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‘My family has history of kidney conditions’ — Sonia Ekweremadu speaks on organ trafficking saga

‘My family has history of kidney conditions’ — Sonia Ekweremadu speaks on organ trafficking saga
May 05
21:36 2023

Sonia Ekweremadu, daughter of Ike Ekweremadu, former deputy senate president, says her parents sought a kidney donor for her from outside because of the family’s health history.

Sonia, who spoke in an interview with BBC following the sentencing of Ekweremadu to nine years and eight months in prison by a UK court for organ trafficking, said her father’s family has a history of kidney conditions.

Beatrice, Ekweremadu’s wife, was also sentenced to four years and six months in jail.

The couple got entangled in the organ trafficking case while trying to find a donor for Sonia who has been on dialysis.

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The 25-year-old explained that she had a gene that necessitated her to find a donor outside family members.

Ekweremadu had told a UK court in March that he opted for a non-family kidney donor for Sonia following advice from Diwe, his brother who is a medical doctor.

“It’s sad. It has been really hard to really wrap my head around it. I understand the conviction; personally, I disagree with it. However, that is from a very biased perspective. As their daughter, I would obviously always back my parents. However, the law has taken its course and we have to just move forward as a family,” BBC quoted Sonia as saying.

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“I had the APO1 gene. To us, that kind of excluded the family, especially on my dad’s side because they have quite a history of kidney conditions.”

Asked if she was aware that the donor at the centre of the case was portrayed as her cousin, she replied: “Yea, I mean, I can’t answer that”.

She added that she did not “feel anything toward him” and that she “wish him all the best”.

Sonia said that she felt guilty for the plight that has befallen her family, adding that her lesson from the whole happenstance is that life is dynamic.

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“Life is just so dynamic. One day you are in your house chilling, the next day, your whole life is turned upside down,” she said.

“I don’t think it would ever be the same. I feel guilty because I feel that all this has happened because of me.”

She added that though some persons came forward as donors after the case went public, she is still on dialysis but “hopefully, I would be able to get the transplant soon”.

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