CLUTCHING his stomach, coughing and gasping for breath intermittently, the dream of 23-years-old Bankole Rotimi to be Nigeria’s Muhammad Ali is currently hanging in the balance. Bankole was born into a family of boxing champions, and he hopes to be one himself, but that dream, started derailing since age three.
At those early years, Bankole experienced bouts of headaches, vomiting and was in and out of hospital for various ailments. Unknown to his family, Bankole’s recurrent illnesses were not the usual children’s sicknesses but a pointer to a grave health condition.
The seriousness of Bankole’s health condition became apparent in 2017, just after he became a National Diploma holder in Mass Communication from the Polytechnic, Iree, Osun State.
He had reported to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, to complain of headaches and vomiting. Behold, consultant physician and nephrologist, Dr Yemi Raji of the renal unit of UCH diagnosed Bankole with end stage kidney failure secondary to chronic glomerulonephritis. Bankole’s two kidneys have failed, with one of them becoming damaged when he was three years old. With glomerulonephritis, Bankole’s kidney filtering units are injured and cannot effectively get rid of wastes and extra fluid in his body.
“My health issues started at age three; one of my kidneys was spoilt then, but it was not detected. It all became more obvious in 2017 after my ND and I started vomiting, having various ailments and I was taken to hospital on various occasions. I am a boxer and my dream in life is to be a Nigerian boxing champion,” Bankole said.
Bankole’s father, Mr Egbebi Rotimi, bemoaned the fact that for 23 years, his son’s kidney problem was not detected by the various hospitals they reported to.
“We initially were not told that it was kidney problem. It was when he grew to 23 years that we were then told that he had kidney problem and that the two kidneys were spoilt.
“When he was young, no kidney problem was detected by the hospitals we took him to. Not until 2017 after he left school that he started complaining of serious headache and was vomiting that we took him to UCH where we were made to realise that my son’s kidneys were damaged.
“The doctors did not tell us the major reason for the kidney problem, but they kept telling us to do one dialysis upon another. The test only detected that one kidney got damaged when he was a baby while the other one got spoilt when he became grown up,” Rotimi said.
Since July 30, 2017, Bankole’s has on maintenance. He said, Haemodialysis twice a week, each costing N52,000, aside from eight different kinds of drugs.
However, the functions of the two bean-shaped organs to filter waste and extra water from the body, clean the blood, regulate blood pressure and produce hormones remain degraded.
Nephrologists say that once kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous levels of wastes may accumulate and blood’s chemical makeup may get out of balance.
Bankole’s kidneys are handicapped to carry out the daily cleaning out of 200 quarts of blood.
While one can live with one healthy kidney, the fact that Bankole’s two kidneys are damaged and function at less than 15 percent subjects him to treatment choices of dialysis to regularly clean the blood and body or a kidney transplant.
But, according to Dr Raji in Bankole’s medical report, kidney transplantation is the preferable option to haemodialysis.
According to Bankole’s dad, the sum of N11 million is needed for the kidney transplant.
He said, “I have expended all the money I have. I have sold virtually all my properties, and I need help. No member of my family has a history of kidney problem. For the past one year, he has not been normal. He doesn’t sleep well; he doesn’t live well, and we regularly take him to hospital. I have sold all my vehicles.”
“So far, I have spent about N9 million. We do dialysis twice a week, each costing N52, 000 since 2018. He needs N11 million to do kidney transplant. I am ready to donate my kidney; my new wife is also ready to donate her kidney, but all we need is money for the kidney transplant.
“I appeal to Nigerians to help me and pray that God will assist whoever helps me. I am a former boxer and my first son, Abayomi Rotimi, is a Nigerian boxer. He won bronze for Oyo State at the sports festival in Abuja.”
Account name: Egbebi Rotimi
Account No: 0231009829
Bank name: Wema
Phone: 08060807398, 07057180760