|Staff of GIPLC, Okiki's parents, Dr. Ben Carson and Nuhu Kwajafa|
On May 13, 2010, a baby girl; Okiki(Jesu) was born to the Olawuyi’s in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria, with a rare medical condition subsequently diagnosed as ‘Congenital Cranial Deficiency’. In other words, she was delivered with at least 50% of her skull unformed. For the Olawuyi’s, that day marked the beginning of a 3 year struggle against stigmatization, discrimination and near hopelessness. Worthy of note is the fact that of the 7billion people on earth, Okiki is the only human alive with this condition, on this scale.
After rejections from several hospitals around the world, renowned neurosurgeon at the Johns Hopkins Medical International hospital, Baltimore, Maryland; Dr. Ben Carson agreed to lead a team of surgeons in performing a skull reconstruction surgery on 3 year old Okiki. After a review of her case history, the tentative cost of Okiki’s surgery was put at US$234,000 (Two hundred and thirty four thousand United States dollars). On receiving this estimate, GIPLC reached out to her local network of donors and phenomenally raised this sum of money in approximately 72hours.
3 year old Okiki and her parents under the stewardship of Coordinator and Program Director of GIPLC journeyed to the US on May 4th 2013 to undergo her skull reconstruction surgery which was scheduled for the 22nd of May 2013 at the Johns Hopkins Medical International. However, complications have occurred following her over 14 hour’s initial surgery, as a result of inconsistencies in her medical history, in addition to the fact that it was a maiden attempt in paediatric neurosurgery. This has led to a further accumulation of medical bills totalling over US$500,000 (Five hundred thousand United States dollars), a figure that increases with each passing day Okiki spends at Johns Hopkins.
Prior to the complications which have arisen, what made a determination of the full cost of Okiki’s surgery difficult is that in modern times, it is an extremely rare (perhaps singular) medical condition with no precedence to draw indicators from. This latter fact also means that it is equally difficult to tell what other medical complications may arise; just like the fluids that were retained in her cranial cavity has posed an unforeseen challenge and may have led to a fatal infection.
As Okiki may not be released from hospital until all outstanding bills have been paid on one hand, and as we and her parents are desirous of her condition being fully remedied before she does leave the hospital on the other, we would like to appeal to the global public to support our cause in ensuring that Okiki gets a full chance at life.
All donations go directly to Johns Hopkins Medical International (Details available on request). You may find attached a copy of the bill, for your perusal & action, please.
Meanwhile this Sunday, 30th June iblog will be hosting GIPLC at a fundraiser and social media awareness campaign
For more info call GIPLC 08089693240, 08163183797, 07063252573. www.giplc