By Chioma OBINNA
When 65-year-old Modupe Alimi walked into the corporate head office of Vanguard Newspapers, Lagos, in the company of her 18-year-old daughter, it was evident all was not well with the duo. Although, her 18-year-old daughter, Aminat, looked hale and hearty, the continuous flow of tears down her cheeks said it all.
From the security post where this reporter was asked to meet the duo before walking them down to the reception, Aminat never stopped sobbing.
To the average bystander, Aminat was merelyreacting naturally like any child who would not want her mother to die because her family cannot afford N1.5 million needed for a life – saving surgery at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
Modupe is suffering from a heart disorder doctors at LASUTH describe as Aortic Incompetence – A condition in which blood from the aorta (large blood vessel) flows back into the left ventricle because of the incapacity of the aortic valve. Unfortunately, due to her age, if nothing urgent is done, doctors warn Modupe might be courting heart failure and certain death.
Modupe who resides at Salamatu Street Ilasa, Lagos was said to have been coping, for several years, with high blood pressure, a leading cause of cardiovascular ill health. Unfortunately, little did the family know the chronic high blood pressure could lead to a more serious problem.
Modupe’s illness started like mere breathing problem. Like any other Nigeria family struggling to make ends meet, she never bordered about going further to inquire what exactly is wrong with her since they family goes the extra mile to put food on the table.
She continued to manage the problem coupled with her high blood pressure. Precisely three years ago, the worst happened. The problem became un-manageable. She started feeling general weakness. She throws up whatever she takes in.
To worsen the situation, Modupe’s husband, supposed to be the bread winner of the family is currently also helpless. He is almost blind.
Just like in any other community in this part of the world, Modupe’s first son, who is about 30 years old is crippled. Right now, Modupe has nobody to assist in the family as her other children are either apprentices or still in school.
Narrating her mother’s ordeal, Aminat, with tears flowing freely stated: “We are helpless. We have no one to turn to and I do not want my mother to die.”
The Ogun state-born lady, said it all started like a dream when my mother was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure. Since then, life has not been the same with her”
We have tried all we could, but the doctors said my mother requires a life saving operation for her to live a normal life.”
Comfort who stated that the family has exhausted all they have following series of tests, scans and x-rays to find out Modupe’s real problem said in a week, the family spends an average of N30, 000 on drugs only despite the financial difficulty.
“We need at least N1.5 million according to the doctors because one of her kidneys is affected and need to be flushed out.
Having spent so much on drugs without solution, Aminat is appealing to Nigerians, corporate organisations, Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola and Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel to come to her aid. “My father is partially blind, my eldest brother who is 30 years of age is battling with a leg problem and another of my brother has taken to roadside begging. Please help,” she pleaded amidst tears.
If you are touched by Modupe Alimi’s story, save a soul by calling the Vangyuard Editor.