This joy that normally heralds the birth of a male child to a family turned sour to the young family of Mr and Mrs Joseph Chijoke Emmanuel of Umuakuma Nkerefi, Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State on October 24, 2013 when their first son and the second in the family, Divine Chizuroke Emmanuel, was born with a defect. Divine was born with an opening in the bladder, thereby exposing the bladder and not allowing the penis to form properly. As a result of this opening, Divine cannot urinate with his penis but instead passes urine through the opening under the abdomen.
Since that day till date, Joseph and his wife, Grace Sharon Emmanuel, have been living a miserable life while Divine is living a painful life. He has now turned three but is still wearing pampers like a baby anywhere he goes – at home, in school and other places.
Two weeks after his birth, he underwent a surgery meant to repair the opening in the abdomen to no avail and that’s how the ordeal began for the young family. Doctors at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Teaching Hospital, UNTH have declared that Divine must under four different type of surgeries – functional bladder closure; bladder neck repair; epispadia repair and reflus – meant to control the urine in the bladder which at the long run will enable him pass urine through his manhood.
To the young family the doctors’ pronouncement is like a death sentence because of the funds that would be required for the repair of bladder existrophy, as the doctors pronounce the birth defect.
While there were running from pillar to post on how to raise fund for the operations line up, a doctor suggested to them that the bladder could be repaired once at an Indian hospital, Apolo Hospital. The surgery would cost N4.7 million and that is another death kennel for the Emmanuel who have exhausted all their savings and have turned to beggars, soliciting help from individuals and organisations to come to their aid financially.
Joseph Chijoke Emmanuel, a 2011 graduate of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, ESUT, Enugu and his wife, Grace Sharon Emmanuel, a phonetics teacher at God’s Care Nursery and Primary School, Achara Layout, Enugu, have reached out to several corporate organisations, churches who promised to help but have not yet come up with any help at the moment. “I have met with several organisations and individuals who promised to help but are yet to do anything,” the father of two, Joseph, laments.
He disclosed that before they ran into the problem, he was running a piggery business since he could not procure white collar job after graduation but could not carry on with the piggery business any longer because he has exhausted his earnings. At a time, he joined the Coal City Taxi cab, but his vehicle broke down and he could not repair it for now because there is no fund.
The family is appealing to good spirited individuals, organisations who may wish to help them raise the N4.7 million for the India surgery to do so through following account numbers, Grace Sharon Emmanuel, FCMB 3251364010 and Emmanuel Chizuroke Divine, 2078001642. In alternative, the person can call any of the following numbers, Joseph, 08153380268 and Grace, 08148479789.
Narrating what the family has been going through for three years since Divine was born, Joseph said that what touches him most is that in spite of his son’s ailment, he is doing well in his studies at Kings Kids Nursery and Primary School, Topland, Enugu. Joseph who was fighting back tears while narrating the ordeal, begged all and sundry to help save his child the agony by coming to their aid financially for the restoration surgery.