For five months, Blessing Ekpeti-Igbedion, a native of Ndokwa-East Local Government Area of Delta State, treated malaria and typhoid to no avail. The master’s degree holder of the Lagos State University, Ojo, took ill some 13 months after she had tried unsuccessfully to secure a new job. She had been the breadwinner of her family, as her husband, who worked with the now defunct Intercontinental Bank, lost his job during the banking reforms.
She, however, got the shocker of her life after doctors at the Nigeria Air Force Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos diagnosed her with kidney failure.
She said: “The whole problem started in November 2013. Initially they said it was malaria. Later, I was told I had symptoms of typhoid and ulcer. But in March 2014, doctors attending to me discovered that my two kidneys were malfunctioning.”
Ever since, Ekpeti-Igbedion had been undergoing kidney dialysis weekly to remove waste and prevent extra water from building up in her body. According to her, the dialysis, which costs N33, 100 every week, has drained all her savings. The 37-year-old, a former credit control officer in a private firm, stated that she would need to go for a kidney transplant for her to live a normal and healthy life again.
Before the strike by members of the Nigerian Medical Association began, she was receiving treatment at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
She added, “I have since been referred to an Indian hospital for the kidney transplant and my younger brother has volunteered to donate one of his kidneys to me.
“But there is no money to carry out the transplant. All the money my relatives, church members, friends and associates have raised to enable me to undergo the procedure is being expended on the dialysis.
“The cost of the transplant, including the air travel for me, the donor and care giver, was put at N5.2m. I want the members of the public to come to my aid so I can live a healthy life again.”
Confirming Ekpeti-Igbedion’s condition in a letter dated June 30, 2014, a Consultant Physician/ Nephrologist attached to LASUTH, Dr. T.I. Umeizudike, stated that she was presented to the hospital with “symptoms of nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort and bilateral leg swelling.”
According to the physician, a general physical examination upon her admission at the hospital revealed that she was “chronically ill and looking pale with bilateral pitting petal oedema.” Umeizudike added that the patient is at present being managed for “End Stage Renal Disease”, noting that the definitive management for her health condition was a renal transplant.
The story was culled from The Vanguard. It’s very real. This is calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to help Blessing. Nothing is too small. #saveblessing