These are certainly trying times for the family of Mr. Titus Kehinde Olotu. The family, who hails from Owo in Ondo State, has in the last 17 years been battling different sicknesses and other social crises.
Olotu and his wife, Helen, have been united by an unkind fate, sickness, which has impoverished them in no small proportion.
The woman, 52, was evaluated in 2019 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to be suffering from abdominal pelvic mass (Ovarian). She is required to undergo a surgery called exploratory laparotomy so that she could bounce back to life.
It was gathered that her problem started in 2003 when her last child was barely five years old. She said she suddenly started noticing some signs of discomfort in her stomach. Thereafter, she began to experience water gushing out from her navel. It was not too long after that her stomach started protruding like a pregnant woman.
Expectedly, the condition made her uncomfortable, especially knowing that she was not pregnant. When she was taken to the hospital, and it was found out that the problem had nothing to do with pregnancy, it dawned on the entire family that there was serious danger.
According to Mrs. Olotu, she has been to many hospitals to ascertain what the problem really was. But after a series of tests, neither fibroid nor any other thing was found inside her stomach, until 2019 when it was confirmed at LASUTH that her problem is ovarian ailment.
She told Daily Sun that after being diagnosed with the disease, her doctors recommended that surgery be carried out on her womb. But there was another problem: paucity of funds.
“Money became a serious issue. The family could not afford the N300,000.00 for the surgery as at then. Having spent the little we had on tests, drugs and other bills, we could no longer eat, let alone visit the hospital for further checkups.
“So, we began to look for money anywhere we could get it. We printed some papers to seek financial assistance from churches and other places. My husband and I even went to a radio station in Lagos and my case was aired, yet nothing much came out of it,” she said
Mrs. Olotu stated that when help was not forthcoming, her husband started selling his property to raise some money. She also sold her sewing machines, which she had been using for about 30 years. Yet, her problem persisted as the money generated from the property sale was still not enough.
“We were able to gather the sum of N133,000 for the surgery, unfortunately, when we got to LASUTH, they were on strike. They refused to accept any deposit from us and insisted they would not accept any deposit from us until the strike was called off.”
She said that her problem was further compounded when her husband contracted cataract. The sickness has left the man almost blind.
As if that was not enough, in the heat of their health challenges, she said their landlord also gave them a notice to quit.
In his own lamentation, Mr. Olotu explained that when his eye problem became worse, he travelled from Lagos to Akure for surgery, which was not properly done.
“After undergoing the first unsuccessful surgery, I could no longer see with the eye. I was told that if the corrective surgery was not done, it would soon affect the other eye. While looking for money for my wife’s surgery, I began to look for money for my own eye surgery.
“I was shocked when we were given a notice to quit our residence where we have lived for over 15 years. After the notice to quit, the landlord took us to court and we were given till February 2020 to leave or be forcefully ejected. I had to borrow money to secure the place we are staying now to avoid being disgraced,” he said.
He stated that, due to the various challenges he was going through, he could no longer concentrate and function as a tailor.
His words: “Due to my eye challenge, I stayed inside the house for about three months before sourcing the money to do the first unsuccessful surgery. Now, I have the fear that the second eye is being affected due to the delay.”
Olotu said that he was in need of N1.4 million to enable him offset his debt and perform the various surgeries. He said the money could also help in paying his rent and other rehabilitation.
The distraught man said: “I do not have any other means of livelihood, and my children are still learning trades. This is why I am appealing to Nigerians, government, religious and corporate bodies to come to our aid.”
Financial support can be sent to the family through Titus Kehinde Olotu, First Bank; Account Number: 2017713638. The family can also be reached on 08027184418, 09039359751, 08060539881.