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‘I’ve sold all my properties’ — Nigerian woman in need of kidney transplant seeks help

‘I’ve sold all my properties’ — Nigerian woman in need of kidney transplant seeks help
November 29
09:41 2023

 Ugbede Kehinde, a 47-year-old woman, has spent six years tethered to a dialysis machine in a desperate attempt to cling to the fractured life her failed kidney has to offer.

Once bubbly with a steady financial flow, Ugbede now relies on donations from good Samaritans who support her in the quest to win the battle against renal failure.

Speaking with TheCable on Tuesday, the former banker said her diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) was confirmed in 2017. But before then, Kehinde said she thought the symptoms were signs of pregnancy just two months after her wedding.

“It started in 2010 when I was diagnosed with hypertension,” she said.

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“I didn’t really have knowledge of it and the doctor did not tell me the implication so I wasn’t using my drugs regularly.

“Then 2017, the thing started, we never knew it was a kidney. I just started having things like malaria and typhoid.

“Two months after I got married, I thought I was pregnant and I went to the hospital, that was when I was diagnosed with kidney failure. That was 2018 and ever since then I’ve been on dialysis.”

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According to the National Kidney Foundation in the United States, even the mildest forms of high blood pressure, also called hypertension, can damage kidneys over several years.

This is because high blood pressure can damage small blood vessels (capillaries) in the kidneys, leading to protein leakage into the urine, known as proteinuria. Over time, this can result in kidney scarring, impairing their proper functioning.

Kehinde told TheCable she has not been able to pass urine since 2019 but is hoping that she will, again, someday.

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GOING BANKRUPT TO AFFORD DIALYSIS

When the 47-year-old started to buckle under the effects of CKD, she was relieved of her job at the bank over her inability to “function properly”.

To keep up with a monthly payment of roughly N600,000 for dialysis at the Zenith Kidney Medical Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Kehinde has to solicit funds from family, friends, and whoever she can reach through social media.

Her husband, who earns a salary of N70,000 as a school teacher, tries to take the burden off her without much success.

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“I beg people for money. I have to call people to help with my dialysis and at times if my husband has, he gives me,” she said.

Ugbede also recalled selling her property to afford a kidney transplant but added that her health could not permit her to receive one from her twin brother when she finally had the means.

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“They said I need a transplant to live again and I’ve been managing it. I’ve spent over N50 million because I paid for transplants twice. We had to sell our land, we sold our properties to foot the bill but then I was not stable,” she added.

“The first payment I made, there was no donor. Then the doctor said because I’m a twin, it’s better he donate than me buying from outside but the second time I was not stable.

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“I was on admission for one year, and my situation was bad, this was 2019. I was discharged in 2020 because of the coronavirus and since then I’ve been going from home.

“When I was finally stable, there was no money to facilitate the transplant. I’ve been looking for money everywhere.

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“Dialysis is almost N60,000 and I have to do two sessions in a week. I beg people on my Facebook, my social media, my contacts.

“Even yesterday I started begging for money for the one I will do on Wednesday because if you don’t beg for money, you cannot do the dialysis and I cannot take chances and say I will not go for dialysis, I won’t do that.”

Kehinde said her struggle with kidney disease has exposed her to the harsh reality faced by many individuals in Nigeria who are suffering from the same ailment.

“It’s so frustrating, I never pray for somebody to have this kidney problem because if you have plenty of money in your house, you must finish it,” she lamented.

“Apart from the money, the pain you’ll go through is not funny. If you see me now and my picture before, you’ll see the difference.

“And every day we’re having new cases of dialysis patients, that means people that want to help you, their people might be battling with it. Even yesterday my friend’s brother was diagnosed.

“And once you start dialysis there’s no going back unless God heals you. The situation is so pathetic.”

Donations to Kehinde can be made to her First City Monument Bank (FCMB) account via 4250620013.

 

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