All is not well with Sunday Samuel Igbele, who is down with avascular necrosis (AVN). The ailment has incapacitated him, turning him to a vegetable.
His two hips can no longer support him to walk, and he is left to rely on crutches. He said the pain is more severe on his left hip, which has hampered most of his daily activities.
The 25-year-old, who hails from Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State, said that discovering years ago that he was living with haemoglobin SS disease was one piece of news that has destabilised him till date.
The sickle cell patient said his predicament was further complicated in August 2018, after surviving another episode of crisis.
“Though I have been living with the ailment since as I was born, it was not this bad in the beginning. We were able to manage it when I was much younger.
“Even with all the pains, it never stopped me from achieving my dreams, I wanted to study Medicine at Ladoke Akintola University, Oyo State, but I ended up studying Animal Production and Health Studies,” he said.
Unfortunately, his expectation of graduating was cut short after his health deteriorated. He said that his illness overwhelmed him and he could not concentrate on his studies anymore.
“It all started with a sharp pain in my left hip, with difficulty in moving well and frequent fatigue. I initially thought it was just one of those painful episodes. I managed it for a while, until I couldn’t bear it anymore.
“I went to Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, which is very close to my institution. That fateful day was the worst day of my life, having discovered that I have AVN. I cried my eyes out,” he said.
AVN, also called osteonecrosis or bone infarction, is death of bone tissue due to interruption of blood supply.
Igbele said: “I eventually came back home to Lagos and the pain continued. I went to Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos, where I was admitted for weeks because I couldn’t walk anymore. I was administered some treatment to help relieve the pain and I could manage about with the help of crutches.
“I spent the entire 2019 at home, while I left the university as a 300 level student. I can’t continue with my studies now due to my incapacitation. I was in depression all through last year. I was able to pull through due to love from family and some close friends.
“I have been on some mild pain killers. Since the pain started, I have known no peace, day and night. I am grateful to God because I couldn’t have made it thus far without Him; but I want to have a meaningful life and an assuring future.
“I am the firstborn of a family of five with my dad alone. I lost my mum due to delivery complications from our last baby boy six years ago. I was told by the doctors that AVN can’t be corrected except a hip replacement operation is done.
“The surgery will cost over N3 million for both hips. I’m pleading for support from everyone, including Kogi and Lagos State governments.”
The patient can be reached on his telephone line, 08038933722. Financial assistance can be sent to Samuel Igbele, through his account at the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB). The account number is 0007721363.