By Doris Obinna
Remember Nancy Donald Ukaha? She is the girl with facial tumour diagnosed as psamomatoide juvenile ossifying diroma of maxilla. Her story was published late last year in Daily Sun newspaper.
She is very grateful to all those who contributed and ensured that she underwent a successful major surgery at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State.
Recently, she visited the head office of Sun Publishing with her uncle, Rev. Ande Joseph, to express her appreciation and solicit for help for yet another medical procedure, a corrective surgery. She said that doctors at the UCH had assured them that a facial plastic surgery was attainable.
“We are here to appreciate your good work and to let you know that the money raised for Nancy’s surgery was judiciously used. At the same time, we are using this opportunity to appeal for support to enable her go for the final lap of the surgery, scheduled for tomorrow, March 17, 2017.
“This one is a corrective surgery on the fore head, because her forehead bone was removed after it was affected by the tumour. Plastic surgery would be done on her eyes, nose, mouth and to reshape her face to normal. That will cost about N1 million,” Joseph said.
While thanking Sun Publishing for its efforts, he stated that, “If not for your support, I don’t know what would have happened to Nancy by now. You can see the progress she had made so far and how happy she is,” pointing to his niece’s face. “She can now eat even solid foods without pain; she swallows without stress.”
Noting that Nancy could not go out without covering her face with a scarf, Joseph said, she couldn’t go out alone for fear of how people would react.
“Nancy is always scared to go out alone. If she wants to g o out, she would have to cover her face with a scarf to protect her from the sun and to prevent people from getting alarmed,” he said.
According to Nancy’s medical report, UCH was willing to perform the final lap of the treatment (facial reconstruction). If this was done, Joseph said, there was still hope for Nancy. Her dream of gaining admission into the university to major in Social Welfare would be attainable.
Nancy, 20, hails from Giver Local Government Area of Benue State. She is the third child of Mr. and Mrs. Uºkaha, who are farmers resident in Ibadan.
Daily Sun learnt that her parents discovered the abnormality, which took a heavy toll on her, when she was barely four years old.
Then, the family started noticing some growth on her left cheek. Gradually, what started as a small growth graduated into a huge tumour and began spreading over her face, covering her left eye, nose and mouth; she was left with no option than to drop out of school to seek proper treatment.
“The parents were advised to take her to hospital and they did. But because they could not afford to pay for test and scanning, they had to make do with the drugs prescribed for her, which they were unable to afford,” Joseph said.
Nancy lived on medications for years; her condition was a harrowing experience for her parents, who could barely afford a good meal let alone proper treatment for their ailing daughter. But they did their all and scraped enough money to buy her the drugs.
In June 2015, hope came Nancy’s way when, with the help of her church and family members, she was taken to the National Hospital, Abuja, where she was diagnosed with psamomatoide juvenile ossifying diroma of maxilla, and subsequently admitted for treatment. She underwent surgical procedures and was discharged in October the same year.
However, according to Joseph, the tumour resurfaced, but, instead of giving Nancy hope, doctors advised her parents to look elsewhere for treatment.
Said Joseph: “After the initial operation, we thought all was well because she had a successful surgical operation at the National Hospital, Abuja. So, when the tumour resurfaced, we were surprised that during routine check-up at the Dental and Maxillo Facial Department, she was advised to go elsewhere for treatment. Then confusion set in and we went home.
“Early last year, in May, precisely, she was taken to the Dental and Maxillo Facial Department, UCH, Ibadan, where she was diagnosed of the same psamomatoide juvenile ossifying diroma of maxilla. With the lean financial position of the family, we travelled from Ibadan to Lagos to seek help and finally came to Sun Publishing to make our plight known.”
Daily Sun followed the progress of Nancy, from September 2016, when she was admitted, until she had a successful operation. She still needs to undergo more surgery. Nancy needs help and is appealing to kind-hearted Nigerians to come to her aid to save the situation.
She can be reached on 09072711700 or 07056569190. Account name; Nancy Donald Ukaha, 6238623858, Fidelity Bank Plc.