BY USORO USORO.Touchy story of how she defied brain tumour, multiple surgery
After an impossible journey and battle alongside a challenged child that involved surgeries, agonies, travels, large bills and the trauma of watching a child in grueling pains, her father, Usoro Usoro, one time editor with The Sun Newspaper, narrates what he, the wife and the little baby went through.
As the girl two days back turned six and in splendid health, the family could not believe the state of wonderful condition of the tiny girl that battled giant death and won.
The family admitted that only God made it possible to Uduak to be through all the pains and stand alive as testimony.
A father’s tale
She was just two years and eight months in 2012, when we noticed something strange about her. Her head grew larger. She cried without reason not known to us and started walking with a funny gait.
Later, the doctor diagnosed hydrocephalus, and that was like a heavy bang.
Hydro-what? Never heard of it until then. Dr. Ajayi of Ajayi Memorial Hospital, Ikorodu, Lagos, explained that water wasn’t circulating normally in and from her head. She had to be flown abroad, he concluded.
In India, they found out that UduakAbasi Usoro Usoro had brain tumour. She underwent brain surgery, returned in weeks and we had a thanksgiving. But when she returned for checkup a year after, the story wasn’t cheery. The tumour, lurked at a delicate part of the brain, could not be removed completely the first time. Another surgery had to be done. For real, Uduak underwent another operation.
One morning, a few days out of the theatre, she died before the mother’s eyes. I had just finished speaking to Uduak on phone when my wife called back shortly after. As soon as I picked, she shouted: “Pray, pray, pray! Uduak has stopped breathing!” Then she switched off.
I was just about leaving for the Lagos airport on my way back to my office in Uyo. Instead, I ran into my room and started crying. I begged God to spare Uduak’s life, not because I did anything to merit it but because I couldn’t understand why the baby had to suffer that much. I begged, remembering my wife’s sufferings. I wondered how she would return to Nigeria with a dead baby. I reminded God of the little girl’s emotional plea.
Uduak solicits God’s help
When the ailment started affecting Uduak’s walk, she almost drew me to tears one day. She had just managed to walk, actually staggered, from the toilet to the bedroom. Then she leaned on the couch and whispered: “God, please help me!” The surprised mother asked: “what did you say?” Uduak replied: “I am asking God to please help me!” Tears ran down my eyes. So I reminded God to please consider the little girl’s supplication.
Meanwhile, at Max Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi, India, when the machines attached to her indicated the stoppage of her heartbeat, the doctors responded to the mother’s alarm with speed. With the promptness that showed value for human life, they abandoned all else to jump-start her heart. Then, they rushed her back into the theatre. After about 13 hours and four surgeries, Uduak was returned to the ICU alive.
Since then, she has undergone other operations including the Gamma Knife surgery. Too young to undergo radiation, she was recommended for Gamma, said to be a higher technology. But the process involved drilling the skull to hold some plates in place before the radioactive rays could be accurately directed at the tumour spot.
All seemed okay until she suddenly developed an after-effect of the Gamma knife operation, about three months later…in 2014. One day, she was ebullient and active at her school’s inter-house sports event; the next day, she became a vegetable. Uduak completely lost it all. Her eyes rolled uncontrollably; her limbs couldn’t hold her. It was so bad she could not even sit erect. Surprisingly, she could still see. And talked sense, though her speech slurred. When she returned to India, the doctors almost gave up. But God provided the answer and they were able to detect that her brain wasn’t communicating with her spinal cord. Her motor wasn’t functioning. They called it nystagmus.
Survivor at 6
Now, to the glory of God, that same Uduak is six years old today (Monday) – sound, healthy and smart as always. She runs, jumps and participates in all school activities. Her last grade was encouraging and she is ever full of life. She is truly a testimony of God’s abiding grace.
And all I can do is to give thanks and praises to God. In this celebration, my family and I recall that God used my boss, the then Governor Godswill Akpabio, to pave the way for Uduak’s return to good health. And, Sir Etekamba Umoren, the then Permanent Secretary, Government House and later Chief of Staff, followed every move and provided detailed succour. Dr. Carter Onyeziri of Government House Clinic was the ‘guiding angel.’ May God bless them all.
Usoro in conclusion asked all lovers of God’s kindness to “join us to thank God for Uduak. And may God favour her with continuous good health; long life and wisdom and also deliver all kids presently battling ailments as He did to Uduak.”