As he continues to lie down very quietly on a cushion, Samuel Ogunwole, a very young Nigerian boy looked gaunt and spent. One can see that his ribs are sticking out pitiably from his thin frame as he strove to sit up.
According to The PUNCH, life has remained almost stagnant for the 15-year-old Senior Secondary School 3 pupil since February when he came down with colorectal cancer.
Ogunwole’s treatment at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, currently hangs in the balance as he needs about N1.2m to complete chemotherapy at the hospital.
Every day, he longs for sound health. Despite his health challenge, he wants to get back on his feet and pursue his career ambition with all his strength.
“I have stopped going to school because of my ill health. I always feel pain. I cannot stay in the midst of people because of the foul smell that oozes from my stomach,” he said slowly.
“I need help; I don’t want to die young,” he added, holding back tears
Explaining how the illness started, his mother, Olasunbo Atobatele, said they were asleep at night when he suddenly started breathing heavily and complaining of a sharp ache on the right side of his stomach.
She said he did several tests and underwent a surgery at a specialist hospital in May, which gulped over N2m.
The mother said after the surgery, Ogunwole found it difficult to eat and always complained of pain.
She said she took him back to the hospital and was told that he could not eat well because part of his intestine affected by the ailment had been cut off, adding that a doctor assured her that her son would be fine.
She explained, “It was later they told us he is suffering from colorectal cancer. They said they could not remove the remaining lump in his stomach. He was eventually referred to LUTH. When the doctor saw his file, he was surprised that the boy was still alive.
“He said the treatment would cost a lot of money. I told him I didn’t have money and he helped us to get a foundation that paid for another scan. When the result came out, he said Samuel (Ogunwole) would get six sessions of chemotherapy. He started the chemotherapy with donations from our church and good Samaritans. We have spent over N4m so far.
“We still need about N1.2m to complete the chemotherapy and we were told he would undergo two or three sessions of radiotherapy. We have been running around to raise money. If he misses a session, he would have to start from the beginning. He is supposed to go for another chemotherapy on Tuesday, November 1 and I don’t have any means yet to pay for the medical bill.”
A medical report signed by a consultant radiation and clinical oncologist at LUTH, Dr Adegboyega B.C. and dated June 30, 2020, confirmed Ogunwole’s ailment.
It read in part, “The above-named patient is being treated for Right Colon Cancer Post Right Hemicolectomy. Histology report done on May 8, 2020 showed signet Ring Cell Carcinoma, stage 3 disease. He is scheduled to have adjuvant chemotherapy.
“The cost estimated includes: chemotherapy (N135,000; six cycles), N810,000 miscellaneous admission, blood investigations, radiology services and medications, N300,000.”
Donations can be made to this account: Bank Name: UBA; Account Name: Ogunwole Samuel; Account Number: 2172234115.