Blood Cancer: Father of 3 year-old spends N.2m, weekly cries out for help

Miss Oluomachi Ukpabi is the 3rd daughter a daughter of one Ikemba Alaska Ukpabi from Umuda Isingwu in Umuahia North LGA of Abia State.

Little Miss Oluomachi is 3 years old and on the 12th of March, 2020 she fell sick and was admitted in a private hospital in Owerri on the account of recurrent fever with a PVC of10%.

She was transfused with fresh whole blood and laboratory results showed that all her blood cells were significantly low with platelets and neutrophil at the lowest.

A bone marrow aspiration was done few days after and which revealed marked bone marrow depression.

On the 3rd of April, 2020 she was referred to Federal Medical Centre, FMC Umuahia on the account of spontaneous bleeding from the lips and paleness.

A working diagnosed of Aplastic Anaemia , pancytopenia, querrying Hypoplastic was made and she underwent periodic blood examinations.

Initially, she required 3-weekly transfusions care of O-negative fresh whole blood and apheres platelets or pooled platelets.

At a point, it was on every two days for about a month when it was discovered that her body had developed antibodies against the platelets (refractoriness).

According to the father, “we were practically transfusing platelets concentrate every 2 days to save her life and sustain her, but for obvious reasons, she was referred to a private hospital in Benin City, Celltek Healthcare Managment Center on the 11th of June 2020, 3 months after, where she will undergo further management and possible Stem Cell Transplant.

“The hospital requested we will undertake a Human Leukocyte Antigen Typing Test HLA for myself , my wife, my first daughter and Oluomachi to know the best match for transplant.

“Having done that, we came back to FMC Umuahia after 5 days on the directives of the Consultant for Oluomachi to be administered with a Therapy ATG Anti Termocyte Globulin an Immunosuppressant which is expected to stricken the marrow to start functioning again”.

Mr. Ikemba said the ATG (Anti Termocyte Globulin) Therapy was to commence but there has to be a repeat bone marrow examination called Bone Marrow Biopsy to bring the diagnosis to one.

“The examination when conducted showed Aplastic Anaemia, bone marrow failure, thereby ruling out Leukemia.

He said the ATG therapy was finally commenced, having ruled out Leukemia with a Horse ATG, cyclosporine and methylprednisolone 5 weeks after, adding “we were counseled that the remission time limit for the Therapy ATG is 6 months from the day it was administered. And that she will be undergoing transfusion until a time it is noticed that she is no more transfusion dependent”.

At present, Oluomachi is still transfusion dependent with platelet refractoriness and requires weekly supportive transfusional care and she is currently on aphares platelets, Eltrombopag, cyclosporine, antimicrobials and granulocyte colony stimulating factor, G-CSF.

“We were also counseled that the ATG Therapy may also relapsed as it works for some people and do not work for some others and that the best cure for aplastic anaemia is stem cell transplantation. But our prayer is that God Almighty will work it for her in Jesus name.

Mr. Ukpabi, who is a former legislative aide to a National Assembly member in the state and is currently at home because of the condition of her daughter said “We are making contact for admission in a hospital abroad, USA or Canada as the case may be for a possible stem cell transplant”.

He continued, “My constraint is that since the inception of this predicament, myself and my family has spent over 11m Naira ranging from costs of drugs, medical examinations,  ATG therapy, hospitals bill’s, O-negative fresh whole blood purchases and other logistics. Yet more is needed to keep Oluomachi alive”.

The breakdown of expenses made in the course of managing her, the father said include: human leukocyte Antigen (HLA)Typing N600,000.00, ATG Therapy N2m,  private ward 100,000 per week, O-negative fresh whole blood N18,000.000 per unit (by 25 units), Pooled blood platelets N30,000.00 per unit (by 35 units) and Apheres platelets N230,000.00 (per unit by 9units).

Others include Cyclosporine tabs N32,000.00 a pack,( since 3rd march till date and lasts for 3 weeks), Eltrombopag tabs N120,000.00 a pack by 2packs ( she needs this for 6 months. A pack lasts for 24days), Cyclosporine blood level check N30 000.00 per check every 2 weeks or 3weeks, and other lab examinations done alternately as well as routine medications which she has been on daily, since 3rd April, 2020 till date.

“At the Benin hospital Celltek Healthcare Managment Center, I was made to know that the cost of stem cell transplant is N12m”.

The young father, while crying profusely, pleaded passionately with Abians in particular and Nigerians in general, “Please, my people, I have come to ask for help to save my little daughter’s life. I have no other place to go from here. While I look on to God for healing, I need to sustain Oluomachi.

“She presently needs an urgent platelets transfusion. For some time now, I have not been able to pay for it due to lack of funds and she runs the risk hemorrhage especially in the brain which may be fatal”, he cried.

Related posts