By Bilesanmi Olalekan
Procreation, usually, is the joy of every couple. Their prayer is also to have their off-springs outlive them. Good as this wish may be, it is not all parents that will have their children bury them. That is the sad story of Ojo Deborah Oyindamola who may not fulfil her destiny if assistance does not reach her soon. She may have the unfortunate task of burying her child. ‘Joy rolls into wealth’ as the child’s name, Oyindamola, implies. What is joyful in a child that you know may not be able to fulfil her days? And how ironic can life be when the drugs of less than N10, 000 a month become a luxury, yet, you are supposed to be rolling in wealth? This is not a pronouncement though, but if help does not reach Oyindamola as soon as possible, the ‘unthinkable’ may come to pass.
Oyindamola is down with symptomatic congenital heart disease otherwise known as a hole in the heart. A letter by Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), signed by Professor C.A.N. Okoromah and dated September 24, 2018, explains the baby’s condition: “The above named 14-month-old female infant is a known patient of the paediatric cardiology unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi- Araba. The clinical evaluation indicated that she has symptomatic congenital heart disease, which was confirmed by echocardiography to consist of moderate-sized patent ductus arteriosus, small Secundum atrial septal defect, enlarged left atrium and ventricle and mild tricuspid regurgitation. She will require a further cardiovascular evaluation and possible open heart surgery to correct her heart defects in order to forestall irreversible and life-threatening complications.
“The disease was first noticed shortly after she was delivered. Her breathing was not normal.”
More than that, her chest was swollen, recalled the father, Ojo, an aluminium vendor at Dopemu, Lagos.
He went on, “We immediately returned her to the General Hospital, Igando where she was born.
“There, the hospital said, it was beyond them and gave us a note to Lagos University Teaching Hospital where we were promptly attended to. And we have been at it ever since.
“Though we were told at the beginning that the only option for us was to have an open heart operation on her, we cannot afford it.
“Even if we dispose of all our belongings (clothing, motorcycle, 32-inch television, bed-sized fridge and two chairs), there is no way we can raise the money for such operation.
“We had to put everything to God, hoping for a miracle to happen”.
Oyindamola needs to be alive for the treatment to be effective. She must consistently be on medication. That medication is costing Ojo about N10, 000 every month.
“The drugs to manage her condition pending operation appear to have reached the end”, the father lamented.
“The doctors said the only way out, which must be urgently done, is to have the operation done as they cannot guarantee what may happen to her from now going forward.
“This is why I am outside, appealing for public assistance. I don’t want my girl to die. I have done everything humanly possible but none has been able to pull us out of this problem.
“I have two other children, both males, she is the only female. Her mother is not different from me. She was into petty trading before we started this journey. I was into aluminium at Dopemu. The shop has since been empty because everything I was making was going into her medication.
“Now, her siblings have been withdrawn from the private school, hoping to enrol them in government school next term”.
N3m bill has been given to Ojo if he wants to his daughter alive.
It is obvious that he does not have that kind of money. He appeals to public-spirited Nigerians to help his daughter to live. All assistance can the father’s account – 0168982267. GTBank. Ojo Michael Omodayo.