Congenital heart failure survivor begs FG, Nigerians to support other patients

Congenital heart failure survivor begs FG, Nigerians to support other patients

By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
A congenital heart failure survivor, Mr Gilbert Goodnews, has appealed to the Federal Government, corporate organisations and other patriotic Nigerians to build heart centres and support patients with congenital heart issues to live.

Goodness made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

The survivor, who said that said he was born with a congenital heart problem, noted that there were so many people with such issue but could not access health facilities to correct it, hence they die with the condition.

“I was born with a very big hole in my heart, measuring about 3.

7 centimetres.

It was by God’s grace that I live with it.

I did my National Youth Service and won State and Presidential awards in 2018 and 2021, respectively.

“I was later given a job at the Federal Ministry of Information.

I tried to raise funds, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Information Chapel, raised about N950,000 but was not enough.

“I then had to access the N20 million scholarship given to me by the then Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike, for my medical trip to India for the surgery, where I was operated on for about eight hours.

“I underwent a heart surgery called minimal inversive to correct the congenital heart disease known as Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) in Fortis hospital, Gurugram, India.

“Surgery for congenital heart problem is so expensive, and it is not easy to raise huge amounts of money to travel abroad to correct it.

There are many people with such a situation in Nigeria.

“I am calling on the Federal Government, corporate organisations and well-spirited Nigerians to assist patients with such medical conditions to enable them have a life, because some normally die without having access to healthcare,” he said.

According to him, there are heart foundations that assist the less privilege with such conditions but that it is not enough, considering the huge number of patients.

He explained that in the course of seeking for treatment, he discovered that there were many people who due to lack of funds could not get access to an Eco-gram procedure, where the health of their hearts could be examine.

“So, if the government can build more centres, provide world-class facilities and may be bring in experts and also train our people, it will go a long way to help.

“Sometimes, you will see someone just slump and die, you may think is something else, but it could be because of congenital heart issues that have not been dictated.

Like me, I was having signals, but I never knew.

“In addition, our medical doctors need to be train and given the enabling environment to prevent brain drain in that area, because, we don’t have enough Cardiologist Consultants, especially those that are surgeons who major on congenital problem.

“With my own case and the motivation I gathered, I also want to give back to society by establishing a heart foundation to also help the less privilege.

“The former First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, assisted over 20 people to get surgery on congenital heart problem.

She bought relevant machines and brought in specialists from Italy who perform surgery on about 22 patients.

“We need more of such assistance to help people who do not have the money to save their lives.

I want to use the remaining scholarship fund to also help others.

We need more heart foundations to come into the system,” Goodness said.

He appreciated Wike for his support, adding that if not for the scholarship the then Rivers governor gave him, he would not have been alive today.

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

TDPel Media

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