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Saturday, 16 August 2014

A Teenager's Plea to Stay Alive - 'I Don't Want To Die Young'

I saw this touching article on Jebose Boulevard in the Punch. It is a teenage girl's plea to stay alive. Touching!!! She needs a kidney transplant but lacks funds. About 2 weeks ago, I shared the story of a 26 year old graduate, Balogun Yomade Yewande who also needs a kidney transplant. These young women with great dreams deserve a chance to stay alive.

Henrietta Ewenike is a 19 year old girl who was diagnosed with severe kidney failure 4 years ago. The failure was from the infections of Hepatitis B disease which she contracted earlier in life. Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Infection with this virus can cause scarring of the liver, kidney failures, liver cancer, and even death.

She said:I never asked for this. My wish is to get healed. The dialyses would sustain me until I get a kidney transplant. Doctors told my mother to source for funds because being a teenager; they do not recommend a lifetime dialyses. I need help to get a transplant. I want to live. Transplant would stabilise my life and allow me to live normal life. I need money to get a transplant. I do not want to live on the machine 3 days a week the rest of my life. I am a teenager with ambitions.

My father lives in the East. He walked away from us 6 years ago. Since this illness, I tried several times to ask and plead for his assistance. I called him few months ago and told him about my condition, pleaded with him for financial support. I told him I needed him now more than ever before, just to be my father with all support. I begged that perhaps, he should be ready in future to be tested for a kidney- donor match in case I found financial assistance or sponsor for kidney transplant. I wanted him to be the one to donate his kidney to me if it matched. He is my father. I never judged him or asked why he walked away from us. 

My father told me that my kidney problem was a deadly disease and that I would not survive it: that meant he would not donate or support me in these challenging times. I pleaded with him 2 weeks ago. He turned the phone off and he had not bothered to call me since. He never asked after my health since I began this struggle 4 years ago. I am sick and I may not have much energy and time to do the things I wished I could do, unless a guardian angel stops here and rescues me. I thought my father could seize this moment and be that guardian angel, but he condemned me to death because I have kidney disease. He said kidney disease is deadly, so I would not survive, and then turned his back on me. 

I will survive, just to tell him that when he didn't believe in me, the world, especially Nigerians, believed in me. Sir, it was very hard hearing these from my own father. It’s now up to my mom and I with other family members’ support and love. This sickness has interrupted my education. I wish to be normal teenager, enjoying the blessings of life and accomplishing my wishes and dreams. My dream is to be an Ear, Throat and Nose physician (ENT). But this disease has interrupted my school. 

I was in SS1 at the Command Day Secondary School, Army Cantonment, Ikeja. But I am too weak to continue with my education. My classmates and students are supporting me. They visit me in school and when I am admitted at the dialysis centre. My mother cannot afford private home schooling tutorials for me. “I want to accomplish my life’s ambition: I wake up every morning wishing to go back to school, a healthy teenager, pursue my dreams and help my society. But I need help. My mother cannot fund my transplant. We have depleted all our savings. I don’t want to die this young.”

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