Parents of hole in the heart baby crying help

Hole the Heart baby Shekinah Umoru

THE double bundles of joy were supposed to bring boundless happiness to the couple when they arrived in July last year. When the fulfilled father Mr Afekhide Umoru stepped out of the maternity ward of the hospital on that cold and breezy afternoon in the Edo State capital of Benin, he had a vision as broad as the sky for the infant twins.

The young mother, Mrs Vivian Umoru, however, wailed that it was joy flavoured with sadness when the younger twin was not developing well shortly after deliverance. Delivered with a very low birth weight of 1.5 kg, he was put in an incubator when the doctor at the hospital discovered that he had a very large hole in the heart which obviously resulted in stunted growth. The younger twin was diagnosed with a hole in the heart and the parents will need to cough out over N4 million for the defect to be corrected.
Worried over the stunted growth of Shekinah, the parents had sought out the advice of doctors just when the twins were born. She said she shivered as the sad reality of the situation hit her. Little Shekinah had a hole in the heart and would need to keep an appointment in the theatre with a surgeon, the physician had told her.
Almost one year after, Umoru from Ososo in Akoko-Edo local council of Edo State is in deep distress. What was supposed to be a source of joy has brought heartache to his young family.
“I am confused. I don’t just know what to do. We are hoping that God will help us to be able to do that,” he said.
Whatever little money the family had, has been sunk into the treatment of young Shekinah all to no avail. While the father is a junior staff of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), the wife ekes out a living as a petty trader. For the sake of the sick son, she has to stop going to the market so as to be able to take care of him and his twin brother.
In agony, the mother summarised the pains of the family: “For now, because of his condition, I have not been able to do anything. I am a petty trader.
“We have been using UBTH to treat him but we are told the treatment cannot be done in Nigeria. The doctor said we need over N4 million for the defect to be treated abroad.
“For now, he is on two major syrup which are to reduce heart attack by draining fluids from the lungs instead of the fluid going to the heart. We have been on admission and he has been feeding through the nose because he cannot eat normally, we have just been discharged because of the recent strike by health workers so we are placing him on those drugs, presently if you look at his stomach, he is not getting well. Now we feed him trying to give him through syringe through the mouth. He has difficulty in eating and breathing.
“We want financial assistance so that we can do the surgery. The doctor said if we can do it now, it will be better for the life of the child at this age. We want government and individuals to support us financially. We have an account in his name to support us.”
The husband added: “We got married in 2016. It has been a challenge for us because we have been going to the hospital since his birth. We spent initial three months in the hospital Special Intensive Care Unit and after discharging us, we have been going to the hospital.
“It has affected my work and I want the public to help me financially because it has affected my income. I have borrowed a lot of money, we find it difficult to feed now or even cloth ourselves because every penny we get goes to the hospital to take care of the baby. To pay rent now is a challenge, we cannot feed well, we are not doing well.”
There is no doubt that the innocent has been through too much too soon and will need the grace of kind-hearted Nigerians to make it. Little Shekinah’s life surely does matter too.
 He gave the account number opened for the baby as UMORU SHEKINAH DANIEL, FCMB 5264130017.

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