challenges such that the arrival of the innocent creature ironically provokes bitterness and discomfort in a family rather than herald joy, then the baby becomes a source of worry to the parents and by extension, the larger family.

*The survivor sleeps on mother’s laps

*The survivor sleeps on mother’s laps

The above captures the story of Chief and Mrs. Olatubosun Miller   whose baby boy was, for a long time, anything but a bundle of joy. The parents had almost lost hope on the boy until succor came from the caring heart government of Ondo State.  Succour did not just come the way of Mrs Miller; she followed medical counsel and by utilizing all the facilities available at the state Mother and Child Hospital, Akure.

While she carried the pregnancy, she often visited the hospital for antenatal. Immediately after delivery, it was discovered that the baby had a hole in the heart. Consequently, baby Miller became the most popular patient in the paediatric ward of the Mother and Child Hospital after spending four months there. Luck, however, smiled on the family when the government of Ondo State intervened in their situation.

News of the Mimiko government plan to take the child to India for surgery initially sounded unreal to the family. According to a member of the family, “It was like a dream when the family heard of government’s plan to take the little child to India for urgent surgery.

“Not only that, a paediatrician was to be sponsored to accompany the child alongside the mother. Events that unfolded afterwards was a confirmation that God had remembered us for good by laying it in the heart of government to take over the treatment of little Eminirekan.”

According to Dr Abiodun Ajayi in charge of the boy’s treatment, he was brought to the hospital in October, 2012 at the age of one.  It was later discovered that he had a hole in his heart with congenital heart disease.  “The boy is very lucky.  This kind of case is rare and that is why we thank God for the success of this one.  It will interest you that the story of the boy attracted the attention of a local newspaper in India,” Ajayi said.

Back in Nigeria with Eminirekan hale and hearty, his parents visited the office of the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, to express their gratitude.  According to the father of the child, the Olu of Olokuta, Chief Olatubosun Miller, the boy could have died if not for the prompt attention and intervention of Ondo State government.

The mother, Mrs. Mary Miller, could not hide her joy either, as she declared that the successful surgery had brought smiles to the faces of members of the family.

Receiving them, the Commissioner said the gesture was part of the caring heart attitude of the administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko which has continued to give succor and comfort to people with medical challenges. Adeyanju appealed to pregnant women in the state to take full advantage of the Mother and Child Hospitals for quality treatment.

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