A friend of mine got admitted and was been reviewed by a doctor as we arrived the emergency unit. I was so shattered as the only thing that caught my attention was the steady pace of the mother. For someone fair in complexion, you can tell by the redness on her face that she had cried her eyes out due to the condition of her son. She kept pacing, praying for mercy, not minding this was the fourth hospital we have been too today. I pitied her as huge sum of money has been spent by this poor mother. Exhausted both emotionally & physically, she looked tired. My friend although 29 looked like a 15 year old child. No marriage. No work. No hustle. He graduated as an accountant from one of the best universities in Nigeria for the past 5 years. No work. He has been living with his mother who took care of him right from when he was little. My friend was weak, confused but could still answer the questions asked by the medical practitioners. He was in pains. He was a sickle gene patient (warrior). For a warrior, this wasn’t his first crisis but this seems to be his worst. The medical practitioners started their work & after some while he seemed OK.
After some time, when he seemed relaxed, I & some of the patients there tried to calm & ease the tension so we chatted with the mother & the patient. The mother said “I was once stabbed by my own son when he was in one of his pain crisis”. I looked at my friend & asked if it was true & he said yes. He said “I did the stabbing to my mother to let her know that she gave me a lifetime of pain”. As the mother continued speaking, you could see the pains & tears in her eyes. She said “I’m 58 years old now; I didn’t know anything about genotype when I got married. It was because of my son’s status that his father abandoned us. I’m the only one that has been battling with this sickness since. I have forgiven my son for the stabbing though.
As a warrior myself, I felt the pain the mother was feeling but I controlled myself not to shed tears. After a while, when everything was looking stable, I decided to leave for home. As I was about to leave the ward, my friend called me back, held my hands & said “Thank you but I’m tired of this pains. I want to rest”. I told him to keep fighting as we have always been fighting. I said “You are a warrior for 29 years now & you are a fighter”. So naïve of me, I never understood what he meant by rest. I left the hospital late in the evening.
At exactly 3.20am the next morning, my phone rang. I woke up to receive the call & to my surprise, my friend’s mother. Could he be okay? Thoughts swam through my mind. With a teary voice, he is dead, he is dead. That’s what I heard on the phone as the mother continued to cry. He had gone to rest. He was truly tired of the pains. I dropped my phone & I wept. He should be calm now. He has gone to rest. The agony of the mother was so loud. She stood by her son till the end. She was a true mother.
Love is essential so is your genotype. Know your status; it’s not more than a thousand naira to carry out the test. With a genotype, you can plan your future.