By Chimezie Brown
An Ilorin-based trader and mother of four, Ifeoma Unachukwu, is currently battling with failed kidneys.
The 49-year-old petty trader has been diagnosed with advanced chronic kidney disease and hospitalised at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), where she is on dialysis.
For her to remain alive, she coughs out N70,000 weekly on dialysis and additional drugs.
Her relation, Mr. Innocent Ezeugonwa, revealed that her ordeal started in February 2020 when she fell sick and was treated for malaria without knowing it was kidney disease.
He said that the patient went to a private hospital in Ilorin, Kwara State, where she was treated for malaria, but when there was no improvement, she went to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe on recommendation for a kidney test.
Meanwhile, before the treatment started at Ilorin, doctors were on strike. This necessitated her being taken care of at the teaching hospital in Gombe. However, the last test she did showed that her two kidneys were beyond repairs and needed replacement.
She was also hypertensive, hence medical consultants advised that she should be placed on dialysis, weekly injection for anaemia. But the lasting solution, according to the medics, is for her to undego a Kidney transplant.
Ezeugonwa told Daily Sun that Mrs Unachukwu undergoes dialysis three times a week at the rate of between N18,000 and N20,000 per session with additional N10,000 for treatment and drugs every week.
“We are, therefore, appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to please assist us so that she can live again since the doctors said that the possible solution was for her to go for kidney transplant in Abuja, where a hospital has been located to carry out the surgery at about N12m,” he said.
When contacted on phone, the doctor in charge of the Renal Unit of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe Dr. Rasheed Alaya confirmed Unachukwu’s case.
He said: “She has been under our management in this hospital for over a year. She is hypertensive and anaemic. The two kidneys are gone and she is doing dialysis regularly. On our own we have done the little we can. One session of dialysis costs almost N30, 000. Due to the huge finances needed to manage it, her husband who looks drained said they need support as she requires surgery and kidney transplant to enable her live.”
In a letter supporting the appeal by Dr Oluwafemi Efuntoye, Consultant Physician and Nephrologist, Alliance Hospital Abuja, where Unachukwu has been referred to for the surgery, he disclosed: “The patient presented in our facility on July 4, 2021 with clinical and laboratory features of chronic kidney disease. She was being worked up for kidney transplantation on outpatient basis, however was admitted on August 11, 2021 with features in medical terms of left hemispheric cerebrovascular disease and pneumonia.
“She has made significant improvement and was discharged. Further management would be on outpatient basis. Currently she is on what we call maintenance haemsdialysis, anti-hypertensive, physiotherapy and anemia treatment.
“She has been dully counseled that further kidney transplant work up would be on outpatient basis and would also require at least three sessions of plasmspheresis therapy as part of induction therapy prior kidney transplant surgery.
“The whole process of transplant from evaluation to discharge from the hospital is approximately 23-30 days. The patient is expected to undergo 17 pre-transplant work -up which included blood grouping and rhtyping for the patient and donor, complete haemogram for patient and donors, liver function test for the patient and donor, etc,” Efuntoye stated.”
Her husband, Mr. Jude Unachukwu, who lamented that his family has spent every kobo on them treating his wife, appealed to Nigerians to come to their aid to make the poor woman live again.
The family can be contacted on 08033734754, while donations can be made to Jude Unachukwu, 0039232964, Access Bank.