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26-year-old graduate needs N5m for kidney transplant

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Ezekwere

Though Michael Ezekwere has just completed his national youth
service, accomplishing his dreams in life will depend on Nigerians’
benevolence as he battles a kidney-related disease, Gbenga Adeniji writes

One needs not earn a degree in Medicine to know that
Michael Ezekwere is sick. His difficulty in speaking, occasional tug at
his sides and fatigued look are enough signs. He is actually battling
with a kidney-related disease. Ezekwere, a 26-year-old graduate of Political Science
and Public Administration from the University of Benin, just completed
his one year mandatory national youth service in Edo State.

He told our correspondent that his health challenge
started in March 2002 shortly after his secondary education. Ezekwere
said, ‘‘I had just left secondary school and doing a small business to
support myself. I was then staying with my uncle when I noticed that my
legs and feet were swollen. I went for a test where it was disclosed
that I had renal problem, precisely kidney-related. In October of that
year, I did the first transplant which was sponsored by the Salvation
Army. From that time till when the kidney failed, I had spent about
N5m.’’
He added that he had been on medication since the
beginning of this year when his feet became swollen again. According to
him, he went for another test where it was discovered that he was
suffering from chronic allograft nephropathy. ‘‘The doctor told me that I
needed a new transplant,’’ Ezekwere, who hails from Aguata Local
Government Area of Anambra State, said in an emotion-laden voice.
Online source defines Chronic Allograft Nephropathy,
otherwise called CAN or sclerosing as ‘‘the leading cause of kidney
transplant and happens month to years after the transplant.’’
It further states that its symptom is characterised
by a gradual decline in kidney function and mostly, followed by high
blood pressure, while it can be diagnosed by examination of tissue, for
instance kidney biopsy.
It was not too easy for him when he was an
undergraduate because of the academic rigour. But he stresses that his
determination to be useful in life was a great motivation. He explained,
‘‘I bore the stress. I was always going for treatment. It was to the
glory of God that I was able to complete my study and graduate with a
second Class Upper. If I am able to survive this, I will use it as a
point to assist others in my predicament. I intend to realise it through
the establishment of a non governmental organisation. My dream has
always been to effect change and be in a position where I can help
others.’’
But before pursuing that dream, Ezekwere needs N5m
for kidney transplant to stay alive. A letter by Dr. E.L Bamgboye of St.
Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, indicates that besides the money for the
transplant, the cost for haemodialysis is N35, 000 per session. The
doctor further states that he is suffering from chronic allograft
nephropathy. Ezekwere however revealed that he was currently on two
sessions of haemodialysis per week.
He is the fourth child in a family of eight consisting two boys and four girls including his parents.
Disclosing that his parents are retired clerics from
the Salvation Army, the Anambra State indigene added that they had come
to accept his situation hoping that help would one day come to him.
Ezekwere noted, ‘‘there is no parent that will be
happy to see their child in this kind of situation. It is a fate they
have come to accept. But they have been very encouraging and supportive.
They have always been there for me and they believe in me. This medical
challenge has a psychological effect on me. I always feel the pain of
not being able to do certain things I would normally have done if not
for this present health condition.’’

Despite his state, he is frantically seeking assistance only that he
has yet not got any encouraging response. According to him, one of his
relatives has promised to donate a kidney but the lack of fund is
hampering the operation.

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