4yrs boy appeals for support to undergo heart surgery
By: William N-lanjerborr Jalulah
The life of little Wepare Ayigoni, a four-year-old boy born with a heart problem called Tetralogy of Fallot, is being threatened, and if the public, corporate bodies and philanthropists do not come to his aid within the shortest reasonable time, he might lose it.
The boy must undergo two operations to survive. The first is known as a BT-Shunt, which is palliative, then second, total correction, which is definitive, and is done one year after the first operation.
The Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. J. Koku Awoonor-Williams, who personally examined the child at the War Memorial Hospital in Navorongo, referred him to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for further diagnoses.
When the parents could not raise the money to send the boy for surgery, Dr. Awoonor-Williams personally financed the boy to the National Cardiothoracic Centre at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra on three occasions, where it was confirmed that the boy has to undergo two operations for him to survive.
Dr. Awoonor-Williams' financial support came out of sympathy, because the parents of the boy, who come from Chiana in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the region, could not do so due to poverty.
For the BT-Shunt, the total cost of surgery, anaesthesia, intensive care, ward stay, is GH¢7,000. The Ghana Heart Foundation will assist by paying 50% of the cost, while parents of the ill boy are required to pay the remaining GH¢3,500.
According to the Health Director, the second operation will cost GH¢28,000, and again, the Ghana Heart Foundation will pay 50%.
Dr. Awoonor-Williams explained that if money cannot be raised to pay for the second operation after the first one, the child will not survive, because the second operation is correctional and compulsory.
Still from his personal account, Dr. Awoonor-Williams, at an emergency meeting with management staff of the health administration, presented a cheque of GH¢3,500 to the administrator to be paid into the account of the Ghana Heart Foundation for the commencement of the first operation.
Touched by the plight of little Wepare, staff of the administration who were at the meeting raised an unspecified amount of money to support the worthy course.
Wepare, who was attending Day Nursery School, has dropped out, as his teachers could no longer cope with his condition.
On behalf of the Regional Health Directorate, Dr. Awoonor-Williams is appealing to philanthropists, the general public, and corporate bodies, as well as civil society organisations, to come to the aid of the little boy.
At the meeting, it was suggested, and agreed, that an account should be open and publicised to raise funds to safe Wepare's life.