Child battles eye cancer, needs emergency surgery
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