His chance of witnessing his first birthday appears slim by the day. In fact, for Nelson Emmanuel Akai to celebrate this Christmas, he needs urgent financial help from kind-hearted Nigerians.
The seven-month old baby has been struck with a congenital heart defect known as hole-in-the-heart disease. His doctors said that the ailment requires urgent medical intervention to correct the life-threatening condition.
At the moment, lying in the paediatric ward of Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, the simple task of breathing has become a tall order for the baby.
His father, Mr Emmanuel Akai told the reporter that his family had spent every kobo they saved on their child, yet his condition keeps deteriorating. According to him, over N600, 000 has been spent on Nelson’s ailment.
His distraught mother, Mrs. Ijeoma Akai, said that the hospital has been their new home for the past few months without knowing how soon they would be discharged.
The medical report dated November 7, and signed by a consultant paediatrician/paediatric cardiologist, Kalu Nnenna reads in part: “Nelson is a male known patient of the cardiology unit of our hospital. He was managed for heart failure, which occurred, as a result of his congenital heart disease, which was confirmed to be complete atrio-ventricular septal defect.
“He also has facies that suggest Down Syndrome.
“He will require further cardiovascular evaluation and open-heart surgery in order to avert irreversible complications and improve his quality of life.”
To make him bounce back to life, the patient’s father said that about N5 million is needed to fly Nelson to a hospital in India for the surgery.
“We spent a month plus at Massey Children, Lagos Island and he was later transferred to Federal Medical centre where we are at the moment. All these are temporary measures because the doctors have advised us that the best thing to do is to have a heart surgery done on him.
“We are pleading with Nigerians to assist us to save our first child from dying. Watching our baby in such pains is very traumatic. Any amount of donation from Nigerians will be appreciated. And if one person is touched to pick up the bill, we will remain grateful forever,” he said.
The Akais can be contacted on 08179653962, 08162037049. Financial assistance can be rendered to the patient through the Zenith Bank account of Emmanuel Akai Nelson. The account number is 2177551439.