hello guys!! So the past few posts have been more on the unserious/humorous side. Today we are going to take a break….not from fiction per say but from my less than serious persona. I recently payed the hearts of gold children’s hospice a visit and i came back with these thoughts…………………..
“i don tire for all these pregnant women sef. See as dem just full ground yakata” remarked the handless beggar to the blind one as a pregnant woman passed by with her very round tummy. “Yes o! rub it in” replied the blind beggar angrily. “i no mean am like that na. i tink say you don notice am. No be you wey touch that madam belle by mistake as im wan give you money yesterday?” explained his handless friend. “well that was just one. How am i to know they are all over the place?” said the blind beggar. “oya e don do o! dis your sensitive sensitive too much abeg. as you dey ask me to rub am in you no remember say i no get hand? mschewwwww” . To this, the highly educated blind beggar had no reply.
“Mama isn’t that the beggar that touched your tummy? asked little Uche as he went by the beggars spot with Ada his mother. “yes he is. He can’t see so he didn’t know I was pregnant” replied Ada to her five year old son. It was a market day and despite the warnings of her mother in-law to stay home, she was on her way to the market. She felt if she lay in bed, she would become weak and besides, the market was very close to her house. She was so excited about the coming baby. They had been trying for a second child since Uche was born. Nnamdi, her husband had been ecstatic when she’d told him she was pregnant. She felt a little tightening in her tummy and she stopped for a bit. Her due date wasn’t for another month. The spasm passed and she continued on her way.
Obiageli was at the hospital with her mother. She was a widow whose husband had died about two months into her pregnancy. Her water had broken just that morning and the doctors were trying to get the theatre ready. She was in so much pain. “MAMA O!!! she yelled as tears rolled down her face. “why did Amara have to go? EWO OOOOO!!!!. Her mother held her hand and prayed to God for her daughter, the baby on the way and patience.
“Mama what is it?” asked Uche as his mother stopped for the eighth time. Ada was gripping the yam table tightly and her face looked as if she was in tremendous pain. “Go and fetch Mama” she instructed her son. Uche ran as fast as his five year old legs would allow. “Mama mama mama” he shouted as he ran into the compound. His grandmother was pounding palm kennel infront of the house. “Uche what happened?” she asked in Igbo as she stood up suddenly from the stool causing it to topple over. “I don’t know what is wrong with Mama” replied the little one in-between sobs. Once she heard this, she picked up the little boy and ran as much as her age would let her, towards the market. She sensed trouble and she didn’t like it one bit.
Obiageli had not seen her baby yet. She had passed out immediately after delivering. Ada was in the operating room. She had been rushed in from the market. Her baby’s head had been too big to be pushed out so an emergency C-section was being carried out on her. “Mama” whispered Obiageli as she woke up. “yes Obi! I’m here” replied her mother. “where is my baby?” she asked. “let me go and bring the doctor” replied her mother.
Doctor: hello young lady. How are u feeling now?
Obiageli: tired. Where is my baby?
Doctor: he is fine but we have a little problem
Obiageli:(shouting) what is it?
Mother: Obi calm down and listen to the doctor
Doctor: your baby was born with what we call Spina Bifida
Obiageli: Spinal what?
Doctor: Spina Bifida. Its a condition where the vertebrae overlying the spinal cord isn’t fully formed causing the spinal cord to protrude through an opening. The Meningeal membrane that covers the spinal cord forms a sac enclosing the spinal elements.
Obiageli: EWO! I don’t understand what you are saying. Where is my baby?
Doctor: Madam your baby was born with the lower part of his spinal cord sticking out. He needs surgery as soon as possible to fix this if not he could get seriously infected and die.
Obiageli: chai chai chai! Mama what is he saying? EWO O! Amara what have you done to me enh? What is this? Where will I find money for this one again? Chineke o!
Mother: Doctor how much will this surgery cost
Doctor: I cannot say exactly and we cannot perform it here. He will need to go to Lagos to have it done. Time is crucial madam.
Nnamdi held his wife’s hand as she woke up. It was indeed a grim story he had to tell her. His mother was by his side. “where is the baby?” she asked. “She is in the intensive care unit”. “why what is wrong??” she asked with fear written all over her face. He felt her hands go cold. “sweetheart the baby was born with a condition called Hydrocephalus. According to the doctor, its also known as water in the brain and its exactly as the name implies. Its what caused her head to be so big” he replied. “ahhhh! Nnamdi what are we going to do? Is he going to die?” she asked panicking. “Ada you need to rest. The doctor said she needs surgery very soon and they can’t do the surgery here so we will have to travel to Lagos as soon as possible. Don’t worry. Our baby will be ok” he replied. By this time, Ada could not be consoled. She felt like she was being punished for a past transgression.
“you don hear wetin happen?” asked the handless beggar of the blind one. “No I haven’t heard anything. What happened?”. “sometimes ehn I no know whether you dey dis same village. Sister Obiageli and Sister Ada don born”. replied the handless beggar. “Who are they and how is this any concern of mine?” asked the blind one. “o sorry. Sometimes I dey forget say you no sabi see. This your sunshade dey confuse person. Dem talk say sister Obi born pikin wey no get back and sister Ada born pikin wey get excess head.” answered no hand. “are you sure? That seems rather far fetched. If that were true, both babies wouldn’t survive” replied the blind beggar. “abeg me I no know jo! I resemble doctor to you? Abeg take the gist like that. Sister Obi and Ada don go Lagos. Dem pikin never die”. Once again, the blind beggar was left with no words.
Getting to Lagos was no problem for both families. The biggest challenge was raising the money to undergo the surgery considering the urgency of the operation. Both families wrote letters to government agencies, private organisations, churches etc. Uche even stood in Lagos traffic begging for anyone to help his sister but being the human beings we are, everyone just rode past. Someone from a toyota corolla even shouted “SCAM” at the poor boy. seconds turned to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days and still no hope. Obiageli watched her child get worse and develop an infection. Ada and Nnamdi watched their baby slowly slip away from them. Both families heard of the hearts of gold children’s hospice at the same time but were told it was a home strictly for abandoned kids with disabilities. They were back to where they had started. That night, Obiageli abandoned her baby infront of the Hospice. He was discovered the next morning and taken in. He got the operation he needed and survived. Ada and Nnamdi continued seeking for help from kind hearted people but when they eventually were able to raise the money, it was too late. Their baby died.
Back in the village, the handless beggar turned to the blind one. “you no go believe wetin happen for Lagos”. “I am not interested” replied the blind beggar. Of course that didn’t stop the handless begger from continuing in his storytelling. The blind beggar suddenly started crying. This caused the handless one to pause for a minute. “wetin dey do you?” he asked his blind “friend”. “I cry because the military man that took my eyes made a grave mistake”. “before nko! Im no suppose commot ur eye na”. “You misunderstand me. He should have taken my ears instead. And with that, he started sobbing like a baby. That of course was the end of the conversation.
Nono’s Note: This is totally a work of fiction and any error/inconsistency is but mine. That aside, the underlying scenario has been on my mind for some days now. Was Obiageli wrong to have abandoned her baby although he received the care he needed? Did Nnamdi and Ada take the morality of the action a notch too far by not joining Obiageli and saving their baby? Could Obi’s action’s be categorised as motherly love? If yes then wasn’t Ada’s motherly love as well? Where exactly do we draw the line?. Thanks for stopping by and I apologise for the length of this post. Have a lovely day :).