One twin has hydrocephalus, the other is sick because he doesn’t want his brother to die. Their parents have run through various hospitals looking for treatment and cure.
Most children who suffer from hydrocephalus were born with the disease but in the case of eight-year-old Kehinde Abdul-Raheem Yusuf , it started six months after birth and was ‘man-made’.
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which fluid builds up in the skull and causes the brain to swell.
Kehinde has been suffering from the disease for eight years now and his twin brother, Taiwo Abdur-Rauf Yusuf, is also very ill at the moment for fear that his brother will die. He has stopped playing and does not eat.
The eight-year-old said he loves his twin brother very much and doesn’t want him to die. “Please help us treat Kehinde to survive,” he pleaded repeatedly with our correspondent when he visited the family.
When our reporter visited their Moniya, Ibadan residence in Oyo State, he met Kehinde lying in a spot. He cannot sit or walk on his own. He also seemed weighed down by the size of his head which is bigger than his body.
His father, Isiaka Yusuf, 52, is a recharge card seller while his wife, Mrs. Rasheedat Yusuf, is an auxiliary nurse.
“The whole problem started in 2010, six months after his birth. He was having temperature repeatedly and we took him to a hospital, here in Oyo State. The doctor diagnosed him for chronic malaria. He said Kehinde needed drips and drugs to get rid of the malaria and to stabilize his temperature. The doctor said he couldn’t get the vein in his hand and said he could only pass it through his head which he did.
“After he took the drip via his head, we were discharged the following day. Two weeks later, we discovered that his head started becoming bigger than his body. When we saw it, we approached the doctor and he said the government hospitals were on strike and he could not help at that moment.
“He recommended multivitamins for us but it was even complicating his condition. When we discovered that the multivitamin was not working, we now started going to different private hospitals in the state. We visited about 10 private and trado-medical hospitals before we were later referred to University College Hospital, Ibadan (UCH) in 2011,” Yusuf said.
He said Kehinde had undergone two surgeries so far – one at the University College Hospital and the other at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital – and he is presently undergoing physiotherapy at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan. “Kehinde’s doctor said he had to undergo a minor surgery on his legs and some other treatment estimated to cost N400,000 or more even as we are yet to see any change in my child after spending fortunes on him since March 2010 as a result of which I have sold virtually all my properties to see him through.”
He said they were thrown out of a hospital last week for not being able to meet the amount for the boy’s treatment. His pleadings fell on deaf ears, he said.
He added that he would also appreciate taking him to any hospital abroad for better and less-stressful treatment.
“I have sold all my properties. I was a bulk supplier of recharge cards but today, I find it very difficult to fed the family let alone do business. We have spent over N1.7million on this sickness. I need support of Nigerians.”
He said; doctors have assured him that if they carried out the surgery, the condition will improve. They even cited an example of the son of a prominent man here in Ibadan who had the same problem and it was later corrected. I believe it will work,” he concluded.
A letter signed by the Deputy Director (physiotherapy) Dr. Atowoju of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, said Kehinde Yusuf was diagnosed with Quadriparesis 2 degree to Hydrocephalus and required to see a doctor every week.
The letter which was dated 2nd September, 2016 noted that “The patient may require surgical intervention during the course of physiotherapy treatment; We may not be able to give an estimate of the cost, since the treatment is not available in our department.”
Also, in a letter dated January 26, 2012 and signed by the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Mrs G. F Logun, Kehinde Yusuf, was asked to undergo 10 different medical tests at the cost of N180,000. Also in January 2013, a letter signed by Mrs. O. O Adesokan reflected that the victim has to undergo a lab tests estimated at N137,800 which Mr. Isiaka Yusuf said were all done respectively.
Kehinde’s mother, Rasheedat Yusuf who carried the eight year-old Kehinde to the venue of the interview said life has been miserable for her and her husband since the problem started.