…Urgently needs assistance for surgery
By SIJIBOMI OYEDEPO-FATAYO
FOR being born with male and female organs, 29-year-old Oluwaseun Samuel Fajilade, a student of the School of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, life has been one long psychological trauma of being used as a ‘guinea pig’ for training medical students.
Seun, whose pathetic condition is medically known as Disorders of Sex Development was born to the family of Mr. Babatunde and Mrs. Kehinde Fajilade on March 16,1987 at Onikan Health Centre, Lagos State.
At the time of his birth, doctors told his parents that his gender could not be clearly distinguished. Within a few hours, the parents were referred to Massey hospital, a specialist health facility for children on Lagos Island, where new baby was admitted.
According to Oluwaseun’s father, Mr. Babatunde Fajilade, doctors at the hospital after examining Baby Seun that night, informed the parents that his case was beyond what they could handle. The next morning, the family was referred to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba, where he was on admission for a week for evaluation before being discharged for the naming ceremony to be done.
After the naming ceremony, the family returned to LUTH.
Recalling those days, Seun’s father told Sunday Sun: “We spent about four months there going up and down for diagnosis, tests and x-rays. At times, more than 20 clinical students would surround him, as he was being used for practical learning.”
Expectedly, that infuriated Babatunde, but he endured it all in the hope that it could somehow lead to solution of the congenital developmental problem of his son.
For the first five years of Seun’s life, his father said that he had no testicles as the doctor told the family that an operation to correct that could only be done when he was six years old. When he clocked six, the operation was done and one of the testes descended into the scrotum. At age 12, the second operation was done to make the second testis to descend.
But more troubles beset Seun when his breasts began to enlarge like that of girl reaching puberty. This development made the parents to panic and headed back to the hospital and another round of tests, x-rays, and other diagnoses that were done.
“We did that for some years. At a time, the hospital visits began to affect his education. He could not go to school. We would get to the hospital in the morning and they won’t attend to us until evening. It took more than four years before doctors at LUTH eventually told us the way forward. The professor in charge said our child could undergo surgery that would make to be either male or female but the possibility of conception would be slim.
When doctors asked Babatunde which sex he would prefer Seun be, he opted for him to be a male child because he was given a male name at his christening, and he could not turn around to re-introduce the child as a female again. But the doctor said he should go home to think about it properly, stressing that it would be better to opt for a female to lessen cost.
“I told the doctor I would prefer my son to be my son. He said no. We should go home and think deeply on it because to lessen our cost, he advised us to opt for female since he was already developing bust. But I said No! I have studied him well enough. He should be a man but if any higher report advises against that, I have no choice. I just want him to have a normal life.”
In quest for a solution to the predicament, Babatunde said the family had been to various churches.
“We kept hearing of different churches that performed miracles. We went to Ori-oke, we went somewhere and spent over a year there with the boy sleeping on a mat. But in all, we never went to any traditionalist or alfa.
Babatunde described Oluwaseun’s childhood as a sweet and bitter experience. The primary school days were okay, but when Seun got to secondary school and became aware he had a problem, he started to withdraw. He loved playing football but today he does not play anymore or socialize with anyone. Seun lost admission to Yaba College of Technology, where he wanted to study Banking and Finance but didn’t make all the papers and was asked to withdraw. After staying at home and toying with the idea of going to Ogun State Polytechnic School, the father sent Seun to another school in Ekiti.
Through providence, Mr. Oluwaseun David Funmilayo, chief executive of Divine Favor Foundation, learnt about the family through Mr. Kunle Pedro, one of their friends. David said that after visiting the family, and speaking with them, he made independent inquiries at LUTH, where he obtained the medical records of Seun. According to the doctors, the male organ is the dominant one and can be corrected. He gathered from the doctors that the breast could be ingested and the female organ closed while the penis would be pumped out. The doctor further disclosed that it would take about two or three surgeries for the condition to be corrected. For this reason, the family and the foundation are seeking assistance from public-spirited individuals and companies.
When Sunday Sun visited the family at their home in Ogun State, Seun was not at home as he was in school. At a time when his fellow students are frolicking with the opposite sex, Seun has been consigned to a solitary life with no close friends, let alone a girlfriend.
Individuals who wish to help should contact the family on this number: 08039644799.