14-month-old girl needs N3.5 million for open heart surgery in Ondo

For the first few months of her life, Teniola Akinbani was full of life, now at 14 months old, she requires a test and a corrective heart surgery in two hospitals over 180 kilometres apart.

Weighing 3.2kg at birth, Teniola now needs N3.5 million to first undergo a cardiac heart catheterization test at Babcock University Hospital, Ogun State and then an open-heart surgery at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Osun State.

The test, according to her father, Obafemi, costs N650,000 and the only hospital that offers such test in Nigeria is Babcock University Hospital.

According to the result of the paediatric 2-D transthoracic echocardiogram carried out at the OAUTH and sighted by our reporter, Teniola has ventricular septal defect with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a congenital heart disease.

The condition is characterised by left atrial and ventricular enlargement, large peri-membranous ventricular septal defect with muscular extension, severe tricuspid regurgitation, dilated pulmonary arteries and moderate to severe pulmonary regurgitation.

In the result dated Wednesday, October 13, 2021, the hospital recommended a right-sided cardiac catheterization and oral diuretics and sildenafil citrate.

Her father who spoke with Nigerian Tribune said the first indication came about a month birth but they thought she was just reacting to the mandatory immunisation.

The condition also called “a hole in the heart” started when Teniola was six months old, a development that has left her father, a private school teacher and her mother, Kike, a health assistant at a private hospital in want ever since.

Teniola who was born at Mother and Child Hospital, Akure, Ondo State on September 1, 2020, now has irregular heartbeats and shortness of breath and presently weighs 5.3kg, an indication of slowed growth occasioned by the heart defect.

The father further told Nigerian Tribune that Teniola grew lean in the past eight months and doctors initially thought she wasn’t well fed until a paediatrician checked her breathing patterns.

“It is a terrible experience and we have no where to turn to. She was gasping for breaths till the point she fainted.

“We have not slept for the past three days because sometimes the episodes lead to heart failure. We guide her and her mother can’t put her down. Her mates have started walking and are attending creche.

“We have spent about N7,500 every time she goes to the doctor for care every two weeks. By my estimates, it should be about N500,000 now. The doctor comes from Ibadan between Tuesday and Friday just for her,” he said.

He further said Teniola cannot take her new medication until the test at Babcock is carried out.

While data from Lancet, an independent, international weekly general medical journal noted that congenital heart disease was the underlying cause of an estimated 261,247 deaths globally in 2017, Teniola’s parents seek the prayers and financial support of kind-hearted Nigerians to keep her alive.

A letter of support from the Ondo State University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Akure where she is presently receiving care and signed by the Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist, Dr Bola Akinkunmi, stated that Teniola will “undergo an open heart surgery to correct the heart problem.”

The letter reads: “The above named female child with congenital heart disease (Ventricular Septal Defect) has been attending our clinic.

“She will need to undergo an open heart surgery to correct the heart problem.

“The estimated cost is about Three million, five hundred thousand naira (3.5 Million naira). The parent are making efforts to raise the fund. They will require financial assistance from kind hearted people to be able to achieve the goal of getting their girl treated.”

In the quest for assistance, Teniola’s parents reached out, through a family friend, to Ondo-based NGO, Global 21st Century Initiative, which is spearheading a donation campaign for her.

Explaining why the initiative took interest in Teniola’s case, Chairperson of the NGO, Moji Adewumi, told Nigerian Tribune that she hopes that Teniola will have access to required healthcare through this call for help.

Adewumi said: “Our ultimate goal is to give hope to the hopeless and that is why we identify with baby Akinbani. We think that all children around the globe, no matter where they come from, have the rights to health, rights to nutritive diet, rights to care, and all other rights associated to human.

“The children who have the access to these rights grow to become independent individuals who can breakthrough the cycle of poverty be empowered to take their future into their own hands and play an active part in shaping it.”

The parents with account name AKINBANI ADEYEMO OBAFEMI with UNION BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER 0125222078 can be reached on +234 810 685 6642.

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14-month-old girl needs N3.5 million for open heart surgery in Ondo | 14-month-old girl needs N3.5 million for open heart surgery in Ondo | 14-month-old girl needs N3.5 million for open heart surgery in Ondo | 14-month-old girl needs N3.5 million for open heart surgery in Ondo

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