By Godwin Ifijie
Nine months after her surgery for severe bowing of both limbs in an effort to gradually correct her lower limbs deformities, Miss. Ijachi Blessing Maria is seeking N600, 000 for another round of surgery to effect some adjustments, arising from the operation on the legs, if she is to ever walk again.
Doctors said after her date at the hospital on May 11, 2020 that Blessing, who has been home, recuperating from the operation since she was discharged last October, would urgently need to undergo another surgery for “adjustment of Tibia Joint Fibula (TJF) and bone gratting to rectify some arisen anomalies in the course of treatment.
The 18-year old had suffered severe bowing of both limbs and lower limbs deformities and had a surgery at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, last September in a bid to redress the situation, using Ring Fixator/Taylor Spatial Frame due to the grotesque nature of the deformities.
Though the operation was acclaimed successful but Blessing on Monday this week, said: “I am right now suffering severe pains from both limbs and placed on painkillers, which I take regularly to reduce the pains because my doctor said there is a slight gap between my right limb and the joint and as for my left leg, the limb has disconnected from the joint, otherwise, the surgery was okay, the situation became this because I could not get to the hospital to see the doctor again due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I just kept turning the Ring Fixators/Taylor Spatial Frame fixed on the legs as instructed.”
“My not being able to go to the hospital again is responsible for the situation I am in now, my left limp in the course of turning the fixators and spatial frames shifted slightly out of the knee joint and got swollen and flappy while there is a gap between my right limp and the knee joint even though it looks okay and they say unless these are corrected through another operation, I won’t be anything better, in fact, I may not be able to go off the wheel chair again and have to be moved around. So, I require another surgery again that would cost between N450 and N500, 000. Where will I get that sort of money from? I have been through it all to this point through the special grace of Nigerians and the media used by God to raise funds for me, I am aware of the difficulties COVID-19 has caused for all, the shutdown of businesses, religious houses and even social lives, but I have no one else to ask to help me, I can’t do it myself, I am again begging Nigerians to kindly help me with this last stage of my situation and save me this predicament, I want to walk, make this possible for me in the name of God, don’t let all you have spent in the past (over N2million raised from the public and expended on me already in the hospital) to get me to this stage be a waste, get me through it all and reap the benefit of a totally well me,” Blessing pleaded, asking donors to make their contributions to John Blessing Maria, GT Bank Account No. 0468466784.
As first published of her ordeal on July 3, 2019, Blessing experienced a 12-year unabating harsh pains from severe bowing of both limbs and dropped out of school in the Senior Secondary School (SSS) Form 1 in 2016 from the excruciating pains, which made it impossible for her to walk to and fro anymore from school.
She started having problems with her legs from age two and half and was taken to the General Hospital, Ikeja, from where she was referred to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos (NOHIL).
“Igbobi prescribed a surgery for me at that age but my dad became sick and died. We couldn’t raise the money for the surgery after my dad’s death, so, it became impossible for us to go back for the operation,” Blessing said the mother told her of the beginning of what has now become a threat to her life.
She managed to go through elementary school and then Junior Secondary School (JSS) at the Ikeja Junior Secondary School, Oshodi, Lagos. But with the pains and level of deformity worsening as she grew older, it became impossible for her to walk to school daily, sit in the class and walk back home.
Described by her teachers as brilliant, Blessing painfully dropped out of school in Form 1 at the Ikeja Senior Secondary School in 2016 and has remained committed to turning her situation around and return to school.
The hope-raising medical report for her surgery last year was signed by Dr. Izuagba Emeka B, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Padiatric Orthopaedics and Limb Reconstruction Unit, NOHIL. Dated March 26, 2019 and entitled: Re: Medical Report on Ijachi Blessing Maria/ Female/17years, Hospital No. 639273, the report read: “The Above named patient of our hospital was first seen on 17/09/2018 with complaints of severe bowing of both limbs of 12years duration. There is associated knee pains, difficulty in walking or running.
“She initially presented to the hospital 7 years ago for treatment but defaulted as she could not afford the cost of the required surgery. The deformities have since progressively worsened up to the present state.
“On presentation, she was thoroughly re-examined and a diagnosis of severe Bilateral Infantile Blounts disease to rule out skeletal dysplasia was made, following clinical assessment and X-ray imaging studies.
“She requires a surgical treatment of gradual correction of lower limb deformities, using Ring Fixator/Taylor Spatial Frame due to the grotesque nature of the deformities.
“A surgical assessment has already been given to her, detailing the cost estimates required for the surgery.”