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Girl with hole in heart gets succour


Fatima with mother, Hadiza

Fatima with mother, Hadiza

It is the joy of every mother to hold and nurture her child. Nothing compares to the pleasure of watching the child grow strong and healthy. The timeless privilege of been able to protect one’s offspring is one every mother craves.

But when this sacred privilege is taken away, when a mother becomes powerless to protect her child, the pain is unbelievable. This was the situation Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim, a widow in the Nassarawa area of Kano State found herself. Her daughter Fatima was not growing like every other children in the vicinity. She lacked energy, would only sit by herself and if she has to play, she did it weakly.

Fatima had a hole in the heart and Hajia Ibrahim was at lost as to how to find help. She prayed, pleaded with both family and friends for help. Thankfully the story is different today. Fatima is able to walk, run and play like any five-year-old girl.

“My heart was in my mouth! I have heard different stories about surgeries. Only few were good. This made me afraid about the faith of my child. But, I prayed. I thank God my daughter came out alive,” said an elated Hajia Ibrahim, mother of the child.

Fatima is one of the 14 beneficiaries in the MTN Foundation Medical Intervention Scheme. The Foundation had sponsored children with various forms of heart diseases and conditions to India for heart surgery operations.
Almost everyone present at the reception relish the hope of having Fatima grow properly to fulfill her dream. They all described Fatima as a very pleasant child.

“Am happy Fatima can now play more with us. It is good her surgery was successful. Allahu akbar” was all Aminat, one of the neighbours could express in her native Hausa language. For those who chose not to speak to our correspondent, their gestures speak no less of people full of renewed hope, gratitude as they were raising their hands to the sky and thanking God for a successful return.

For Mallam Mohammed Bello, Fatima’s grandfather and the eldest member of the family, Allah is great. “Having my grand daughter back, alive and well with a promise of a better future, am grateful to Allah” Bello expressed.

With regards to the support in ensuring Fatima had a successful surgery, Bello said: “MTN Foundation is our reason for celebration. Growing up we discovered that Fatima was growing weak and frail; she had no strength enough to engage in activities peculiar to children of her age. After visiting the Muritala Mohammed Hospital, Nassarawa without success, we later visited the Aminu Kano teaching hospital where she was diagnosed of a perforated heart.”

For the family, “it was a different issue discovering the problem with Fatima but a greater challenge was the financial implications for managing the condition. It was a heavy burden on us, as we had to look for money to cater for her. Everyone in the family had to double their efforts to support,” Bello narrated.

At a point “after spending so much, we were told that the surgery would cost N2.5million. This was very challenging and we started to source for funds from everywhere we could. I was really scared and tensed and wondered what would happen to her since the kind assistance we sought was not readily available,” the mother lamented.

“Members of the family had to sell some belongings and other valuables to meet up with medical bills incurred at every visit to the hospital. This didn’t suffice, as our child was not getting better. We were beginning to accept this as our faith until we heard about the MTN Foundation’s offer” Bello explained.

“When we heard the announcement about the intervention on the radio and television, we summon courage to give it a trial because we believe this may be an opportunity to save the life of our little angel” Hajia Ibrahim said.
There was beacon of hope, as the family received a surprised call from MTN Foundation that Fatima has been selected to a trip to India to under heart surgery.

“I cried, and couldn’t believe that this day would come just like that after all we have been through. The end to the journey of pain was in sight and I will have a healthy daughter again. These were thoughts that ran through my mind.
Like a dream and the rising of a bright morning star, we are back and words can’t explain how we feel about this. We are grateful to everyone that has been a pillar of support to get this far. We will do everything possible to adhere to all instructions given by the doctor. We sincerely thank the MTN foundation,” the mother said.

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