Unless help comes the way of three-year-old Chistabel Steven, she may not survive the brain tumour that has become a life threatening ailment to her. The tumour has eaten through her nose, made her unable to use her limbs and having seizures. She is also deaf, dumb and blind. She is battling for survival in the hospital and requires a sum of N3.5million to be normal again and live as UCHENNA INYA reports
Beautiful Chirstabel, the only daughter of her parents ; Pastor Steven Ucheghe Ulu of Ohafia, Abia State and wife, Eucheria and third child in the family, was born normal without any health issues. Pastor Ulu is serving at the Later House Revival Ministries at No 13 Umualaoma street, off Nkaliki road, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
His daughter continued being normal. On May this year, she clocked three and celebrated her birthday. She was hale and hearty. But on the first week of June, she suddenly developed issues which her parents overlooked thinking that it was ‘normal childish’ behaviour. Christabel could no longer walk very well. If she was walking, she would be staggering. The staggering kept increasing and other issues also cropped up.
It was then that the parents discovered that things were not in order with Chirstabel and they rushed her to Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki(AE-FUTHA), Ebonyi State for medical diagnosis and attention.
There, in the hospital, a Medical Consultant who is attending to Christabel, recommended CT scan for her to ascertain her problems and it was the result that showed that she has a brain tumour with cerebral fluid, which accumulated in her brain. Results of the CT brain scan tagged Radiologist’s report dated October 5, 2020 , signed by Dr. Okere PC, Consultant Radiologist and obtained by New Telegraph, indicated that the little girl is having loss of developmental milestones, headache, vomiting, loss of vision.
“Non-contrast axial CT image reveals a well circumscribed midline hyperdense posterior fossa mass with small, scattered hypodense areas which are invariably cystic regions. There is compression of the lateral and third ventricles. The mass measured 4.95.0158cm and the average pre-contrast density is 42HU.
This rises to 5IHU after administration of iodinated contrast vascular streaks are seen coursing through the mass and become more prominent in the contrast phase. “Conclusion: Medullobiastoma with marked obstructive hydrocephalus”, the medical report stated. Following this, two surgeries were recommended for Christabel; one is the one that will flush out the fluid that accumulated in the child’s brain while the other is the main brain surgery that will remove the turmour.
The one that will flush out the accumulated fluid in her brain has been successfully done at N300,000 and was sponsored by a public spirited individual. The main brain surgery that will remove the tumour has not been done. According to the Medical Consultant handling Christabel’s case, it will cost N3.5million. It is generally believed by Doctors that the turmour has continued to develop leading to the blindness, inability to use her limbs, even the seizure she is having and other issues.
“Once the tumour is removed, everything will come back to normal by the grace of God”, one of the medical personnel at the Childre Ward of AEFUTHA2 where the girl is battling for survival told our correspondent.
But the girl’s father, Pastor Steven Ucheghe Ulu, said he cannot afford the N3.5 million and called for assistance from all quarters. Ulu said: “My daughter, Christabel Steve developed brain cancer, brain turmour since June 2020 and we rushed her to the hospital according to Doctor’s directive. She was first taken to a hospital in Enugu for CT scan and it was done there in Enugu.
“We came back to Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki1 (FETHA1). We were referred to FETHA 2 here and they told us to meet a consultant. After meeting the consultant, the man told us that it is a brain turmour and it will require some surgeries that will take N3.8million. He said the first one is N300,000 while the second one is N3,5million. So, that’s why we are in this hospital and the first one has been done which is N300,000 through a good Samaritan that God used to do that .
We are still believing God to touch the heart of people all over the world to come to our assistance, to assist my daughter Christabel to get back to her normal life. “So, what we need now is N3.5million to get her back to her normal life. Christabel is a pupil going to school before. She has no problem. I have not seen such thing in her life before. She was normal, talking, playing with other children. Suddenly, this thing started developing.”
On how the ailment started, he said: “After her birthday in May this year, the first week of June, we saw her staggering. If she is walking, she will be staggering. We thought that it was just an ordinary thing but we later discovered that it was not normal and we rushed her to the hospital and we were told that it’s a brain tumour.
I have hope that she will be alright. Even the Doctors told us that she will get herself back after the surgeries. She is the third child in my family; I have two boys and she is the only a girl that is in my house”. His wife, Eucheria Steven, said she feels very bad about her daughter’s health condition. Her words: “It has not been easy for me as the mother; the pains, the headache, the sleepless nights.
It has not been really easy for me because I am the one always here, taking care of her while the father is out there looking for help. “At the initial time, we thought that her behaviour was normal childish acts and that was the first week.
Then, after the second week, I noticed that it continued. I then drew the attention of my husband that it was no longer a childish act because the first week has gone and this is the second week and the third week was when we noticed that it was a serious matter.
“As it continued, we got to the hospital and we were advised by the Doctors to run a scan on her. So, from there, here we are. “As you can see, there is a tube connected to her nose and she manages to eat through the tube.
Nurses feed her with palp through the tube that is connected to her nose and that is the only food she is eating and that is the way she is managing to eat. “I feel bad about her condition as a mother because I know how she used to do; I hardly feed her myself before; she feeds herself. She does everything herself but today, she can’t do anything herself again and I feel very bad”.
A Nurse at the Children’s Ward, new hospital complex of AEFUTHA2, who did not want her name in print, expressed the hope that Christabel will survive the surgery if the N3.5million need for it will be realized.
She solicited government at all levels, NGOs, corporate bodies, public spirited individuals to come to the aid of the little girl. She said: “A little has been done as regards to Christabel’s condition. The only procedure that was done was by an anonymous donor, who wants to remain anonymous.
So, the main thing that is needed now is the definite surgery and that is the tumour recession, which will be followed by the radiotherapy. “By the grace of God, there is nothing that is impossible for God to do even if it may seem impossible in the eyes of man.
Though the consultant; the Surgeon has assured us that after the turmour recession, that she will come back to life. So, we hope and we believe that she will be restored back to normal after the surgery because we believe that it is the turmour that is causing all the problems that she is developing “With the history I heard from her parents because I happened to meet them in September, it was normal until around that June. But by the grace of God, once the turmour is removed, I believe those issues will be resolved.”