…Needs N4.5m for surgical correction
Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
A Few years ago, Mr. Fatai Yusuf, a 60-year-old resident of Lameda Street, Magbon, Lagos, had no idea that he would one day be tormented by cancer. But in March 2015, he discovered a blockage in his anal canal.
At the moment, this father of four, who hails from Ojoku town in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State, is fighting the battle of his life against rectal cancer.
According to medical experts, colorectal cancer is the third most-common type of cancer, making up about 10 per cent of all cases. It requires early and careful surgical treatment.
In a sustained effort to win the battle in earnest, Fatai has visited many private hospitals, and even the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos, for treatment.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, he shared a chilly tale of his ordeal and how lack of finance was contributing to his deteriorating health.
“It just started with a clear symptom of diarrhoea. Then, I went to a hospital in Mushin area of Lagos. The doctor there attended to me and later recommended that I should go for a scan for proper diagnosis.
“After a month, the result came out and it was confirmed that I had rectal cancer. That was the genesis of the ailment. At that stage, I was having difficulties passing both urine and stool because of the development,” Fatai said.
Since the discovery, Fatai has been running from pillar to post in search of a cure. His search for relief has taken him to various private hospitals within Lagos but no help has come his way.
“It was at that point that I met another doctor at Ikotun, Egbe, Lagos. He suggested that I should begin to use an alternative for easy passage of stool and urine.
“I was fixed with two pipes through my right abdomen. I was also placed on capsule treatment but all of that made no difference to my situation,” he said.
A medical report from LUTH indicated that Fatai sought medical solution to his challenge in the hospital but was unsuccessful because the only specialised machine meant for the treatment of rectal cancer was faulty.
He said: “I also encountered another doctor who advised me to go to Eko Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, where the machine was available but I was unable to raise the medical bill at the time.
“Shortly after, I got a referral letter from my first doctor who assured me that Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, OsunState, could perform a correction surgery with about N4.5 million.”
Fatai, who is a petty trader, lamented that he was compelled to sell off his wares to raise money for his treatment.
He said, now, he is left with no option than to appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians for financial assistance to undergo treatment at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital.
Corroborating her husband on his predicament, Mrs. Kudirat Yusuf noted that he had spent their entire life savings hoping to get a cure but to no avail.
Daily Sun learnt that Mrs. Yusuf, a housewife, has been saddled with the additional task of taking care of her husband by cleaning his stool and urine, which stream out uncontrollably from the pipes fixed to his abdomen.
In a voice laden with emotion, Mrs. Yusuf appealed for help to end the life-threatening challenge her husband was facing.
“We have spent close to N2 million to perform the minor surgery at an early stage but they were unsuccessful. We have no alternative now than to make appeals to good-spirited Nigerians for financial help to enable him perform this surgery, before the problem gets out of hand,” she said.
Those wishing to help Fatai can send their contributions through Yusuf Olugbogi Fatai, Ecobank Plc account number 3791010767. He can be reached on 08023318474.