Edwin Ugwunali is a Lagos-based trader who deals in clothing. After his day’s business, he would retire to the church for the weekday worship and other activities.
One fateful day in 2000, he returned from his business and decided to go for his usual church fellowship near his residential area in Ago, Okota, Lagos. But while crossing the road, he became the victim of an auto accident that damaged his two legs.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he spent some time before he was referred to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, in 2003. At Igbobi, pieces of iron were inserted in his two legs to enable him walk again. But after some years, the iron broke and caused him serious pain.
“When the pain became so severe that I could no longer walk, my elder brother rallied round, raised more money and took me back to Igbobi and they put other pieces of iron in my legs,” he said.
Presently, the iron inserted in his legs at Igbobi has broken again, thereby causing him unbearable pain. He can no longer move, even with crutches.
Ugwunali said: “My family and church members have been of great assistance to me throughout these years of pain and suffering. Even as I am using crutches and with the iron in my legs, I have managed to fend for myself a little bit. But now, that I can no longer move, as a result of the pain the broken iron in my legs have subjected me to, it has become a serious challenge for me. So, when I cried out, my family and church members decided to take it up by taking me to Clinix Health, a private hospital in Lagos. There, an X-ray was done on both femur and AP lateral and an old left femoral distal diaphyseal fracture was seen. And I was told by the doctor that I will walk and live a normal life again after the surgery.”
According to the X-ray result signed by one of the consultant radiologists, Dr. V.O. Oyedepo, “the fracture surfaces are poorly apposed, blunted and sclerosed, consistent with non-union.”
Oyedepo also observed that the distal fragment “is anteromedically angulated and overlapped, causing foreshortening of Ugwunali’s limb. No significant callus formation was seen, but multiple well-defined cortical lucency’s are observed, suggestive of previous plate and screw reduction.”
The report further stated: “The X-ray result also shows that background osteopenia of the demonstrated bones is observed, which is related to disuse.Midshaft right tibiofibular fracture is seen, with plate and screw reduction of the tibia component. Fracture surfaces are poorly apposed, blunt and scleroses consistent with non-union. Also, the distal fragment is antero laterally angulated. Background osteopenia of the demonstrated bones is observed, which is related to disuse.”
Ugwunali said the surgery and rehabilitation would cost about N3 million. He is pleading with individuals, government, corporate bodies, religious groups and non-governmental organisations to help him raise the funds for immediate surgery and quick recovery.
“I have been in this challenge for about 19 years now and it has cost me so many things. In fact, I need to recover, get married and build my own family,” he said.
A Pastor in Edwin’s church, who pleaded anonymity, explained the efforts made by the church so far in ensuring that the patient gets better.
“He went to Igbobi for treatment, but they could not handle his case. We have been supporting him in the little way we could for so many years. And now the case is like this: we plan to help in the surgery by contacting a medical expert in one of the hospitals in Lagos, who said he could do the surgery, but the financial implication is beyond us and his family,” he said.
He expressed regrets that the 50-year-old man was yet to get married due to physical challenges, saying, “He really needs support to bounce back as a man.”
All financial assistance should be sent to Edwin Ugwunali Chikaodi’s account at Sterling Bank, with account number 0008685277. His FCMB account number is 2855390012. He may be reached on 07069726095 and 08088261322.