From Magnus Eze, Enugu
Mrs. Uzoamaka Favour Nwachukwu-Njoku, from Ohabenyi Okposi Okwu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, turned 42 on Sunday, September 5, 2021; unfortunately, she had practically no cause to celebrate. Fate has not been favourable to her in the past nine years. For her, all she has as consolation at the moment is that she is alive, though in very pitiable condition.
She had moved from one hospital to another in the past nine years in search of a solution to her ailment before she was recently diagnosed of a hole in the heart requiring urgent surgery.
When Daily Sun visited the troubled woman at the family house in Okposi, she said she was praying for God’s miracle either by way of healing or providing her with the financial assistance to get the required medical attention.
Nwachukwu-Njoku said: “I didn’t know that I would live to this point. It was a hopeless situation around April/May this year. But I believe strongly that it was the fervent prayers of the faithful that kept me all this while.”
We gathered that life was moving smoothly for her until about nine months into marriage when she started having some unusual headache and pains. Narrating her ordeal, Nwachukwu-Njoku said: “I was less than a year into marriage when this sickness started. It started in July 2012 as catarrh, from there to chest pain. We were living in Lagos then; I took drugs from a pharmacy and it subsided. After two weeks, the pains returned. From then, it was as if I was going deaf. We went to the General Hospital; from there to private hospital, and since then I had been in and out of several hospitals, until I ended up at Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.”
The patient was on June 24, 2021, referred from the Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State (AE-FETHA), to the cardiology department of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, for review and booking for surgery. Though the family was not able to raise the N3 million required for surgery and post-surgery management, it was gathered that the ongoing industrial action of the resident doctors has further aggravated her case.
Report of medical investigation on her chest dated April 1, 2021, indicated that: “There is gross cardiomegaly of multi-chamber enhancement with CTR of 80%. The left arterial appendage is prominent. The aorta is normal. Both hilar are full with upper vascular diversion. There is no active lung disease. The bony ribcage is normal.”
Having diagnosed her of “R/O Mitral heart disease”, the consultant radiologist, Dr. Orji M., therefore, recommended 2D echo for further investigation.
A referral letter to the cardiology department of UNTH stated that the patient presented in April this year with symptoms and signs of heart failure.
According to the letter signed by Dr. Orji S.F., a unit senior registrar at AE-FETHA, after series of assessments and investigation, Mrs. Nwachukwu-Njoku was diagnosed to have heart failure, second to mix rheumatic mitral valvular heart disease.
He stated that: “I have been directed by our unit consultants to refer her to you for further review and booking for necessary heart surgery.”
Mrs. Nwachukwu-Njoku told our reporter that her family could not do anything anymore, as they had spent all the resources they could garner in the past nine years on account of her ailment.
The family has lost its source of livelihood as the husband’s electronics shop packed up in Lagos after he spent all his fortune looking for a cure to his wife’s ailment.
In addition, their 10-year marriage is yet to produce a baby possibly due to the sickness.
In a tearful voice, she said: “We have no child yet because the sickness started shortly after our marriage. There were periods I stopped going to the hospital because of lack of money. But now that the problem has been identified, all I need is help. I want kind-hearted Nigerians to help me.”
Those wishing to assist should do so via Uzoamaka Njoku, First Bank, Account No. 3063362016 or contact her on 07061274001.