A 14-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain tumour known as Brain Stem Glioma has called on the Anambra State Governor, Dr Peter Obi, and all well-meaning Nigerians at home and abroad, to assist her in raising N5 million to undergo an urgent brain surgery.
Onyiyechi Mary-Colette Okafor, a JSS 2 student of Ajeromi/Ifelodun High School,Lagos hails from Utuh, in Nnewi South LGA of Anambra State, lies critically ill at Ward D3 of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos following diagnosis of her brain condition.
Calling for help through her aunt, Ms. Obiageli Ulasi, Onyinyechi is appealing to the Anambra governor for assistance in raising the N5 million that will afford her access to adequate treatment and care in an Indian hospital.
“I implore you sir, with due respect and humility, to use your good office as my Governor, my mentor and my father, to enable me get a new lease of life through this surgery,” she remarked.
Onyinyechi, the third of five children born to Aloysious and Grace Okafor of 34, Osho Drive, Olodi-Apapa in Lagos was diagnosed with the condition on April 27, a condition that has now left the entire left side of her body is paralysed.
A medical report from LUTH described Onyinyechi as “a known patient of the Haematology and Oncology Unit of the hospital who presented two months ago with a one month history of headache and inability to use the left side of the body.”
According to the report signed by Professor Edamisan Temiye, a CT scan revealed the brain tumour which is being managed with radiotherapy and dexamethasone. Already, she has had 20 sessions of the radiotherapy, and requires an additional 10. The doctor recommended further evaluation and expert care.
Speaking on her niece’s ordeal, Obiageli stated, “Onyinyechi just woke up one morning complaining of dizziness, a nagging headache and general body weakness. She was hospitalised four days after an initial medical diagnosis of typhoid and malaria.
But there wasn’t much improvement. She kept complaining of progressive weakness and paralysis on the left side of the body, so she was taken to another hospital from where she was referred to LUTH where the brain tumour diagnosis was confirmed.
Onyinyechi’s only hope of living a better life is to be flown abroad.
“We have contacted Yakoda Hospital in India, which has assessed her case and given us a breakdown of treatment expenses to the tune of N5 million. This would cover surgery, drugs, transportation, and accommodation for six weeks for Onyinyechi and her mother who would accompany her. The hospital is ready to comence treatment but financial constraint is hampering us,” Obiageli said.
She therefore appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to help in raising the money required for the surgery.
“We are appealing to Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State in particular and all Nigerians to please help save this soul. Let us give Onyinyechi the opportunity and ability to live again,” she pleaded.