Adeniran Adebiyi is suffering from kidney impairment which requires several millions of naira to manage it. He seeks support of well-meaning Nigerians to overcome the challenge. OLAOLU OLADIPO spoke with him
Nothing in his mien suggested he has any form of health difficulty. Quietly seated, awaiting some press scrutiny, 44-year-old Adediran Adebiyi from Ogbomoso town in Oyo State, rather looked composed, comported and waiting to share his problems which revolve around his precarious medical situation.
He was smartly dressed and unruffled, but beneath the seeming façade laid a life threatening ailment that has been afflicting him for almost three years. From the beginning of Adebiyi's conversation with our correspondent, it is obvious that the pang of the ailment has dealt a very heavy blow on him in virtually all ramifications.
Apart from the fact that it has reduced him to a shadow of his old active and bubbling self as a young upcoming and upwardly mobile businessman with visible signs of accomplishments to show for such ventures. When he however started to speak, it was obvious that behind the seeming façade was a grave concern, and that he seeks assistance of Nigerians for him to live.
The ailment is malfunctioning due to some faults inherent in the kidneys, a situation that has seen him on and off the hospital for about three years but with little or no improvement in his health condition.
The situation had brought with it excruciating pain and untold hardship not only to the once agile and active University of Lagos graduate but also to his families, friends and associates who are always there for him.
Recounting his battle with kidney dysfunction or what medical personnel call renal dysfunction, Adebiyi who described himself as an entrepreneur, told LEADERSHIP Weekend that he once had a fulfilling and active life laced with marked prosperity until the ailment came to shatter the modest achievements he had made in the business world.
What began as mere fever and headache has become a life threatening ailment that if left unattended to, through donation from generous Nigerians, could claim his life. He tells his story, "I was a successful businessman, doing creditably well in my numerous business activities, but all that is gone now".
Going down memory lane to recollect the genesis of the ailment, he told our correspondent in an emotion-laden voice: "It came in form of headache and fever, but it is now full blown."
When the feverish bout became recurring, with no visible sign of recovery, Adebiyi stated that he had to seek medical attention at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja where the specialist nephrologist diagnosed him of suffering from some chronic renal dysfunction.
"My doctors told me that my kidneys still have some residual kidney function, they told me that by having frequent dialysis, I will still live my normal life as I used to do before the ailment afflicted me." He said.
"At that stage I went to general hospital in Ikeja where the doctors there diagnosed me and told me that my sickness has to do with kidney, which is not functioning and that I needed to do some dialysis to remove some toxins from my blood."
Adebiyi soon began to face another challenge as he could not secure the prompt medical attention he had envisaged for his dire medical situation and as a way out decided to leave the hospital owing to the busy treatment schedule that would have seen him having his first dialysis due six months later when he ought to have commenced immediately after the diagnosis.
According to him, a little bit of delay could be costly as he could die in the process of waiting. Respite came for him when a friend referred him to a private hospital where specialist nephrologist and equipment exist for the ailment.
"Since then they have been maintaining me, they have my records with them. I have also been on dialysis and I have been spending so much money and that has affected my business." When asked how much he had spent so far, he claims it has been in some millions of naira.
"I don't know but each dialysis cost so much, about N50, 000 and I go on dialysis about two or three times every week. I have been on dialysis since then, adding that the ailment has damaged the two kidneys, as an infection in one will ultimately affect the other.
Apart from the frequent dialysis, Adebiyi said he has been placed on some drugs as a back up to the treatment regime, some of the drugs, which he is to take cost as much as N7, 000 weekly. "Event if I stop dialysis today, I will still need to be taking the Ecogene injection every week, needed to increase my blood level.
He insisted that he has been getting support from his immediate family though his parents are not financially well off. "My wife has been so supportive and caring since then. My church members have also been supportive; the same goes for my friends who have assisted me a lot but there is a limit to their efforts.
Respite came in 2010, when he was asked to stop doing dialysis when it was discovered that the series of sessions that have been performed on him has achieved some results but the situation was not for long as he was asked to restart the process all over again if he is not to have his condition relapse back.
Another sore point for him is the strict diet regime that prevents him from eating some kinds of food that could be injurious to the body at this time such as those that have high concentration of protein, saying any deliberate move to veer out of the diet regime could spell doom for his fragile health.
On the toll, "It really affected me that I cannot even place cost on it. I can't engage in any form of business undertaken now because the ailment has drained me financially." According to him, he has enjoyed the support and assistance of friends who have always rallied round to assist him to meet his basic, elementary needs.
He now has to depend on the benevolence of his wife, friends as well as co-church members in order to meet up with family needs in terms of food, general welfare of the children and for carrying out the needed dialysis as a means to stay alive, saying he needs support of Nigerians at this time.
Asked what form of assistance he needed, he said it is basically financial to help him continue with the treatment regime." He however added: "I thank God for my wife who has been very supportive, she has continued to comfort and provide for me since then. I also thank my church members who have paid for many of the treatment I have gotten so far but I want Nigerians to come to my aid."