“life most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
If you haven’t met this two before you would be pushed to ask them what they are doing all alone in an empty hospital ward. Samuel and Emmanuel were the only ones left in the children’s paediatric ward last 2 or 3 week Saturday as doctors were on strike. They looked pale, unkept and all alone in the deserted hospital ward.
I visited the hospital’s paediatric ward 2 weeks ago with a friend and had the privilege of meeting these two wonderful brothers. If you seldom visit the hospital, you should please take it up as a responsibility to visit this two. On beds without any bed sheet, they had a little corner where their petty possessions were stacked with no other relation available as their aunt had left due to her pregnant state. Samuel and Emmanuel aged 6 and 11 respectively seemed to be the only ones in their world. Emmanuel was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw last year, he lost both parents few years after he was born and lived with his aunt. His face has been bandaged almost totally, revealing only a small portion of the face, his eyes , ear, nose and his mouth. His entire jaw was cut and removed following the surgery he had last year December.
Meanwhile, Samuel on the other hand isn’t getting it easy either, the fact is that he is at the receiving end. Initially, I could not believe he was 10 but after spending some time watching and conversing with him, I was able to understand why he looked so stunted, he has been forced on to take on a huge responsibility at a tender age, worrying about so much and a little brother to cater for. He was in basic 3 before tragedy struck leaving him with no other option than to drop out while Emmanuel was not even given the opportunity to begin his education.These little kids have missed out on parental love and care, and they have spent the last 6 years without their parents.
“I dey hungry” the 6 year old half bandaged faced child was crying while we were there and then in a little while, a nurse came in bringing a plate of indomie instant noodle, by looking around we got to understand it was exactly the same meal he had in the morning, despite that, he was eager to eat but had to go through so much pain sometimes lying down to allow the food go down his throat. After a while he got tired and his elder brother had to help him out by feeding him also. Then, time came for him to pee, he complained bitterly that his leg hurt and he couldn’t walk properly; a container had to be brought for him to pee in while sitting. Nothing could ease the pain, so Samuel, the older brother, took out balm from a bag and massaged his brother’s leg, an action that moved me to tears.
Samuel practically has a lot of responsibility that is far beyond his age, he washes his kid bro alongside clothings and immediate surrounding, buy drugs and struggle to get food for them. When he was asked how long Emmanuel has been in this condition, he simply replied, “im don tey but na last year we come this hospital” meaning “it’s been long but it was last year we came to this hospital”.
Cancer is really painful and tiring for people who have love ones to care for them, not to talk of kids with no one but themselves, no childhood, no life outside the four walls of the hospital. I believe as privileged humans with loved ones and good health we should do more to assist people with dire needs especially those with terminal diseases. We may not be able to put an end to their suffering but we can at least ease the pain with love, support and care. Yesterday was “WORLD’S CANCER DAY” let’s DO MORE than CREATE awareness, lets show some LOVE to the cancer patients in the hospitals.
Written by Perpetua IBEZIM