Veteran artiste, Stella Monye, in a new interview with The Sun, has called out to Nigerians’ to help with her son’s surgery.
medical odyssey, her pains, travails and hopes amidst despondency.
had been part of the artistes working on the theme song for the Coca
Cola FIFA World Junior Championship tagged: “Nigeria 99” held in Abuja.
The theme song eventually became an integral part of the game. Before
then, I had gone on other national assignments including the Horizontel
World Festival of Arts held in Berlin, German. We toured Sabrieaken,
Hanover, Bonn, Bremen, Geneva, and Amsterdam courtesy of the Centre for
Cultural Studies, Universities of Lagos. It was a cultural exchange
Shortly after that, I embarked on another assignment
to Yamouskoro, Abidjan for the Universities Games where I sang the
Nigerian national anthem. The next assignment came when there was an
audition to pick an artiste to represent the country at the 150th
anniversary of Abolition of Slave Trade in the Diaspora held in Guyana.
This also fell on my lap and I toured the Islands of Caribbean. Those on
the entourage of that memorable event included former Head of State,
General Yakubu Gowon (retd) and his wife, Victoria; Prince Tony Momoh;
Senator Chris Anyanwu and Lt. Tunde Akogun. I was the lead vocalist of a
band which consisted of Bisade Ologunde (Lagbaja), Zeal Onyia, Peter
King, Remi Kabaka and others that performed at the event. The Atilogu
cultural group was also on the tour.
I was neck
deep in the preparation for “Nigeria 99” project in Abuja when the news
came to me that my son, Ibrahim had fallen off from the top of a water
tank and landed on a sharp rusted iron, which severely damaged his
urethra. In fact, I was on my way together with other artistes to
present the theme song to the then Head of State, General Abdusalam
Abubakar at the Aso Rock Villa when my phone rang and the sad news was
broken to me.
I thought it was a minor accident so, I advised
that they take him to any nearest hospital. But that was the beginning
of the drama.
Thinking it was a minor accident; I proceeded on
tour of the country with the theme song, under the leadership of the
late Christy Essien Igbokwe who was then the President of the Performing
Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN). I came back from the tour only
to discover that the first operation had been carried out at the
General Hospital, Ikeja, which at that time was in a deplorable
condition. So, Christy Igbokwe advised that we should take him to Holy
Trinity Hospital, Ikeja owned by her friend, who also owned Chrisland
Primary School that my son attended.
at Holy Trinity Hospital performed two major but unsuccessful operations
on Ibrahim. This prompted me to open up to the Medical Director of the
hospital who told me that I could go to India or partronise another
professional Urologist based in Opebi, Ikeja.
At this point, I
was overwhelmed and I cried out to Nigerians. I teamed up with my
colleagues like K1 De Ultimate, Daddy Showkey, Orits Wiliki, Pasuma
Wonder, Onyeka Onwenu and Lagbaja, and together we walked the streets of
Lagos, creating awareness about my son’s condition, most especially, on
television. Nigerians responded but some fraudsters, who pretended to
be assisting us to raise funds, hijacked the exercise. So, I instructed
that the campaign should stop, but then I was more concerned about my
son’s predicament and so we forged ahead.
more unsuccessful operations followed at Urology Centre, Opebi, Lagos.
This made me to withdraw tactically and re-strategize. Later, with some
help and recommendations, we headed for Medanta Global Hospital, Gorgon
Haryana, New Delhi, India where we recorded another failed surgery. On
arrival in Lagos, I phoned Dr Guptar and lamented to him. He asked us to
come back to India, but at this point, I was almost giving up.
of desperation, I spoke to some people in Lagos and other parts of
Nigeria. I also went to Abuja to meet Senator Oluremi Tinubu who said I
should take Ibrahim to LASUTH. She equally advised me to approach the
government of the day for assistance. I took her advice; I approached
the then Lagos State government for help but to no avail. I also spoke
to other people but eventually I took Ibrahim to LASUTH and later
Federal Staff Hospital, Abuja. The Consultant Urologists at both
hospitals examined and referred him to Germany and also United States of
America for further treatment.
I contacted Dr Michael Straub,
Medical Director, Rechts Der Isar Medical Centre, Munich, Germany and I
was referred to Dr Gomih, Medical Director, Urology Centre, Indiana,
USA, because I was told he had just handled a similar case. I contacted
both doctors and they asked me to do some tests, which I did and sent to
them. However, I was shocked when they gave me a bill of $35,000. I
appealed to Dr Gomih for sympathy but he said there was nothing he could
do because complications had set in. Yes, indeed, my son had suffered
some setbacks with some of his vital organs like the left kidney,
bladder and urethra severely damaged after returning from India.
now, we need about $50,000 US Dollars for Ibrahim’s surgery. I know the
money is much or seems much but no amount of money is worth any child’s
life. However, I am grateful to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos
State who has been sustaining my son’s life pending when we are able to
go for his surgery.