•13-year-old boy needs N5m for brain surgery in India
•Late dad’s family ejects boy, mum from home
From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Right now, Emmanuel Okaro, a 13-old-year old boy from Nkelle Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, is in a pathetic condition.
He is in urgent need of financial help from the public to enable him undergo brain surgery in India.
The boy, who developed health complications following an accident three years ago, has already lost his dad, leaving only his mother to cater to his many needs. And the mum, it was learnt, has already exhausted her savings on Emmanuel, moving him from one hospital to another since 2014.
The last hope for Emmanuel, as suggested by an Indian medical doctor who visited Inyienu Hospital, Ogidi, where he has been receiving treatment, is for the young teenager to undergo brain surgery in India.
It is not going to be free, and it would cost his mother, a widow, some N5 million for the boy to regain his memory; and she does not have the money.
Emmanuel’s mother, Mrs. Unoma Okaro, 43, recently brought the ailing boy to The Sun corporate office in Onitsha to appeal to good-spirited individuals and corporate bodies for money for the surgery in India. She explained that she had already spent well over N5 million moving from one hospital to the other within the country since June 26, 2014, when the boy had the accident.
While narrating her story, Mrs. Okaro said she lost her husband, Mr. Ikechukwu Okaro, in 2004 after giving birth to their two children, Emmanuel and his elder brother. Emmanuel was only three years old when his father died after a brief illness.
With tears in her eyes, Mrs. Okaro explained to the reporter: “It was when my husband died that we came back home from Jalingo in Taraba State, where we were living. I enrolled my children in school at Ogidi. The ugly incident happened on June 26, 2014, when Emmanuel was 10 years old in elementary six. He had already taken his common entrance examination.
“He went to school in the morning and his friend told him to accompany him somewhere to repair the friend’s sandal. I was told that as Emmanuel was crossing the road while going back to the school, an oncoming vehicle hit him. He became unconscious but was later revived in the hospital, with severe injuries all over his body.
“He was immediately rushed to Mayor Hospital, Ogidi, but was referred to a bigger hospital. We then took him to Iyienu Hospital, also at Ogidi, where it was discovered that Emmanuel had brain injury. He was referred to Memfy’s Hospital, Enugu, where he they conducted a CT scan on his head and discovered that it was brain injury. They conducted neurosurgery on him and we were paying N50,000 every day for the hospital room that we were staying in. After some time, they referred us to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, where they discharged us within one week. Then we came to back to Inyienu Hospital, where we were told that Emmanuel needed a physiotherapist.
“Since that time, we have been going from one hospital to another. Well-wishers and churches have been supporting us because I haven’t been doing any work since he had the accident as I was carrying him around. Even the tailoring work I was doing stopped. To feed now is a problem. We have already spent over N5 million that we got from individuals and churches, and that is why he is still alive today. The scanning he went for cost N6,000 each, the physiotherapist charges N3,000 per day. I buy diapers often. He was not eating before through his mouth. I was feeding him through the nose but today he can eat with his mouth. So, I believe in God that, if the brain surgery is done in India, he will be well again. I have obtained my passport and his own, but there is no money for the surgery and air ticket to travel and that is why I’m appealing for help so that Emmanuel can live.
“I don’t have anything now; even to feed is a problem. For some time now, I have been dragging Emmanuel on the roads, streets, markets and churches to beg for alms. As I am speaking with you, I don’t have a place to stay. My mother-in-law told me not to bring Emmanuel back to his father’s place when I called her that we had been discharged from UNTH, so I took him to my sister’s house, where we are sharing a room. I don’t know what to do. Nobody from my husband’s family cares about us. Even my husband’s house in Jalingo, where we were living before he died, my brother-in-law went and sold the house without my knowledge.
“I don’t know what else to do. That is why I came out to appeal to the whole world to assist me to raise money for the surgery in India.”
Those willing to help can contact Mrs. Okaro on 07037489092. Her account details at First Bank are Okaro Unoma Felicia, 3051555046.