This is baby Victory Chinwendu. She and her twin sister were born few months ago. Ever since their birth, Chinwendu’s breathing has not been normal until diagnosis shows that she has a hole in the heart. For baby Chinwendu to be alive to celebrate her first birthday, she will need a surgery abroad that will cost up to 12 million Naira.
Baby Chinwendu’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Nwaugha are calling on well meaning Nigerians to come to their aid.
Mr Christopher Nwaugha hails from Ngor Okpuala in Imo State but lives with his family in Umuahia, Abia State.
While the Nwaughas were basking in the euphoria of the babies’ arrival, the sad news came. One of the twins was diagnosed with a life-threatening ailment.
According to a medical report, made available to The Nation, the baby is diagnosed with a hole in the heart that needs urgent operation if the child would be alive to celebrate her first birthday.
Nwaugha who is a federal civil servant has exhausted his money and needs the help of well-meaning Abians and Nigerians to come to the rescue of their family.
Narrating his family’s ordeal, Mr Nwaugha said,
“I live at No. 16, Road K, World Bank Housing Estate in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State. I am a civil servant with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Calabar, Cross River State and I work in the accounts department.”
“One of my twin babies became sick after their delivery on October 26, 2018. They were delivered through CS (Caesarean Section). When we were still at the hospital after their delivery, the doctor who came to check on them noticed that one of the twins was breathing fast and hard.”
“In the two months that we spent at the hospital for close monitoring of the children, we were sent for scan from Federal Medical Center (FMC), Umuahia to University Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu. It was found out that the baby has a very big hole in the heart.”
“They said that the operation will not be carried out in Nigeria. They said it can be operated in India, USA and another country that I cannot remember.”
“They don’t have the machine in Umuahia to scan a baby of two months. But in UNTH, they have the machine which enables one to see the heart of the baby and the hole on the screen. We saw everything through the scan. It was through the scan that I started imagining what my baby was going through.”
“Before the arrival of the twins, I already had three children; a boy and two girls. The last of them is about five years.”
“At the moment, it takes a lot of things including money to ensure that this baby stays alive daily. It hasn’t been easy, from sleeping at the hospital to taking care of other kids at home and combining them with my work. We stayed in hospital for about two months while they were monitoring the babies.”
“We were later discharged after it was established that one of the babies has a hole in the heart. We were however asked to be coming to the hospital every Tuesday in the week to check the baby and to get drugs. The baby is eating well, but the major challenge is her breathing; her breathing is so bad that you can’t even sleep with her.”
“Taking care of the two kids and their siblings has not been an easy thing. Immediately I receive my salary, it goes into taking care of the medical bills and meeting some of the needs of their siblings.”
“My sister and boss in the office have been assisting me financially whenever I run to them. I sometimes go to get loan from my bank (Access). When the month ends, they go to remittal to collect it. Sometimes, I take salary advance to buy their milk and pampers and when they pay salaries, the bank, like I said, will take whatever that I borrowed and leave the balance for me. That has been the way we have been managing all these while.”
“We got to know about the treatment in India through the doctor that has been taking care of the baby. What is holding us back is the money that we will use to pay the baby’s hospital bills and cover other logistics.”
“The doctors in Enugu and Umuahia said that it may cost us about N10m-N12m to cover our medical and flight expenses. We have already made contacts with about two or three hospitals in India, but we can no longer go further since we don’t have the capital to push further the matter.”
“That is why we are making this appeal to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and wife including other governors of the Southeast and philanthropists to please come to our help. This is a crucial time for our family. We need their help and cannot just sit and watch our child; Victory Chinwendu die helplessly. She deserves to live and we will go to any extent legally possibly to ensure that we get this matter solved.”
“I have equally been trying to reach the likes Kanu Nwankwo Heart Foundation, but all efforts seem to be futile.”