All is not well with 36-year-old Kehinde Akanbi, as he is currently battling to stay alive.
Akanbi, a generator repairer, has been diagnosed with filariasis, which has in the last 13 years ravaged his leg and turned his life upside down.
Despite his travails, Akanbi, who hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State, is optimistic that he would bounce back to life to achieve his dreams. But this, he said, would only be possible if he gets assistance from well-meaning Nigerians.
When our reporter visited him at his family house in Ajah, Lagos, it was discovered that Akanbi’s right leg had grown bigger than the other. The reporter gathered that the leg itches him occasionally, which forces him to scratch the swollen limb, causing several sores. The mere sight of him and the stench oozing from the leg irritates everyone, including Akanbi himself.
Narrating his ordeal, Akanbi said the situation started like a fever one night in 2006, 13 years ago. When he woke up the following day, he said, he noticed that the leg was itching him and he felt some hot sensation in the leg. His mother sent for a nurse who gave him some injections to stop the fever.
But rather than get relief, Akanbi’s right leg began to swell. He was taken to the Military Hospital, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, for treatment.
Akanbi said, before the incident, he had trained as a generator repairer and had started his own business.
He recalled that he has been in and out of various hospitals for treatment. At a point, he was on admission at the Military Hospital.
When the problem recurred after he had been discharged from the hospital, his mother took him to Abeokuta to meet his father, a military officer. The family also tried traditional treatment and visited various churches for prayers, all to no avail.
Three years ago, he came back to Lagos and was advised to go to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). There, he did a series of tests and it was diagnosed that there were filarial worms in the leg.
His father sold his land and other belongings in a bid to raise money for him to get proper treatment. But the family could not find a cure for the ailing leg and the old man eventually died broken-hearted.
In an emotional tone, Akanbi said: “I want Nigerians to come to my aid. This sickness is killing me. I am a generator repairer and I am not a lazy youth. I want to stand on my feet once again and fulfil my heart desires in life.”
His mother, Juliana, added: “We have been to different churches for prayers but all to no avail. In the course of running around, I had an accident on a motorcycle. My leg got broken and I was treated. But I now walk around with folding pulpit frames. I now stay at home while my children take Akanbi to LUTH every month for treatment.”
She disclosed that, as a trader, she had to sell all her goods in a bid to raise money for her son’s treatment.
“At LUTH, the doctors said Akanbi needs urgent treatment and the family should look for N20 million for proper medical care in India, where he would be properly treated,” she said.
She appealed to concerned Nigerians as well as the Lagos State government and the Federal Government to help the family so that Akanbi might live.
“After learning the handcraft, Akanbi has been taking care of me. But with this sickness now, he can’t take care of me anymore. His siblings are the ones now taking care of us,” she said.
Akanbi can be reached on 08023763169 while donations can be made through his twin sister’s account at GTBank. The account name is Akanbi Taiwo Juliana and the account number 0018109172.