Fights to save other eye, mum seeks lifeline
The parents of six-year-old Joshua Takon have appealed to Nigerians to come to the aid of their son, to prevent him from going blind.
Speaking to Sunday Vanguard in Abuja, Mrs. Kate Takon Neji, from Cross River State, stated that Joshua, diagnosed with cleft palate from birth, needs N3.5 million for facial reconstruction surgery in India and save him from losing his second eye after losing the first.
Neji stated that four months after his birth, Joshua, born with a ‘divided face’, underwent a surgical operation at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to correct the anomaly, adding that few months after the surgery, they started noticing spots and pus on the face.
She explained that Joshua underwent a second surgery in 2011 at the General Hospital, Asokoro, Abuja, which she said was not successful.
The mother said, “We had to return to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to tell the doctors about the development. Specifically, water and some whitish substances still come out of the only functional eye and this is a major challenge for him at school, as he finds it very difficult looking at the chalkboard.
“It was from there that we were referred to Primus International Super Specialty Hospital, Abuja, where we were told they do not have the facility to carry out this type of surgery. The hospital later referred us to their branch in India.
“We were told by the hospital that it would cost a minimum of $16,000, about N3.5 million, for medical, transport and other expenses for the trip to India. We have spent all we had on the first two surgeries. I am a seamstress while my husband is a cocoa farmer. All our earnings have been spent on the first two surgeries, while my husband had to dispose of his land to meet the cost of one of the operations.”
She said the family spent N870,000 and N500,000 on the first and second surgeries respectively and have been spending huge sums of money on drugs since after the surgeries.
Neji appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of the family to save Joshua from losing his sight and his life, especially as the situation is making it difficult for him to breathe.
Giving a breakdown of the cost, a letter from Primus Hospital showed that approximately $10,000 is required for the cost of the treatment; $3,500 for air ticket (return) for two persons to India and $2,500 for accommodation and miscellaneous expenses.
The mother stated that donations to save Joshua can be paid into Ecobank Account Number 5341006154, and Account Name: Takon Joshua Neji.