From Magnus Eze, Abuja
For Onyekachi and Edith Onah, who live in Kurudu, in the Jikwoyi area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), these are distressing times. Their three-year-old son, Victor, was on May 3, 2013, diagnosed as having a hole in his heart. And since the discovery, anxiety now pervades the home of the couple that hails from Amechi Umuitodo in Obollo Afor, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The distraught mum narrated: “I started noticing that his breathing was not normal right from the day I gave birth to him. But it became glaring two months after, because instead of adding weight, the baby became even thinner. At that point, we started going to Karishi and Nyanya General Hospitals and the Customs Clinic but they could not dictate what was wrong with him.
“It was when he was a year and two months old that doctors at the National Hospital diagnosed and saw that he has two holes in the heart and enlargement of the heart.”
Since then, the family has been moving Victor from one hospital to another. Right now, Edith has become very distressed because of what she has passed through in the past 38 months.
She said that consultants at the Garki Hospital and National Hospital, both in Abuja recommended Indian hospitals for the repair. She said from the estimation given last year by the Chief Consultant Paediatrician of the National Hospital, Dr. I. Babaniyi, it would cost about N5million.
A medical report dated May 15, 2015, indicated that Victor was treated of congestive heart failure and needed a definitive surgical intervention in two stages.
The woman, who holds a National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Business Education, said she and her husband could not do much since she had been jobless since the baby’s condition started. Her husband works as a radio repairer at Kurudu.
She explained that the first treatment at the National Hospital was sponsored by the St’ Vincent De Poor, a Catholic Society in the Kurudu Parish of the Catholic Church.
Edith said the family was recently asked to leave the hospital since they could no longer foot the bills.
Said she: “When I receive the bills from the National Hospital, I go to the car park to start begging. Some people will even follow me to the ward to ensure that I wasn’t lying about my sick child. Some of them after seeing his condition will then support us by paying for the drugs.
“I want Nigerians to help us. Only my husband and I know how we have survived till this point since this challenge befell us. I want my governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to come to our aid and save my son.
“I have written to the governor through the Abuja Liaison Office. I have also written to my senator, Chukwuka Utazi and Hon. Dennis Agbo of the House of Representatives. In fact, Hon Agbo asked that I should present the problem to the chairman of Udenu Local Government for assistance. So, in November last year, I travelled with my ailing child to the local government headquarters and submitted a letter for assistance. Yet, nothing came out of it till date.”
Those who wish to help the family may reach Edith Onah on 08167117292.