Connect with us

COMMUNITY REPORT

Help! We Need Medical Solution, Advice – Son Cries Out As Jehovah’s Witness Sick Mum Refuses Life-Saving Blood Transfusion

Published

on





Samuel Ekemini, a resident of Akwa Ibom, shares with TEMITOPE ADETUNJI the story of his mother, Mrs. Fortune Samuel, who has been diagnosed with a peptic ulcer. This ailment has led to the development of a sizable boil near her throat, necessitating surgical intervention. Despite this urgent need, she adamantly declines a needed blood transfusion, citing her religious beliefs.

What do you do for a living?

My name is Samuel Ekemini, I am the first son of Mrs. Fortune Samuel. I will be 30 years old by November 29, 2024, and I am from Ekoi-Ikot Nyoho village, Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Currently, I am a graduate, and I’ve been jobless for a while, but I’m currently with the Federal Housing Authority, State Services Directorate, Federal Housing Authority, in Abuja.

Meet Samuel Odugbesan who lost his arms working with an electricity company

Advertisement

What is your role?

I am the Aide on media and publicity to the executive director (Estate Services) of Federal Housing Authority, Arc. Ezekiel Nya-Etok.

From which institution did you receive your degree?

Advertisement

I graduated from the Department of Communication at the University of Uyo.

You recently made a social media post concerning your mum’s condition, what happened to her?

Okay, all I can remember was that in 2018, when I was rounding up my studies in school, my mum was very hale and hearty. She was very sound, and she was the soul of the house. She managed everything, and because of her, growing up was something very easy and sweet for all of us. So early 2019, my mum started complaining that she felt funny, she started with a constant headache. She was always telling us her head was always feeling extremely heavy, and that that made her restless. Even at night, she couldn’t sleep. She would be walking around the compound all night long. That was just how it started.

Advertisement

So what happened after that?

The next thing was that we took her to the hospital, and the doctor after diagnosis said that there was nothing wrong with her. The only thing that they found at that time was that her BP was increasing. On the first test we did, we were told her BP was 170 over 80, and that was too high. So drugs were recommended, but those drugs were costly. I and my dad had to keep buying them.

In 2020 we found out that my mother started changing. She started looking skinny and small, looking dried up. It started getting worse day by day. Over time, she started complaining that something was going up and down her body, like something was moving from her tummy, her head, and downwards. There were times she would throw up, and we again took her to the hospital. She was diagnosed. The doctor said there was nothing wrong with her, that everything was okay. We took her back to the house. We resorted to some traditional doctors. So many people recommended so many things. As I’m talking to you, if you enter my mummy’s room, you will find nothing less than 100 bottles of drugs. That is what we’ve been using to keep her since 2020.

Advertisement

However, her health started deteriorating in 2022. She became overly weak, and could not go out on her own. She suspended every official activity and stopped going to church because she could not move on her own. When we took her to the church, she could not even sit for 10 to 20 minutes on her own. We took her to the hospital for another round of tests. We were told that her blood level was going down but they also recommended drugs. So for some weeks, we kept her on the drugs. Then in 2023, the condition became worse.

How old is your mum?

My mum will be 53 years old this month (May 2024), but she looks like a 70 or 80-year-old woman because of her health condition. And we have spent all we have treating her, I mean myself and my dad. We’ve spent all we have on drugs, especially BP drugs. Now, a few months ago, we observed that something very big started growing on her neck.

Advertisement

Can you describe what it looks like?

It looks like an extremely large boil or bumps and it is very close to her throat. Very big and painful. The thing closed her throat, so she could practically not eat anything hard.

So what did you do when you observed that?

Advertisement

We took her to the hospital and she was diagnosed with a peptic ulcer caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Despite taking many antibiotics, her condition has worsened, and she now struggles to eat and talk because the boil is extremely close to blocking her throat.

So, for the past six months, we’ve been feeding her only watery food.

You mentioned that you are the first son, do you have siblings?

Advertisement

Yes, we are four, two guys, two ladies.

What are they doing about the situation?

My elder sister is currently not working. Her husband has been the one taking care of her. The husband has tried to assist us, but the economic situation is a big challenge for everyone. Currently, I am the only person that is working. I left our mother in Akwa-Ibom two months ago to work for money because she still needs a lot.

Advertisement

What is your current city or place of residence?

So I came to Abuja because I got a job in March 2024. I had to leave them in Akwa-Ibom. However, at the end of the month, I send 80 per cent of my salary back to the family for upkeep and to take care of our mum.

What about your dad?

Advertisement

My dad is a civil servant and he has also been trying his best. He took a lot of loans to build where we are living in Akwa-Ibom, and at the end of the month, he used his salary to pay back the loans. So I am like the breadwinner of the family. And then, I still have little ones to take care of.

What is the latest update from the doctor regarding your mother’s current medical condition?

They tested her blood level, and the report showed that she had a low blood level. For the neck, they recommended a quick surgery.

Advertisement

Why haven’t you gone for the surgery?

Well, I would say financial constraints but the major issue now is that we were told that for the surgery to be done on her neck there has to be a blood transfusion. They said for a start, we need to infuse her with blood. But the issue is that my mum has refused blood or anything related to blood.

Why?

Advertisement

Because of her religious beliefs. She is a Jehovah’s Witness, and it is against her doctrine to get a blood transfusion. So, I have tried to convince her because to tell you the truth, I am not ready to lose her now. She did a lot for me, especially when I was in school, and I am ready to do anything to make sure that she’s fine. I tried to convince her to accept available medical help. What she told me point blank was that she cannot disobey her God, that the command to abstain from blood is a direct command from the Bible. She spoke with deep convictions and quoted scriptures, and I don’t even know what to say about it. We are still trying to convince her.

So what is your plan since she has refused blood transfusion?

Currently, to tell you the truth, there is no other possible option. That is the only option given to us, my mum is dying day by day.

Advertisement

What kind of help do you need now?

We are desperate for help and are open to any medical suggestions or alternatives that do not involve blood transfusion. If anyone in the medical field can offer assistance or advice, we would be immensely grateful.

How do you feel about the situation?

Advertisement

I am not happy with the current situation. I am not happy this is the only option available. I don’t want to lose her, and at the same time, I have to respect the wishes of my mother.

Are you also a member of Jehovah’s Witness?

I was born into a Jehovah’s Witness family. we are a family of witnesses, including my siblings, but I stopped attending their programmes in 2017. I have no personal issues with the church either.

Advertisement

In which Church do you currently engage in worship services?

Yes, the Revival House of Glory International Church in Abuja.

(This interview was originally published by Punch)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

COVID-19 STATS

Advertisement
Advertisement