Madam Hajara was in tears when she narrated what appeared to be a torturous, sad and lonely journey to save the life of her daughter.
Adizatu was diagnosed with the genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis in 2000 when she was barely a year-old. While she smiled innocently to the world, her body had begun to betray her.
Scientists say the disease causes tumors to form on nerve tissue of the human body and it is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood.
Madam Hajara narrated how she treated the news casually, thinking it was one of those baby prone sicknesses that have no death sting.
“I thought it was one of those sicknesses that happen to children at birth,” she said, with a blue handkerchief she held in her left hand soaked with tears.
“She was born with that condition, but her legs were normal so I thought it would be fine when she starts schooling.”
There was no sign that Adizatu’s sickness was getting any serious, she said.
However, it was when she reached class four at a primary school in Cape Coast in the Central Region that the seriousness of her condition began to dawn on Madam Hajara.
“Her left foot swelled that I had to rush her to some herbalists in Cape Coast,” she said, balling her two hands to demonstrate the intensity of the swell.
Adizatu’s friends teased her because of her condition, Madam Hajara said, adding the daughter would cry until a teacher walked up to console her.
“I have friends who sometimes laugh at me,” Adizatu told Joy Fm, wearing an innocent smile yet in a sombre mood.
According to Madam Hajara, she withdrew the child from school upon the advice of a teacher. “He [teacher] asked me to treat the issue seriously,” she said.
As the child’s condition deteriorated, Madam Hajara was left with no choice than to send her daughter to see a doctor in Cape Coast. Adizatu was later transferred to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
“Her father abandoned us when he realised the condition of Adizatu was getting worse by the day,” she said.
After several days of consultation and pleading for her daughter’s life to be saved, Madam Hajara was asked to pay GHC15,000 in April 2016 for her daughter to be operated on.
She flashed out a letter from a brown envelope bearing the letterhead of Korle bu Teaching Hospital to the reporter. The content is harmless to any reader, but to Madam Hajara it is the source of her worry and sleepless nights. She wants to help her daughter, but she could not raise even GHC500 from her ‘Koko’ business.
When asked how much she had raised from April to August 2017, Madam Hajara grinned, muttering “nothing.”
She banked her hope on promises from people which have not been honoured.
She disclosed that many people had promised to help them raise the money for the surgery, but nothing has come through to them.
“They stopped calling and when you call them, they speak to you as if you are disturbing them,” she said, adding she does not want to be a burden on those people.
Her one wish is for kindhearted Ghanaians to raise the required GHC15,000 to enable her daughter have the surgery on the left foot performed.
When one sees Adizatu, she does not have the countenance of a worrywart, as if she had imbibed the timeless truth that nobody can wish away their problems by a sunken appearance.
“I want to be a normal girl and to be able to go to school again,” she said.
If you are desirous of helping Adizatu undergo the surgery as recommended by doctors at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, you can help by donating to the account below:
ACCOUNT NAME: Joy Needy Fund
ACCOUNT No: 0052010027306