BY SARAH IFIDON
The birth of a child should be considered one of the greatest moments in a parent’s life. The whole concept of the ‘wait’, that is, ‘waiting for conception’, ‘waiting for 9 months’, ‘waiting for delivery’ and then finally the treasure is released into the world.
A tragedy is birthed when that child is brought into the world incomplete or unhealthy. The Doctor begins by giving the parent the good news, “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl”, the doctor proceeds to state that the child has its complete fingers and toes and also gives an information concerning the weight of the child. Just like every child-loving parent, the anticipation to hold the baby is beyond human’s imagination, the mother is glad and can’t wait to hold her baby and then she finally does and exhales in relief.
After the wait ends, the parents then take their child home, this is when they notice some discomfiting changes in the baby. She/he cries endlessly, doesn’t feed well, loses weight, can’t sleep, breaths difficultly, and the parents watch in misery and confusion. So many things could be the cause of such symptoms but in the case of Ayanu Elijah Oyinlola, a 7 months old baby boy, it’s a Large Ventricular Septal Defect (commonly known as a hole-in-the-heart).
Over the years, there have been several cases of this congenital heart defect in Nigeria and a number of patients have been referred to hospitals in India for treatment. India is evidently one of the best places to have a successful surgery but with success comes money, in this case.
Given the fact that the surgery is done abroad, a lot has to be considered in terms of transportation by air and road, cost of investigation before surgery as a result of common infections to patients with a hole-in-the-heart, cost of the surgery, feeding, accommodation, and several other expenses of which the Ayanu’s meager income cannot cover.
The case of the Ayanu’s in not a far cry from the reality of several heart defect cases in Nigeria but in their situation they are unable to end the torment of their child by taking him directly and immediately to India for the required treatment due to the unavailability of funds.
The Ayanu’s are a below average nuclear family who were made up of a father, mother and two daughters. They live at number 18, Taike Street off love all, Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos Nigeria. Before the birth of their son, they were happy, living their lives and facing their daily challenges which with time they managed to overcome.
Given the birth of their third child and son, Elijah, the parents were overjoyed as God had finally blessed them with an heir, a boy whom his father could boast of to anyone. It was unforeseen that their bundle of joy would become a bundle of burden as barely 5 months after his birth, the little boy suffered a heart failure and was rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LAUTH).
He was admitted at LAUTH for 5 days and was on oxygen during his admission and the medical bill was taken care of by a willing and desperate father. Mr Ayanu is a civil servant at Eti-Osa Local Government. What he earns is barely enough to cater for a family of five. while Mrs Bilikisu Ayanu is a professional teacher at Biofit Gods power School who used to earn a sum 18, 000 naira monthly but presently, she had to take a leave from work to enable her care for the ailing child.
As the Ayanus received the Echocardiography Report of their son, their countenance dropped as the realization of the situation hit them. They realized their son was dying and it was up to them how fast they could come up with the money for treatment before any hope of survival ran out
As this reporter spoke to MrsBilikisu, she quietly wept and turned her face trying to hide her tears. A mother’s tears and pain cannot be hidden no matter how much she tries. She expressed her desire to help her son, she also explained how much he suffers at night despite their effort to take him to the health care center often for checkups, medication and treatment to curb the pain.
Given the good health status of the family and the adherence of MrsBilikisu to antenatal care during pregnancy at a Primary health Care Centre at IkosiIsheri Local Government, fingers cannot be pointed at anyone as to how Elijah ended up this way. Given the time of diagnosis, which was November 24, 2015, it is obvious that this boy is willing to live as he has fought for his life all these while.
At the same hospital a Good Samaritan, whose child had been diagnosed in Nigeria and treated in India, assisted them to contact the doctor in India, Dr. Surbhi Suden who updated them with current charges of surgery of 17mm deep; since the LASUTH attendants where very hesitant in their attitude to extend a hand of fellowship to a dying child.
The baby who has a large VSD, needs surgical correction of the hole in the heart. The cost of the surgery will be $5,000 to $5,500 in a twin sharing room. This excluding cost of itinerary, feeding and accommodation. The total figure that would be required for the surgery, flight ticket, accommodation and sundry expenses is approximated to about N2.6 million.
Mrs Bilikisu finds it hard to sustain a smile, unable to withstand the sight of her baby’s plight. Elijah can’t stand the pain at such a tender age of 7 months. He is tenaciously hanging on to life. His tender will to survive and defeat death is palpable as he refuses to give up. A timeline of his life on earth has been set by fate and death is unpredictable as it can strike at any moment. So, we want to reach out to your endearing heart with the hope that you will help however you can and in spite of whatever it takes to do so.
Little Ayanu Elijah Oyinlola is seeking for your support to bring him back to life! This is a clarion call to all lovers of children and humanity; corporate bodies, government agencies and individuals to given a direct assistance to this family. Please from the Godly part of your heart; do something now, no amount is too small. You can contact the parents 08035817643, 08035818003 or visit them in the above address. You can also send your direct financial contributions to. Guaranty Trust Bank, Account Name: Ayanu Elijah Oyinlola, Account Number: 0209445768
Every child is the joy of their parents and a gift from God. Little Elijah might be the next leader the world is waiting!. It will be unfair for us to neglect the pains that this little boy is passing through right now. Please you can do something…….no amount is too small. If God lays it in your heart take up the complete bill. Please don’t hesitate. Remember that our only investment in life is the value we add to the lives of others. God bless you richly as you reach out in love to save the life of baby Elijah.
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