Until four years ago, David Effiong, 14, was just an innocent child that never envisaged he could be held down by an illness that has kept him away from school and friends, threatening to shatter his dreams for the future.
According to his father, the lad was full of life and had a smile for everyone. But his amiable features appear to have evaporated as he wears distraught all over his face.
David, who aspires to be a broadcaster, is suffering from Ameloblastoma of the mandible, a medical condition that has literally shut his mouth, making talking a difficult task owing to a very big tissue growth that formed around his mouth and jaw. The Ikot Asuwa-born teenager’s story is that which validates the belief in some quarters that, nothing beats good health.
It is no fairy tale that the little things other mortals take for granted like walking, sleeping, talking and eating have all become a tall order for David. Like a leper, he is avoided by his peers who are now about to graduate from secondary school. For David, getting treated first to live a normal life like other humans is topmost on his mind despite the fact that he stopped schooling when he was in Basic 5 at Holy Primary School Ikot Asuwa, Akwa Ibom state (his home state) when his sickness surfaced four years ago.
In a broken voice, David’s father, Effiong Okon, told The DailyTimes his son’s story:
“It started like something that looks like a boil. What we thought was boil started growing and we knew we had to
take drastic steps to save our son.’’
On the steps taken to make David well again, He said, “We took him to hospitals, pharmacies and prayer houses with the hope that it would disappear – all to no avail. I’ve sold everything I value to treat him. My wife used to trade in Akwa Ibom where she lives, but she has since relocated to Lagos to intensify efforts to seek help to make
David well again.’’
Lamenting that being a pastor has made him an object of ridicule, he said there are some people who confront him and say, “If I’m truly a man of God, I should be able to pray and get my son healed. A friend once told me I should go to a mountain to pray, and questioned my faith in God when I sought financial assistance from him. But I don’t allow such things to bother me.’’
Though getting David to talk can be likened to squeezing water out of rock due to his ailment, David managed to share his experience:
“I can’t eat anything solid and sleeping for me is difficult because I bleed easily
when I sleep.’’
However, a medical report of an examination conducted by Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc., which has its head office at 5, Eletu Ogabi, off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos and signed by a Consultant Radiologist, Prof R. A Arogundade read: Plain and post intravenous contrast medium 2mm axial sections of the face and base of skull are reviewed in soft tissue and bone windows. There is an expansive lesion involving the region of the isthmus and angles of the mandible. The dental arcade of the mandible is disrupted. The maxillary bone is structurally normal. No intracranial lesion is sighted. The ventricles are normal. Tomographic features are highly
suggestive of ameloblastoma.’’
For all these medical jawbreakers, the bottom line is that David requires N5.1m for the treatment, flight ticket and other contingencies in India. David Effiong‘s parent appeal to the general public, NGOs, Akwa Ibom state government and public-spirited Nigerians to come to their aid financially for him to
undergo surgery at Yashoda Hospital, Hyderabad, India.
Cash donations can be sent to the account below:
Account number: 0056840909
Bank: Union Bank Plc
Account name: David Effiong