Sickle Cell Stories

Written by: ADEYELA ADEBOLA

Title: LOVE OR SICKLE CELL?

I kept Walking up and down at the entrance of the state hospital’s Female ward with my heart very bitter and full of pain, It felt like my world is crumbling, has God turned his back against me?

 

I tried looking through the window of the ward to see what was going on, the doctors had denied me of seeing my only daughter Mabel. She had been in painful distress since the past two weeks, I kept her at home thinking she would get better with the SELF MEDICATIONS  I gave, but No! The pain wouldn’t SUBSIDE.

 

A week after Mabel started having CRISIS, i went extra miles on the quest to make a living and also make money to get her drugs.

I was on the road with other hawkers on the fateful day, running helter skelter to sell pure water to travellers on a moving bus when I  got a call around 2pm from a neighbour who informed me that my Mabel has been rushed to the hospital after she was found lying lifelessly on the ground. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me.

 

I got to the hospital and to the the ward Mabel was admitted only to meet a team of doctors surrounding my daughter.

As soon as I was identified as the mother of their patient, I was sent out of the ward by an angry doctor who claimed I have not been taking Good care of my daughter.

 

Oh my Mabel! See what SICKLE CELL DISORDER has turned you into, she has really suffered a lot from this GENETIC DISORDER, this same disease killed all her siblings.

Mabel was the last born and the most beautiful of all my four children, she has been fighting sickle cell with all her strength since she was a kid, she really wants to live, Oh Mabel, she is a Fighter!. Her beauty reminds me of her father, my lovely husband Martin.

Martin and i got married 15years ago I loved Martin so much and he loved me much more, we met at the NYSC camp in Kaduna when we were both a youth corper. Martin is a kind of man every woman would fantasize about, I felt very lucky to be in love with him. Martin and I shared many dreams and goals together but our parent  insisted we wouldn’t get married to each other just because of our GENOTYPE, we were both AS. The thought of leaving Martin was the scariest feelings for me then, we were too in love to cut the relationship and

Martin assured me he loves me and he was willing to take the RISK, “WHAT HAS GENOTYPE GOT TO DO WITH LOVE” he would say. We both organised a Secret wedding and ran out of the town afterwards, Little did I know that I was digging my grave.

Love turned sorrow when all our children ended up being a SICKLER (SS), they started dying one after the other when they couldn’t get INTENSIVE CARE, it was at the burial of my third child I got to know that Martin had another Wife  with three healthy kids, the soil could have done me a great favour by swallowing me that day.

Two months later Martin absconded with his family leaving Mabel to my helpless world. Since then I have been struggling and hustling so that Mabel could live, she couldn’t even get EDUCATION, DISCRIMINATION  from her  friends and colleagues discouraged her from going to school, everyday she would beg me to withdraw her from the school.

It was 7pm already that same day, the doctors were still in the ward with Mabel, has anything happened to my daughter? Is she dead? Is she in a state of coma? These were the questions on my mind when I heard a doctor called out “Madam, you can now see your child, but please don’t disturb her sleep”

I entered into the ward to see my Mabel lying on the bed with oxygen fixed into her nose to aid her breathing. She looked very pale, she had been through a lot, the pain is much more than her age, even though she was fast asleep, one would  see pain in her eyes.

Oh my Mabel! I’m very sorry I brought you to this world just to make you suffer

Oh Mabel! I wish I can share out of your pain

Oh Mabel! I wish I looked beyond love before making a wrong decision with your father, I wish I had looked before leaping

Oh Mabel! Please forgive me, please fight for me, don’t die, stay alive for mummy! Mummy loves you please!

She weakly opened her eyes, they were so filled with pain and sorrow, her eyes so red like a hot coal, then she muttered gently “Mum, is this how I will continue to live in pain?”. Tears gushed out of my eyes, that moment I wish  I could go back to the past and make amendments, but No my  mistakes will forever hunt me.

 

Be informed.

Sickle cell is real.

Get your blood tested.

Know your genotype.

Don’t let love push you into making wrong decision.

Be fair to your unborn children.

Know your compatibility before proposing or saying Yes to that lover.

Please read this and forward to your loved ones, everybody would benefit from this.

ADEYELA ADEBOLA