By Providence Emmanuel

THE father of nine-year-old Alao Basit Lekan, has appealed to governments, philanthropists and well-meaning Nigerians for N5 million needed for the correction of Lekan’s rheumatic heart disease with congestive cardiac failure.

According to report made available by the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Lekan was presented in the hospital 10 months ago with history of recurrent cough, chest pain, easy fatigability, palpitation, difficulty in breathing, abdominal pain and bilateral legs swelling.

The report signed by Consultant Paediatrician/Paediatric Cardiologist, Dr. B.A. Animasahun, said a diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease (mitral and aortic valves involvement) with congestive cardiac failure was made and he was placed on anti-failure medications, low dose aspirin with benzathine penicillin every three weeks.

He said the boy was subsequently discharged but had recurrent hospital admissions and managed for congestive cardiac failure and arrhythmia during which oral propanolol and digoxin were added to his medications.


Doctor’s verdict

Animasahun said: “On examination, he was conscious, tachypneic, had displaced apex beat, tender hepatomegaly and grade 4/6 pansystolic murmur radiating to the axillae with a gallop rhythm.

“Echocardiograph showed aneurismal dilation of the left atrium, prolapsed of the anterior mitral valve, thickened mitral valve leaflets, dilated left ventricle, thickened aortic valve leaflet, moderate mitral regurgitation and mild pulmonary artery hypertension.”

However, he said the boy is being followed up in clinic and will require surgical intervention.

Also speaking, father of the boy, Mr. Sulaimon Alao, who pleaded for help to save his son’s life, said his nine-year-old son was diagnosed on May 27, as having serious Pneumatic heart disease by Dr. Animasahun in LASUTH.

Alao, who is a driver by profession, said: “The diagnosing doctor told me that my son’s disease was rare, complex, dangerous and the only way out is to transfer him abroad for quick operation.

“This put me and my wife in serious despair. I am a driver who is financially handicapped and from a poor family. Hence, it is impossible for me to afford international medical expenses.

“Therefore, I am seeking assistance from governments and the public which are the only opportunities for my son.

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