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13 February 2017

Photos: Mocked, abandoned; how 16-year-old struggles with neurofibromatosis

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Madam Hajara was in tears when she narrated what appeared a torturous, sad and lonely journey to save the life of her daughter.

Adizatu was diagnosed with the genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis in 2000 when she was barely a year-old. While she smiled innocently to the world, her body had begun to betray her.

Scientists say the disease causes tumors to form on nerve tissue of the human body and it is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood.

Madam Hajjara narrates how she treated the news casually thinking it was one of those baby prone sicknesses that have no death stint.

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“I thought it was one of those sicknesses that happen to children at birth,” she said, soaked in tears dripping from in a blue handkerchief in her left hand.

“I gave birth to her with that condition, but it wasn’t swollen in the beginning so I thought it would be fine when she starts schooling.”

There was no sign that Adizatu’s sickness was getting any serious.

However, it was when she reached class four at a primary school in Cape Coast that the seriousness Adizatu’s condition began to dawn on Madam Hajara.

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“Her left foot swelled that I had to rush her from one herbalist to the other,” she said, balling her two hands to demonstrate the intensity of the swell.

Adizatu’s friends teased her about her condition. She would cry until a teacher walked up to console her. “I have friends who sometimes laugh at me,” Adizatu said, wearing an innocent smile yet urgent to capture her condition.

According to Madam Hajara, she withdrew the child from school upon the advice of one of the teachers who suggested she treat the issue seriously.

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As the child’s condition became deteriorated, Madam Hajara was left with no choice than to send her to see a doctor in Cape Coast who later transferred them to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

“Her father abandoned us when he realised the condition of Adizatu was getting worse by the day,” she said.

After several days of consultation and pleading for her daughter’s life, Madam Hajara was asked to pay GHC15,000 in April 2016 for her daughter to be operated on.

She flashed out a letter from a brown envelope bearing the letterhead of Korle bu Teaching Hospital. The content is harmless to any reader, but to Madam Hajara it is the source of her worry and sleepless nights. She wants to help her daughter, but she could not raise even GHC500 from her ‘Koko’ business.

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When asked how much she had raised from April to December 2016 considering that the child’s condition keeps getting worse by the day, Madam Hajara grinned muttering, “nothing.”

She banked her hope on promises which have not been redeemed.

She disclosed that many people had promised to help them raise the money for the surgery, but nothing has been heard of them.

“They stop calling and when you call them, they speak to you as if you are disturbing them,” she said, adding she does not want to be the source of someone’s burden.

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Her one wish is for kindhearted Ghanaians to raise the required GHC15,000 to enable her daughter to have the surgery on the left foot.

When one sees Adizatu, she does not have the countenance of a worrywart, as if she had imbibed the timeless truth that nobody can wish away their problems by a sunken appearance.

“I want to be a normal girl and to be able to go to school again,” she said.

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If you are desirous of helping Adizatu undergo the surgery as recommended by doctors at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital,  you can help by donating to the account below:

ACCOUNT NAME: Joy Needy Fund

ACCOUNT No: 0052010027306

BANK:  SG-SSB

BRANCH:  Faanofaa

 

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com

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