Why The Caged Bird Cried:
“MY SON’S 17 YEARS OF PAIN AND MISERY”
“Jebose my brother,
My life, these days, is like a fish out of water. I am gasping every second. Sometimes, I wondered how I am still standing. I am miserably searching my pathways to this thing called life with my only son, Ibrahim. I do not know where life will lead me to, next minute, with him. I know what I have seen, but I do not know how life would soothe and console me. His unfortunate circumstance continues to consume our life: getting him well and free from pain is my mission. It seems a long road, distanced and murky life for us.
I begin my day at sunrise with tears of sorrow and end at sunset, with prayers for my daily grief: a single mother whose handsome and only son has been in pain the past 17 years of his twenty seven years on planet earth. A freak accident of a goodhearted child has become a pathetic burden and songs of sorrow for me and my son.
Nigerians see me sing at events and concerts. My name is all over the media and my songs are heard on radio and other media outlets. But what they do not know is the heartaches of a dear mother that frequent hospitals every week to save her son, keep him alive as I pray for his healing. Azuka Jebose, my heart bleeds. My salty tears flow endlessly on my face, these tears rage every day: they are my river of pain. I am physically suffering due to Ibrahim’s condition.
“No mother should to go through my agony with her child. You do not wish that on any mother, not even a wicked witch. Each morning, I clean my son’s opened stomach. Every week, we go into the hospital because of infections to his injuries, opened stomach and for his kidney dialyses.. His urethra is damaged. This process has caused him kidney disease. Ibrahim lives with tubes inserted in his lower abdomen.
My heart is darkness of pain. I see clouds of trauma, every day. His lower abdomen has been slashed open for two years: a tube is connected to his bladder to help him discharge his bodily fluids. We fight infections all the time with endless visits to the hospital and with antibiotic prescriptions. My home is a mini chemist.... I do not know how that boy is still alive.
Ibrahim got into a freak accident at age ten. He is a charming kind kid, always helping his friends in our neighbourhood. On that afternoon that the accident happened, he just wanted to help one of his friends’ fetched water from their compound’s tap attached to a water tank in the yard
His friend complained to Ibrahim, as they walked home from lesson, that there was no water at their home. He had not taken bath in days. Inside their compound was a water tanker, barricaded by fences with sharp edged irons for security. The child pointed toward the water tank as he complained that he needed water from the Tank to shower for the day, but couldn’t climb over the fence to turn the tap. Ibrahim volunteered to climb over the fence to open the tap, allowing water to gush. As he climbed the fence, he fell; his scrotum got caught by the sharp iron object on top of the fence. It penetrated his scrotum, tore flesh of the scrotum as it pinched deep, painfully inside a child’s younger urethra. Ibrahim was trapped; crying, blood oozing from his scrotum and staining the fence. His screams attracted Passersby and other neighbours who rushed to help him from the sharp objects. His scrotum had been badly and deeply slashed.
I was on tour, NIGERIA ’99, with the best of Nigerian musicians that summer of 1999. We had Late Christy Essien Igbokwe, Shina Peters, Otis Wiliki. We were in Abuja to hand over the FIFA Junior Football Championship theme song to the then President, Gen Abdulsalam Abubarkar. My mother called me to share the sad news. I was on national assignment for Nigeria and I could not leave my colleagues behind. I chose my nation over my son’s painful accident..
I asked my mom to take him to the hospital and cared for him while I was representing my country. I also told mother that I would return after the National tour assignments: that was a huge sacrifice for me... We were not paid for our performances. We only got pittance as allowances. But this na my country. I must serve Nigeria in her time of need. That is patriotism. My son had two major surgeries while I was on tour for Nigeria, promoting our theme songs for the Junior World cup. I returned after the tour with celebrity status, superstardom but no money in my pocket. My shock just begun!.I carried my agony of caring for a ten year old “good Samaritan” that tried to help his friend to bath. I wasn’t angry at him for climbing the fence. I was proud of his humanitarianism that young in his life. He was selfless and he cared. The surgery and subsequent surgeries including the surgery in India, failed...
I was desperate. My son was sliding into disability. He could not use the toilets, unassisted. I am still desperate. Every urinary discharge was like a trip to hell with his painful cries that stabs my heart. I reached out to Chief Raymond Dokpesi of Ray Power and late Christy Essien-Igbokwe : they helped organize a fund drive to go to India and seek surgery. The Indian doctors told us that they would try but would not guarantee if the surgery would be a success. They concluded that the hospital that did the first surgery had created a mess in the bladder and urethra. I just wanted to get my son to live normal and be freed from daily constant pain. So I signed onto the surgery. Its been 17 years now. Jebose I cannot count how many surgeries failed.
My son is in excruciating pain. He is 27. We began this traumatic melancholy at age 10. I have spent every penny earned to care for him. He still needs care. Recently, we contacted a specialist doctor in Indiana, USA, for corrective surgery. I sent all his medical records the Specialists asked for.. I want to take a chance to save my son. I want Ibrahim to live normally and independent of my care. He is all I’ve got.
“Ibrahim is my only child. He deserves to live free from any pain, not regret helping others in need of help because of this misery and torture.
“Jebose, I am in deep tide of my life. My tide is highest. The cost of the constructive surgery is N35 Million. Where will I get N35 MILLION to save Ibrahim from 17 years of living in miserable pain?. I can no longer hide my pain. I can’t continue take the weights of my sorrows to sleep every night, hoping for miracle to happen. I do not know how much time I have left in my life. Anything can happen at any time. I am in the early evenings of my life. Who will care for Ibrahim if I fall now?. Who will wipe his urine, clean his sore open belly, clean the inlet to the tube that connects to his bladder?. Who will empty his urine for him, wake up every three hours at night to wipe him up, change his wet clothes and or help him to the toilet?. Jebose, this is my daily shift, even after I returned from gigs and concerts. You see my broad smiles at shows, but deep inside my heart are tears dripping into my emotional grief. When I sing, I sing with pain. When I laugh, I laugh with torment, when I look at the happy audience; I pray to see Ibrahim happy, without pain and enjoying my songs, just like my audience. But that may not happen. My Son’s bladder is ruptured, so it bleeds into his abdomen, mixing with his urine: it is always infected. The doctors here tried to treat him recently, but recommended I took him outside Nigeria for corrective surgery..His kidney is swollen and lacerated...This painful process has impacted his kidney.
He now has kidney failures and requires dialysis three times a week. I can only afford two dialyses per month at N45K each. That is not good for his body. Jebose, I need help. My hope and second chance are in this Specialist in Indiana. I need N35MILLION to pay for his corrective surgery. I need help. Please Nigeria, help me. No amount is too small... I beg Nigeria; I am a mother just like you, your mother, your daughter, your sister, your niece, your grandmother. I am that same girl that brought great songs to your lives. Give me a sweet melody to lessen my burden and a hope with your donation.....Ibrahim is my only son .
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