Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 25 October 2015 | 3,425 times
This boy is named David but he has a Goliath standing before him. That Goliath is the hole in his heart. Put in another way, two years old David Onyedikachi Okechukwu is a hole in the heart patient.
He was born on November 14, 2013 to an electrician, Mr Okechukwu Onumkpu. His mother, Mrs Martha Okechukwu Onumkpu, sells vegetable at a daily market in Umuahia. The parents, from Amokwe Obayi Ovim in Isuikwuato local government area of Abia State, discovered to their shock that the last of their three children and their second son has developed a life-threatening ailment which they have little or no financial muscle to confront.
Mrs Okechukwu who is bearing the child about, seeking financial help, told News Express that David constantly took ill when he was barely seven months old.
“It all started with fever and with time, he started emaciating,” she began the narration of their touching experience. “We visited several hospitals when his condition worsened. It got to a period when the arteries on his head manifested when he sleeps as if they were going to burst.. At that period, doctors recommended that we should go for an X-ray.”
The result of the X-ray left David’s parents restive. Doctors said they discovered from the X-ray that David’s heart was shaped like figure eight, unlike the shape of a normal heart.
According to her, the doctors recommended a further test that would facilitate proper investigation into the abnormal shape of David’s heart.
“We were referred to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH)), Enugu, and we went there. After the test, the Doctor told us that there was a hole in David’s heart. The doctor explained that the artery circulating blood in David’s body was not only tiny but blocked, occasioning improper blood circulation and resulting in an enlarged heart,” David’s mother said.
“We enquired about what next we should do and the doctor told us that he (David) should be flown abroad for heart surgery. This was in 2014. We returned to FMC, Umuahia and we were directed to see the Nuerosurgery doctors. By this period, the doctors went on strike and we returned home,” she recalled.
Early this year, they returned to FMC, Umuahia. After several consultations with the experts in the Nuerosurgery and Cardiothoracic clinics, the Okechukwus were asked to take David to the Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Umuahia, for a CT Scan. Doctors said the result would help in determining why the bulging arteries were appearing on David’s head. The result of the scan, conducted by Dr. M.A. Suwaid showed that “no focal cebral or cerebellar anomally” was seen. Had the result been positive, David would undergo “complete surgery” which involves brain and heart surgeries. But, by God's grace, his brain was fine, according to Dr Suwaid who explained that the malfunctioning heart was responsible for the appearance of arteries on David's head as blood was not circulating well.
Back at FMC, Umuahia, Dr Onwuta Chidiebere, a Consultant Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon of the Cardiothoracic Unit, Surgery Department informed the Okechukwus that their little son has a case of hole in the heart.
“Dr. Onwuta told us that the case would not be handled in Nigeria since it is a case of hole in the heart. He said if it is corrected early enough, the child will live. He explained that the process entailed closing the hole, flushing the arteries and enlarging it to the normal size,” Mrs Okechukwu said.
The Consultant Cardiologist confirmed Mrs Okechukwu’s account in writing.
In a letter with reference number FMC/QEH/S./17/17 dated October 6, 2015, and titled ‘To Whom It May Concern. Re: Okechukwu David Onyedikachi, Male 2 Years Old’, Dr Onwuta wrote:
“The above named patient has a complex congenital cyanotic heart disease called DORV with hypoplastic pulmonary artery. Clinically speaking the child cannot live without correcting the mal-formation through open heart operation.
“This type of surgery cannot be done in our country presently. We can obtain the service in USA, Europe or India. Our hospital has partnership with Madras Medical Mission in India. It is among the best five cardiac centres in Southern Asia.”
According to the Consultant, the cost of the surgery is N3 million while Visa arrangement and air transport would cost N100,000 and N300,000 respectively.
In the light of the financial implication, Mr and Mrs Okechukwu are shopping for N3,400,000 to save the life of little David.
“We are appealing for financial help from all and sundry,” Mrs Okechukwu begged, adding: “We have exhausted our savings and sold off our belongings in order to save the life of our son.”
By November 14, David should be celebrating his second birthday anniversary. But that is if he remains alive. Please help David to live, David MUST not die! Donate to assist David eliminate this Goliath in his life. Donate to save David. All donations should be paid into ECOBANK ACCOUNT NUMBER 1361188490. The Account name is Nwosu Martha Akudo
•Photo shows hole-in-the-heart patient, David Okechukwu.
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