While other kids head for school every morning enthusiastic about the long day ahead, Uwais Usman, a fourteen-year-old boy, lies in his hospital bed, writhing in severe pain and agony, wishing he had functioning kidneys to go to enable him go to school like other kids.
He will be fifteen on the October 1, but the fear of celebrating his birthday posthumously grips his mother’s heart, as she struggles to get money for his transplant.
For close to five months, Uwais has been in IBB Specialist Hospital, Minna, Niger State, battling failure of both kidneys. Although one of the kidneys had once failed sometime in 2016, which later picked; both kidneys have now failed, and his health condition has since been deteriorating.
“His condition is very critical and severe,” his mother, Hajiya Halima, told THE NATION on phone, her voice trembling, studded with worries and uncertainties. “When he started, it was way better than this. But now he is always lying down…too much fatigue; too much weakening,” she said.
She explained that she was informed at Bennett Medical and Kidney Center, Abuja, where Uwais was first admitted, that the boy needs a kidney transplant to replace the malfunctioning ones.
“According to the doctor,” she said, “the transplant costs about N8.5 M if carried out in Abuja, and about N13.5M if performed in India–which is way better.”
Asked how much she has been able to realize so far, with utmost sadness, Hajiya Halima replied: “four hundred thousand Naira…for all these while that we’ve been sending messages and appealing on social media. Yet, we spend nothing less than N87,000 weekly on just dialysis and injections.
“We had to move down to Minna because we thought the Niger State Government would help. But we haven’t gotten a good response from them. We have pleaded and pleaded with the Ministry of health, they keep saying there is nothing they can do. I just don’t know whether the government will help us, but it is just not working out yet,” she said.
A couple of weeks ago, Uwais lost his right eye to this deadly ailment, after having suffered severe eye pain as a result of high blood pressure.
“For about two weeks now,” his mother recounted, “when he looks at you, you might think he is seeing you, but he is not. His right eye is gone. And even his left eye cannot withstand light for long. Whenever light penetrates into the left eye, it enters into the right, and then he starts screaming. Most times, I tie black cloth around his face to cover his eyes.
“I am afraid that he might soon lose his left eye too,” she added.
While appealing to members of the general public for help, Hajiya Halima said an account was opened for Uwais in Fidelity Bank, with the account number 6150980918 (Uways Usman A.).
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