By Peter Ogunsona
It is unlikely to see anything more traumatic than watching a 2-month old bay die, in installments. This is the plight of the Williams-Ojo family of Aramoko Ekiti origin. Their two month old baby girl needs at least N3million to safe her from a live-threatening liver-related problem.
Iyanuoluwa “Buhari” Williams-Ojo, the patient was born in June this year, weeks after the Nigerian presidential election, leading to an overwhelming victory of President Mohammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC). At present the baby’s father has no job, having lost his assignment as part of a volunteer technical team that worked with the All Progressives Congress, (APC) during the last elections. But there is an odd job for him: He watches over his 2-month old baby that cries all day, morning and night due to complications arising from the liver problem.
On the day of her naming, locals nicknamed the baby “Buhari” following her father and mother attested “crazy” support for the emergence of Buhari during the heated campaigns ahead of the March 28 presidential election.
The little girl’s mother who was then nine months pregnant was described as a storming petrel in her locality where she earned the reputation of “Iron Lady” in the run-up to presidential election.
Speaking with Irohinoodua this evening, the baby’s father, Mr Williams Ojo said Iyanuoluwa remains her first child and watching her die has been the ‘worst trauma’ any father could endure.
“We took her to an hospital in Akure, the capital of Ondo state having failed to secure a remedy at the Ekiti State University hospital she was diagnosed to be having liver problem. Initially we thought it was malaria, but only for us to discover it goes far beyond that.” Iyanuoluwa’s plight is the second calamity the Williams family have to face in two decades, Williams having lost his immediate senior brother and a journalist, Mr Eddy Ayo-Ojo in controversial circumstances in 1998. The senior Ojo’s body was found at Omole area of Lagos after an accident many thought was masterminded by state agents.
Williams-Ojo said for the past three weeks since the sad news was broken to the family by medical experts, his family have been running from pillar to pole. “All we want is for her to live” her mother told Irohinoodua saying it will be catastrophic for her first child to suffer so much and later die. The family married in 2013 and this is their first child after a bout of miscariages.
Last weekend, the family approached a specialist Hospital in India backed with reports and scan from local hospitals in Nigeria. According to an E-preliminary diagnosis from the Indian hospital, “On the basis of attachments the case looks to be Biliary atresia and it will need surgery as soon as possible. Time is very important. We can’t wait long or else the patient will land up with liver cirrhosis. The email made available to Irohinoodua was signed by Ronak Dhanuka of the International Patient Division, Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Pune in India.
The Indian doctor stated further “as per the opinion above, the patient will require detailed clinical examination, investigations and evaluation followed by the advised treatment. The estimated cost for the advised investigations, evaluation and treatment will be around US$ 9100 to US$ 9300 for hospitalization up to 10 days in a semi-private room and around US$ 10500 to US$ 10700 for stay in a private room.
“Please note our first attempt would be to conduct Biliary Artesia Surgery as per the opinion above & avoid Liver Transplant, in case on arrival & based on findings of the initial investigations conducted at our facilities if doctor’s confirms/advice for a Liver Transplant, the estimated cost for the same would be US$ 35000 to US$ 40000 for hospitalization, investigations, evaluation & treatment in a semi-private room.”
The Indian expert further wrote “although we would advice you to plan & budget upto US$ 55000 – US$ 60000 in Liver Transplant cases to cover up cost for your entire stay & complete treatment.”
It stated that on the basis of attachments, ‘the case looks to be Biliary atresia and it will need surgery as soon as possible. Time is very important we can’t wait long or else the patient will land with liver Cirrhosis. The expert said the patient will require detailed clinical examination, investigations and evaluation followed by the adviced treatment. The estimated cost for the adviced investigations, evaluation and treatment will be around US£9100 to US£9300 for hospitalization up to 10 days in a semi-private room and around US£10,500 to US£10,700 for stay in a private room”