By Sola Ogundipe
Since her birth on March 5, 2019, little Awesome Nwaeze, the third child and 1st daughter of Ikenna and Joyce Nwaeze has been troubled by series of health problems that have kept her in and out of hospital.
As you read this, little Awesome is battling for her life. The 7-month-old infant has been diagnosed with a symptomatic congenital heart disease confirmed by clinical evaluation at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, idi Araba, Lagos.
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In layman’s terms, Awesome has a hole-in-the heart. Her heart did not form normally while she was growing as a foetus in her mother’s womb. As a result, she is always sick and in hospital.
Her parents are constantly running from pillar to post to ensure their bundle of joy survives the ordeal.
Only a corrective heart surgery can give Awesome a new lease of life. But there is a snag. Her parents must urgently raise N4 million to enable their beloved daughter undergo the life-saving procedure.
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A medical report signed by Dr Ogochukwu J. Shokunbi of the Department of Paediatrics, LUTH, noted that Awesome, a known patient of the paediatric cardiology unit of the hospital, was confirmed by echocardiography to have a large patent ductus arteriosus with left atrial and left ventricular volume overload, no plumonary hypertension.
Sokunbi, a Consultant Paediatrician/Paediatric cardiologist said Äwesome will require further cardiovascular evaluation and possible open heart surgery to correct her heart defects in order to forestall irreversible and life threatening complications.
Awesome who weighed 3.1 kg at birth and currently weighs in at 6.9kg, is expected to recover fully after the surgery. Her father, Ikenna, told Good Health Weekly that the problem was first noticed shortly after Awesome was born.
“I run a small private business but all of my earnings and savings have been expended on looking after the baby. My wife has also had to resign from her work so that she can look after her full time. We cannot put her in a creche because of her condition.”
Speaking fom the baby’s bedside at the LUTH, Joyce, the mother, said the ordeal has been overwhelming. Awesome hardly breastfeeds, and tires easily.
“Awesome has been having series of weakness, breathlessness, restlessness and general weakness.
“Her breath comes very fast, she lacks appetite and cannot suck the breast properly. she coughs constantly and even when she manages to suck a little, she vomits everything.”
Further, Joyce said the baby is always crying. “She has been having pneumonia and has undergone series of blood transfusions. She gets tired easily. “When she was nine weeks old, the problem which regularly kept me away from work, so I was advised to resign.”
Pleading for assistance, Ikenna and Joyce are urging all Nigerians to come to their daughter’s aid.
“The physician at the LUTH is assisting us and would connect us with a specialist hospital where the surgery will be carried out as soon as we can raise the money.
We pray that Nigerians come to our aid to help raise the N4 million to help save Awesome. If you wish to assist Awesome, kindly send you donations to Awesome Nwaeze, GT Bank 0480068203. Call 08055370966, 07060864811 for further details.