Emma Elekwa, Onitsha
MRS Ebele Odofin is a newspaper vendor in Awka, the Anambra State capital with over 20 years of experience. Her son, Prince Ayo Daniel Odofin has been bedridden for three years following an ailment earlier suspected to be partial stroke.
A mother of three from Akwa village Ifitedunu in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra state but married from Ogun state, Odofin has suffered untold hardship taken care of the 10-year old son.
Odofin, who said he had committed thousands of naira towards finding lasting solution to the protracted illness, said she needed N750,000 for a special surgery for her son to bounce back to life.
“It all started in January 2018. We thought it was a minor thing because it started as if he had a partial stroke after he woke up one morning.
“But what baffled us was that getting to the night of that day, he could not urinate nor defecate. The next thing we did was to rush him to the hospital thinking it was an infection.
“When we got there, they conducted all manner of tests and told us that nothing was wrong with him. Though they referred us to another hospital, but we had to bring him back to the east because the case started in Lagos, thinking it would be better.
“When we came to Anambra, we took him to a bone stretcher who told us he had a disjoint at the waist, but not knowing that was not the problem. The moment the woman touched him, he stopped working till date.
“We were again referred to a neurological hospital in Enugu. We later went for MLR test which read that he had a tummor behind the chest, which they said was what surgery can handle at the cost of N5m.
“Since I don’t have that kind of money, I had to bring my son back home. Since then, we’ve been carrying him from one place to another, thinking there will be solution, but all to no avail.
“Just last September, I came across a woman whose daughter had a similar issue, and she referred us to the doctor that treated her own daughter.
“He promised to handle it, but gave us a bill of N750,000, including the drugs and other materials. But he demanded a deposit of 75percent of the bill before he could commence treatment,” she said.
The woman added: “My husband stays in Lagos, but has nothing serious doing. He lost his job in the course of running around for this same ailment. Since then, he’s been searching for another job to earn a living. But none has come.
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“Most times when I call to request for money, sometimes he’ll cry. But you know crying does not solve problem, including the one at hand.
“If I tell you that I’ve not given up, I’m just telling you a lie. Sometimes, I’ll sit down and keep crying. I’ll lock myself up because this has really tied me down. I can no longer move out, and do the business that can fetch money for the family because you can’t leave only him and his siblings alone at home. I’m a mother of three kids, taking care of them plus the situation at hand has really been devastating.
“It’s so bad that friends and family members have deserted me, they no longer ask after me unlike before, you see them coming around to ask. Nobody cares, no calls, except my younger brother who used to come and assist me. Being a pastor, most times he makes out time from his tight schedule to come around.”
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