Rafiat Akilapa, a young nursing mother, carried her first pregnancy for nine months and was soon delivered of a beautiful baby girl. But the arrival of the baby that ordinarily should give her joy has brought pain instead. The child, as revealed by series of medical findings/ examinations, is suffering from a cardiovascular problem due to a hole in her heart, which has precipitated recurrent breathlessness coupled with facial swelling. Mrs. Akilapa was bemoaning her child’s fate when our Correspondent SEYE ADENIYI recently encountered her…


For the family of Mr. and Mrs. Abdulfatai Akilapa, from Ibadan, Oyo State, all is not well at present. The young couple is in serious pain. In fact, for Rafiat, a 24-years-old trader, who got married recently to Akilapa, both of who live at Akilapa’s Compound, Idikan, Ibadan, there is no marital bliss. What is supposed to be bliss has given way to tears and lamentations.

Not that Rafiat is regretting getting married to her husband, but for a young lady like herself to carry a pregnancy for good nine months, successfully delivered of the baby in a good hospital only to discover later that the young baby may not be able to live for long except certain corrective measures were taken, and urgently too, was more than enough stress.


Constantly Ill
What is the issue or the problem you may ask? According to the young nursing mother, the child, the first fruit of her womb, named Mufidat, who was born on June 6, 2013, is at present battling a health condition. It’s so serious that the baby is constantly ill. She has a swelling face and has refused to gain body weight despite good nutritional care the baby has been subjected to.
“I gave her breast milk almost every hour, I subject the baby girl to good maternal care. In fact, I back her almost every time just for her to have a touch of good parental care. But all what I’m doing for her did not in any way reflect in her physical look or appearance. Just take a look at her, she is just too thin, with discouraging body weight and all she did every time is to cry. I’m just tired frustrated and depressed,” the young mother told WESTERN POST.

Narrating her ordeal to WESTERN POST, the nursing mother explained that she noticed the problem in her baby immediately she was delivered of her eleven months ago.
The delivery of Mufidat, according to Mrs. Akilapa, took place at the Adeoyo State Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan.

She said:“ After labouring for a few hours at the hospital, I eventually delivered the baby, but immediately she was born, I noticed that the baby did not cry at birth, which is not normal anyway. Even after I was discharged from the hospital, I also observed certain strange things in the development and growth of the child. She started depreciating in weight and in size instead of increasing in body weight, and this raised some curiosity in me and my husband”.


2 Months After Delivery
Two months after the delivery, she took the baby back to hospital on the advice of her husband and other family members so that a thorough medical examination could be carried out on the baby.

“The doctor who attended to us at Adeoyo Hospital, Ibadan later counseled me to take her to Oluyoro Catholic Hospital, Ibadan for further medical care due to some abnormalities noticed in the baby,” she said.

On getting to Oluyoro Catholic Hospital, the baby was immediately placed on an oxygen gas for survival. After a comprehensive medical examination, which took two weeks in the hospital, with the baby on oxygen, it was discovered that the baby is suffering from broncho-pneumonia.


No Pregnancy Issue, Except…


Mrs. Akilapa said there was no problem while she carrying the pregnancy. But the only thing she could remember was that during her wedding, there was an accident report brought to them that involved her husband’s senior brother. “The news of the accident affected me so much that it gave me a shock during the pregnancy.

“I later noticed that the developing baby inside my womb was not moving and I visited a clinic to verify the true condition of the developing child. A scan was done for the pregnancy to ascertain any threatening factor to the growing foetus. The scan report revealed that the baby was normal and alive and the doctor advised me to be drinking enough water and that was all I could think of”.

Hole in the Heart


Doctor Joel who was in charge of the baby’s medical care said the problem had to do with her heart and was possibly heart failure. “We were later referred to the University College Hospital (UCH) for further attention,” she added.
At the University College Hospital (UCH), the baby was subjected to another round of medical test and diagnosis.

Medical examinations later revealed that it was not only a heart failure, but that there was a hole in the heart of the baby. She was then sustained with oxygen gas for several weeks. From the various texts carried out, other defects also manifested.


Medical Report


In the medical report written by the Dr. O. Ogunkunle, a consultant pediatric cardiologist, dated February 14, 2014, the physician explained that the baby had “a history of failure to gain weight, recurrent breathlessness since birth and also experiencing facial swelling of a day’s duration”. The essential findings at presentation, according to the consultant, “were that of a chronically ill and marked wasted infant with facial swelling, while examination of the cardiovascular system revealed a grade 3 pan-systolic murmun with evidence of heart failure.
“Electro-Cardiogram on the baby also showed features in keeping with biventricular hypertrophy, while echo-cardiography also showed a sinus venous atrial septal defect and partial anomolous pulmonary venous return.


Surgical Intervention


The baby is presently placed on the following heart drugs and medication: Hydrochlorothiazide 3.125mg and Spironolactone 3.125mg twice daily, as well as captropil 3.125 mg once daily.
The consultant cardiologist in charge of the medical care of the infant said Baby Mufidat would require surgical intervention to correct the above-mentioned heart defects.

The UCH said the estimated cost of surgery abroad (India) is N2.5 million. Baby Mufidat’s present condition is bad. She is seriously sick. She is down and almost out. The parents now cry every day because they are helpless. They need your help.

Mrs. Akilapa does not want her baby to die. Mr. Akilapa too is also appealing to Nigerians, especially the well to-do in the society, to give them a helping hand to rescue the young child from the cold hands of death.
“Please help us to save this child because this girl may be one of the leaders of tomorrow. May God help you as you help us,” the couple said.


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