By Eric Elezuo
When on March 1, 2018, Carina Johnson was born; she was a beauty to behold and an added joy to the Johnson family. But that joy came to an abrupt end as she was diagnosed of a congenital heart defect six months after birth.
The baby’s heart condition was confirmed by two different Paediatric Cardiologists, who were consulted as the family frantically sought remedy to her incessant illness. The cardiologists further stated that she would have to undergo a surgery to correct the defect as urgent as possible.
Speaking exclusively to us, the mother of the child, Mrs. Seyi Johnson said that she had to practically beg for funds to carry out the surgery.
“I had to solicit for funds because we couldn’t afford it. And with the help of kind spirited Nigerians, we succeeded, and that was how Carina was moved to MIOT Hospital, Chennai, India, on December 3, 2018 where the surgery was carried.
But once again, the joy was short-lived as it was discovered that there were complications arising from the operation just two weeks after they returned to Nigeria in February 2019. And ever since then, Carina has spent about 95 percent of her life in the bed of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos.
According to the Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist, Dr. O. J. Sokunbi, in his report on Carina, she “ will require re-evaluation and if required, a redo surgery to address the residual heart lesion to improve her symptoms”.
The report further diagnosed leaky valve, vegetation on the high valve, High Pressures in the Lungs and Reduction in Platelets. It is worthy of note that she had been transfused 18 pints of platelets so far.
The long and short story on Carina, according to the doctors, is that the child needs a second surgery to correct the valve issues for her to be fine and live a normal life again.
The total cost for the second surgery in India is N7.2 million which the family cannot afford at the moment. However, according to Mrs. Johnson, “we have been able to raise N3.7 million, and we are calling on wonderful Nigerians and kind hearted individuals from across the globe to come to our aid and save Carina’s life.
Mrs. Johnson also revealed that the family is in touch with the Down Syndrome Foundation, whose President is Mrs. Rose Mordi. The Foundation has been in the forefront of putting together the surgery process for Carina, but unfortunately cannot foot the bill.
Attached are all relevant documents connected to Carina’s health matters since she was born.
The family once more call on well meaning Nigerians to help give this girl opportunity live life – something she is yet to do in as many as 17 months.
Kindly make your donations to CARINA JOHNSON, STERLING BANK, 0069586005
By Eric Elezuo