By Damiete Braide
Sitting quietly in a chair in his father’s shop at Onipanu, Lagos State, Kelvin Olamilekan Samora was reading materials online on his phone.
Looking frail and weak, Kelvin was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, which is otherwise known as hole in the heart, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, when he was two years and 10 months in 2012.
Since the diagnosis, Kelvin has been receiving medical attention at the paediatric cardiology unit of the hospital.
Experts describe Tetralogy of Fallot as a congenital heart defect producing cyanosis characterised by four symptoms: pulmonary steriosis, ventricular septal defect, mal position of the aorta over both ventricles and hypermorphy of the right venticles.
According to a medical report signed by consultant paediatrician at LUTH, Dr. Basset P.A., “Kelvin King is almost 11 years old, male of the paediatric cardiology unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. He has clinical and echo confirmed features of the Tetralogy of Fallot and requires evaluation to cardiac surgery.
“He has been referred to Narayana Hrudayalaya Super Specialty Clinic and Diagnostic Centre, Bangalore, India, for the surgery. The cost of the surgery is N10 million and I hereby certify him fit for both local and international air travel.”
His father, Samora King, and his wife, Ruth sold all they had to treat him and when the burden became too much for them, they appealed to well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to help Kelvin travel to India for surgery.
After a publication in The Sun newspaper on January 25, 2012, help came his way and N5 million was raised for the surgery in India in 2013.
According to King, Kelvin’s father, “We travelled to India for surgery on January 13, 2013, because of my son, who has a hole in his heart, then he was still a baby. We came back to Nigeria in February 2013, after the surgery.
“Since then, we have been going to LUTH for checkup. Last year, the hospital told us that we have to travel to India for the final surgery urgently.”
King stated that, due to his son’s condition, he (Kelvin) cannot do any hard work.
“The money needed for the second surgery is N10 million and we don’t want to lose him,” he said.
King recalled that, during the first minor surgery, Kelvin’s heart was patched because of its fragile nature as a baby. If he were five years and above then, the specialist hospital would have performed a permanent surgery.
“But now Kelvin, who will be 11 years next month, needs to do the permanent surgery. We want him to go to school just like every other child,” he said.
King is appealing to the Lagos State government, corporate organisations, churches, mosques and individuals to come to the aid of the family.
He disclosed that they were informed about Kelvin’s next surgery last October and the operation needs to be done before the end of the year.
King is optimistic that, by the grace of God and with the support of kindhearted Nigerians, the money will be raised and Kelvin will travel to India for the final surgery.
In the same vein, Kelvin said he was not happy because he was always on his own, and his dream was to become a medical doctor so that he could treat people who are sick.
Kelvin said: “I want Nigerians to come to my aid so that I can travel to India for the final surgery, get healed and live a normal life like every other child.”
While Kelvin’s father, Mr. Samora King, can be contacted on 08023960301, his mother, Ruth, can be reached on 08082584666.
Donations can be made through Guarantee Trust Bank (GTBank) account in the name of Kelvin King Olamilekan, with number, 0108685308.