By CHIOMA OBINNA
IT is said that when a person shows gratitude for a good deed, he or she is likely to obtain another. This may have moved Abochi and Ngozi Tom to show gratitude for the good deed done to their son, Chiedubem – who was once a hole- in- the- heart patient, but has been completely cured.
In a thank you message to Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, all well-meaning Nigerians and Vanguard, the family expressed great joy about the role played by all concerned who came to their rescue when they needed help most.
The family returned from MOIT Hospital, India, where the little boy had undergone successful corrective heart surgery.
On April 24, 2012, Vanguard’s Good Health Weekly published Chiedubem’s story. He was diagnosed of a congenital heart disease three days after birth. Evidences from various medical examinations conducted on him revealed he had a hole-in-the heart.
From when this discovery was made, hospital visits became an everyday affair. The search for redemption took them to the Kanu Heart Foundation where Chiedubem was listed as Number 100.
With efforts to save the boy’s life in Nigeria not yielding defined results, subsequently, he was referred to India for further treatment.
Faced with this challenge, his parents, Abochi and Ngozi had gone all out, cap-in-hand in search of help, but found none. But, they remained resolute in their effort to save the life of their son.
Their search for urgent assistance brought them to Vanguard,and their story was eventually published. The story went viral, drawing attention from home and abroad.
People contributed generously, even non-Nigerians joined the appeal to raise the desired fund to save Chiedubem. A few Nigerians in the Diaspora displayed uncommon concern and affection.
Narrating their son’s successful healing, Ngozi said: “Our ray of hope started when Vanguard described in its publication how we had written to the Abia State Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Theodore Orji for assistance and how bureaucratic bottlenecks made it impossible for our appeal letter to get to the Governor.”
Further, she recalled how the Governor’s daughter read the story and drew her father’s attention to the boy’s plight. Ngozi also narrated how the Governor, after reading the story, invited the family to Aba and donated the sum of N2.5 million – the actual sum needed for the boy’s surgery.
Ngozi described Orji’s donation as a demonstration of responsiveness towards issues affecting his people.
Confirming that Chiedubem is now in a perfect condition, she said: “May I use this medium to express my profound appreciation for giving my son opportunity to live again.
Some other Nigerians who she specially recognised for their contribution included; Ekwe Ezige who resides in Chicago in the United States of America; Mr. Kennedy living in Israel; Angola-based Mr. Michael, and from South Africa, Mr. Michael as well as Mr. Chinedu Orji.
As Ngozi recalled: “No day passed by without a telephone call from them for an update on the boy’s condition and success made. We are particularly very grateful to them all and beg The Almighty God to bless their endeavors in Jesus name. Amen.
Further, Ngozi recalled the plight of one Mr. Aremo Olusegun Aremo, an Ogun State-born Nigerian who resides in the United States of America.
“When Aremo read the story of my son’s predicament he flagged it off on his Facebook Wall, contacted his friends and moved them to make contributions for the surgery. May God richly bless him.”