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“It has not been easy; this is not easy o! Sometimes, my body would be heating up like an oven. Even when the weather is so cold and people are complaining, I would be feeling hot as if they have thrown me into the fire. ”.
Those were the words of the young lady whose picture you see in this piece. Though her name is Mercy but life has not been merciful to her. At 32, Mercy’s life has been one of pain, agony and lamentation. And as you read this piece, time is running out on the lady who is a teacher by profession. Poor Mercy has been diagnosed with ‘Advanced Metastatic breast cancer’. How else could fate be more cruel than this?
On that cold rainy morning, the poor lady writhing in pains with tears rolling down her pale face, narrated to Sunday Sun how she has been battling with cancer of the breast for three years. The interview would forever remain in the memory of this reporter because even though the situation appeared hopeless, Mercy still hopeful that somehow, help would come and God would save her from the valley of death.
Her full name is Mercy Kanu, an indigene of Obiene-Ututu, in Arochukwu Local Government of Abia State. She attended the Federal College of Special Education in Oyo State where she obtained her National Certification in Education. She tells this reporter that all was well with her as she was doing part time teaching job and hoping that mother luck would smile on her for a better employment when the devil came knocking on her door.
How it started Mercy’s was one of the many cases of wrong medical advice or diagnosis which have led to the death of many Nigerians. From her accounts, she did everything to avert her present condition to no avail. She told Sunday Sun that where she was living at Ibadan about three years ago, she noticed a lump in her left breast and visited a clinic to find out what the problem was even though she was not feeling any pains around that spot.
Mercy regretted that after examining her breast, the doctor told her it was nothing and assured her there was no cause for alarm.“The doctor later administered drip on me and gave me some drugs which he said would melt the lump after I had taken them” she said. But Sunday Sun reports that Mercy was surprised to notice that the lump was even growing after taking the drugs and the situation prompted her to seek more medical attention in another hospital, sometime in 2011.
She then went to the General Hospital, Ibadan where one Mrs Taiwo, a senior matron in that hospital, examined her and told her point blank that she had the dreaded disease, cancer.
Sunday Sun learnt that on coming to Lagos, her brother, Daniel Kanu, a journalist with the Daily Independent newspapers, took her to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH), where she was examined and later referred to Mecure Medical Diognostic Laboratory situated at Oshodi. The result of the diagnosis there confirmed again that like Ibadan General Hospital and LASUTH did that Mercy had malignant breast tumor.
On confirmation of the true medical condition of Mercy, the tortuous battle to save the poor teacher started and she was taken to Havana Hospital, Surulere, where they were charged N2 million for treatment. According to his elder brother, Daniel, a cash deposit of N1 million naira was what stalled the treatment there as he could not raise the money.
Daniel also said that the doctor, whose name he could not remember, as well as the Lab scientist at Mecure Medical Laboratory advised that he should find a way of taking his sister to India for treatment as a matter of urgency.
How Mercy has been coping Daniel, Mercy’s brother who has been paying her hospital bills disclosed to Sunday Sun that he has spent a fortune since his sister joined him late 2011. According to him, he got financially bankrupt soon after treatment commenced due to high medical bills.
He lamented that he has been borrowing money and as well begging for alms from friends and well-wishers to augment his salary to treat his sister. Apart from the chemotherapy, Mercy also receives blood transfusions regularly which also cost money.
Daniel told our reporter that because of the frequency at which his ailing sister received the transfusions, he sometimes, had to pay some donors for their services, apart from the cost of screening the blood and transfusion charges. He also said that there are other drugs which they bought regularly as support treatment because the Chemo, being a strong drug used to shave off all the hairs in Mercy’s body after being administered on her.
The patient who actually looked bald confirmed to our reporter that she had not barbed her hair since she started taking the chemotherapy, but that she found the hairs in all parts of her body going off after taking the treatment.
Appeal Asked what she wants from the good people of Nigeria, Mercy broke down in tears. Though still smiling with hope, streams of tears were rolling down her cheeks as she spoke. She appealed to well meaning Nigerians to help him to raise N5 Million for her sister’s treatment abroad.
•Mercy can be reached through: Daniel Kanu:08023035107 or UBA: Kanu Daniel – 1005975546