My sister, my daughter
One strange evening in a moment of unusual mother and child interaction and that was probably the first and the last for a long time, my mother called me into her room and told me in confidence that she was having a baby at 40.
Until that time, my youngest sibling who is now noticeably obstreperous was already 6 years old.
The arrival of Oluwafeyike was not particularly auspicious for me, I did not attend the naming ceremonies of my last two siblings, besides I was a somewhat problem teenager looking for ways to be away from home and I literally had ceased permanent residency from the age of 10, this was final by the time I was 19.
The almost 17-year gap between us, Feyike or 'our little mummy' as we nicknamed her, had her implicitly as my daughter, though I took no responsibilities at any time to act as overbearing big brother or 'father'.
Many life issues
Soon, I learnt that she had health challenges and she was in and out of hospital, something to do with her kidneys and the body's ability to rid itself of impurities. I was not taken into confidence about most of this detail, I was just expected to play some ill-defined part on fuzzy filial affinity.
With time, medicine and extreme religion on the part of my mother brought some respite, she had seasons of wellness and occasional relapses.
She as the last child and I as the first were preoccupations of my mother, God bless her, as we travelled to temples and grottos, seeing prophets and shamans, engaging in all sorts of rituals to find solutions to first my psychological health problems and then my sister's life-threatening physical health issues.
This she did, running a secondary school, trying a distribution business, raising 6 children and always as it seemed to me, fighting for her marriage from the moment I noticed I had parents.
Where we are now
As a first child, I was privileged in many ways, however, it goes without saying that Feyike as a last child with her attendant condition, was to an extent spoilt.
With a bit of discipline and common-sense actions, her condition could probably have been managed, but we are where we are now, with complications of end stage renal disease and anaemia that will require a kidney transplant.
She ideally should be on dialysis thrice a week, but we can barely afford it once a week. Without the removal of waste products and excess water from her blood, we have had a psychotic episode, difficult to understand until I read up on some of the symptoms of chronic kidney disease.
I having once come through cancer, I can well appreciate and understand the seriousness and urgency to find a lasting medical solution to this condition.
Therefore, I am appealing to you all who read this blog in whatever way you can, to help and contribute towards the fund for treatment and kidney transplant that Feyike requires in Nigeria.
The breakdown of costs are as follows:
We have opened a GoFundMe account to receive donations towards her treatment, and your generous donations will be greatly appreciated.
She brings love, fun and joy into our lives and despite her challenges, is well in the prime of her life at 32.
Thank you for your help.
With the kindest regards,
The accompanying letter from her medical consultant: