Child bat­tles eye can­cer, needs emer­gency surgery

Weekly Trust - - News - Maryam Ah­madu-Suka & Fa­tima Idris, Kaduna

Fa­timah Ab­dulka­dir, 5, has been bat­tling with an eye ail­ment di­ag­nosed as can­cer for the past five months. The wound that has formed brings out pus and emits bad odour. Speaking on be­half of the tod­dler, her fa­ther, Mo­hammed Ab­dulka­dir said Fa­tima who is his 14th child started com­plain­ing of eye pain about five months ago.

Nar­rat­ing how the prob­lem grew, Fa­tima’s fa­ther said, “We were un­aware of the sit­u­a­tion be­cause it started grad­u­ally. At the be­gin­ning, we took her to a phar­macy near our home and some drugs were pre­scribed for her and be­fore we knew it, the eyes started bulging. That was when we rushed her to the Na­tional Eye Care Hospi­tal in Kaduna.

“When we got to the hospi­tal, se­ries of tests were con­ducted be­fore we were re­ferred to the 44 Army Ref­er­ence Hospi­tal where they also ran sev­eral tests. Fa­tima was later di­ag­nosed with can­cer of the eye. The doc­tor checked Fa­timah and asked me if the ma­chine that ought to be used to fur­ther check the eye was work­ing at the eye cen­ter as he in­formed me that they did not have the ma­chine at the hospi­tal. We later con­firmed that the one at the Na­tional Eye Cen­ter was faulty and we were re­ferred to a hospi­tal in Ilorin.”

But when they got to Ilorin, the doc­tor in­formed them that he could not start treat­ing Fa­tima be­cause the treat­ment would last for three months. “So be­cause I could not ac­com­mo­date my­self and my daugh­ter in Ilorin for three months and there was no pro­vi­sion for that from the hospi­tal, we had to come back to Kaduna,” Fa­tima’s fa­ther said.

The doc­tor in Ilorin had how­ever in­formed Ab­dulka­dir that the swelling in the eye had to re­duce be­fore any surgery could be car­ried out. Un­for­tu­nately, on their way back to Kaduna, armed rob­bers at­tacked them and took away the N100, 000 he man­aged to raise from his com­mer­cial trans­port busi­ness.

“Back in Kaduna at the eye cen­ter I was told that she needed more blood and I was asked to look for more money to buy the pre­scribed drugs which cost about N700, 000,” he said.

In his quest to raise money for his daugh­ter’s surgery, Adulka­dir sought the as­sis­tance of the Nige­rian Tele­vi­sion Author­ity (NTA). “A staff of NTA came down to our house to in­ter­view the sick girl and when it was aired, a woman who saw it gave us N5, 000. She col­lected my ac­count number and opened doors for peo­ple to con­trib­ute. We re­al­ized about N72, 000.

“With the money re­al­ized, we had to do se­ries of tests cost­ing about N25, 000 at 44 Hospi­tal. Now she needs more blood which costs about N30, 000 and the money for drugs she needs to be tak­ing for three months be­fore the surgery can be con­ducted.

“I am so­lic­it­ing for help from the gen­eral public be­cause I can­not do it on my own. I am just a com­mer­cial driver, I have sold all my be­long­ings and even think­ing of sell­ing my house just to see that the bulge in her eye is re­moved. At least if that is done, she can con­tinue us­ing her left eye to see.”

Asked how much he was told the surgery would cost, he said, “The hospi­tal said they can­not give an es­ti­mate of how much it would cost be­cause there are dif­fer­ent things that will be needed, in­clud­ing drugs and blood, be­fore the surgery. They just told me that it would cost a lot of money.”

Fa­tima Ab­dulka­dir with her fa­ther

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