SIX-YEAR-OLD Joshua Takon is partially blind. His right eye has lost total function, while the left eye is severely threatened. His parents are desperately seeking help to raise money for a crucial surgery that would save him from going completely blind.
Joshua who was diagnosed with cleft palate at childbirth, requires N3.5 million to undertake facial reconstruction surgery in India. This surgery will save his left eye.
His mother, Kate Takon Neji, who hails from Cross River State, was at Vanguard’s Abuja office to cry for help. She said four months after his birth, Joshua who was born with a “divided face”, underwent a surgical operation at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to correct the anomaly, but few months afterwards, spots and pus appeared on his face.
Kate said her son underwent a second surgery in 2011 at the General Hospital in Asokoro, Abuja. It was not successful.
“We had to return to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. Water and whitish substances still gush from the only functional eye and this is a major challenge for him at school. He finds it very difficult to look at the chalkboard.
“It was from there that we were referred to Primus International Super Specialty Hospital in Abuja, which referred us to their branch in India.
“We were told by the hospital that it would cost a minimum of $16,000, about N3.5 million, for both medical, transport and other expenses for the trip to India. I am a seamstress while my husband is a small-scale cocoa farmer. All our earnings and life savings went into the first two surgeries. My husband even had to dispose of his land to meet up,” she said.
Kate said the family spent N870,000 and N500,000 for the first and second surgeries respectively and have been spending huge sums of money on drugs ever since.
She appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of the family and help save Joshua from losing his sight and his life, especially as the situation is making it difficult for him to breathe properly.
A breakdown of the cost as provided in a letter from Primus Hospital, showed that approximately $10,000 is required for the treatment; $3,500 for air ticket (return) for two to India and $2,500 for accommodation and other incidental expenses.
Donations to save Joshua’s eyesight can be paid into Ecobank Account No. 5341006154, Account Name: Takon Joshua Neji. For more details, call 08160641607.