George Chimezirim Egbuchulam is a graduate of English Department, University of Ibadan and hails from Owerri North Local Government, Imo State. Throughout his time in UI, he was full of life, fun-to-be-with and intelligent. He was to go for service early 2010, when he was diagnosed for Renal Failure. He has finished youth service at Edo State and has applied for his Masters Study in English when he became seriously ill as a result of failure of his two kidneys and has to be hospitalised at University College Hospital, Ibadan. There his life is threatened with chronic kidney failure, he suffers pain with weekly dialysis and has his body punctured at the right arm and lower abdomen. These are what we saw on 6th July, 2012 when we visited George at the South West Ward 3, UCH, Ibadan.
We had a discussion with Dr. O. Osela, the house officer for South West Ward 3 on the state of George, the medical complications, the procedures he is presently going through and the financial burden of a kidney transplant. Osela explained the implication of a chronic kidney failure; the fact that George needs intending donors, series of tests to know if the blood group and DNA of George and intending donor match, the surgery and post-surgery procedure. Osela explained that pending the transplant, George will undergo dialysis as many times as necessary. For George, the pains are unbearable; he screams when you touch him because of the toxic materials stored up in his system. For Chinyere, George’s girlfriend, the dialysis is a gory sight with tubes entangled to George’s body to drain blood, and return blood. Chinyere also explained how they have been spending N60, 000 on a weekly basis at the hospital.
George’s father, Mr. George Egbuchulam Snr is a catechist at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Nkwo-Emeke Parish, Owerri. He has informed UCH of his willingness to donate his kidney for his first son and eldest child, George. George’s elder brother, Chris is also willing to donate his kidney. The challenge of the family is the financial burden. George’s treatment would take series of procedures, and for now what could be estimated is a sum of N7, 000, 000. It was explained that the initial procedure may gulp about N3, 000, 000 but the whole treatment may take over N7, 000, 000. George’s father does not want to lose his first son – he says he is sure of George’s bright future. He wants Nigerians to rise up and save George’s life.
George is of a strong personality and a courageous mind. He managed to laugh with us and crack some jokes. But all those smiles got swallowed up in a saddened expression when he was informed that the treatment would take nothing less than N7, 000, 000 AND NOT N2, 500, 000 as earlier speculated. We assured George of his survival. We promised George that Nigerians would support him financially. We assured George that we would take the word out there and let Nigerians know that one of them is dying – that a star would be extinguished if their support is delayed.
Fellow Nigerians, George’s case is not a scam. We are ready to put our integrity at stake for the purpose of this cause. This is our collective cause – the cause of humanity. Let us donate towards the surgery of George Egbuchulam. Whether Christians or Muslims, Catholic or protestants, Yoruba, Hausa or Ibo, George represents humanity, and we owe humanity the responsibility to care. We shall all raise N7, 000, 000 for George. We shall all save George. God help us.
Send your donation to George Chimezirim Egbuchulam, First Bank, 1233010142434(For online transaction: 3020722444). This is the personal account of George. We shall always send you updates on the donation.
God help us.
Olamide Agbomeji (@idowuolams)
Olufemi Babalogbon (@babalowise)
Oladipo Abimbola (@obamirinda)
For: Wits’ Forum Initiative, Ibadan.