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Baby born with sealed eye seeks N0.5m for surgery

By Akpokona Omafuaire

The Omonigho family of Ughoton, Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State, is facing a huge challenge in the bid to save Emmanuel Oghenetejiri, the 4-month-old second child of the couple’s four-year marital union.

babyEmmanuel was healthy at birth, but for his left eye that was completely sealed up. This strange condition drained the joy of having a new son, and put fear into the hearts of the parents.

They became apprehensive each passing day as the boy grew with  the sealed eye bulging out causing him pains and discomfort.

The unemployed parents went in search of expert medical help on advice from Jeddo Health Centre, place of the boy’s birth. The search which began at the Ekpan Central hospital continued to Delta State Teaching Hospital, Oghara. There, they were told that solution to their son’s problem was at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, but would cost  N500,000.

Parents’ ordeal

Narrating his ordeal in a chat with Good Health Weekly, , Emmanuel’s father, Elvis Omonigho, 31, said it is the quest to raise this sum that has driven the young couple to seek  assistance from the public.

“When my wife was pregnant, she registered in the government health centre, and also attended native birth care. But I was surprised when she delivered,  one of the bay’s eyes was sealed completely.

“At  Oghara we started spending money and they told us that for the situation to be resolved; it requires surgery and that can only be done at the University College Hospital Ibadan, UCH at a cost of about N500,000. When I heard this, my heart failed me because there is no work, things are so hard now.

“We made all efforts to get help from the state government but we were prevented from getting access by officials who said the government was broke. We went to some churches too but  no help.

“So while I was brooding over the situation, someone advised me to go to the media in order to reach out to good citizens who may be touched to help my son out of his present condition.

“I was given assurances that if we can raise the money my son’s life will be saved. I am a bricklayer with no father to assist me. Now it is rainy season and there is no patronage, things are very hard with my family. My son is just four months now.

We have gone to many places to seek for help for our son we went to one hospital in Ekpan where they gave us the UCH Doctor’s number and we called and he promised that they can handle the situation if we can raise the money. All the hospitals we have visited directed us to UCH, this is what has given us hope to seek assistance.

“We have spent so much money looking for solution to this eye problem, even to the point of borrowing. My son does not have other problems apart from the eye issue. He is very energetic and playful. We have two children, a girl and this boy. We have been married for four years now.”

Also speaking, Emmanuel’s mother, Blessing, 27, and a hairdresser,  said the boy is constantly in pain. Blessing who is native of Ugbowo in Benin-City, pleaded for assitance from government and public spirited Nigerians.

“I noticed that the baby is feeling pains in the eye whenever I try to touch it. He feels pains and cries. I want the  Nigerians to help me with money to save my son. We are almost hopeless and cannot raise the money  ourselves but I know someone will be touched to help us. I have cried to my family members in Benin-City but no hope yet.”

Blessing said her church promised to help but it is a  small congregation and has no  money.

“We don’t want to lose our son. I believe in God as a Christian and I know that God will raise help from anywhere.

“I named him Emmanuel Oghenetejiri Omonigho because I know God is with us in this problem, also I feel that the boy is a special child. God will not disappoint me.”

If you are touched, kindly send your donation to Emmanuel Omonigho, UBA  2084561978. For more details, call  08028271401, 08056639818



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