For eight years, Damilola Dorcas Orisadare battled with severe headache as a result of brain tumour but rather than investigate the root cause of her health condition; hospitals kept treating malaria.
The 31-year-old graduate of French from the University of Lagos has been battling severe headache even before she graduated from the university in 2014. Despite her health condition, she got a job as customer service personnel with a company that deals on electronics.
Due to the severity of her health condition, she was asked to work from home and was also asked to stop putting calls across to customers as she couldn’t talk for a long period of time, or get angry so as not to aggravate her condition; just as she could also not stay where there was much noise or loud music. Apart from not being able to go to the office, she could also no longer go for vigil in the church.
In the midst of all these, she lost her father in 2016; leaving her mum – a retired teacher, few of her friends and family members to manage her health challenge.
What is brain tumour? A medical review by Seunggu Han, M.D. written by Verneda Lights published on Healthline on June 6, 2017 defines a brain tumour as a collection, or mass, of abnormal cells in the brain. According to the review, the skull, which encloses the brain, is very rigid and any growth inside such a restricted space can cause problems.
It also stated that brain tumours can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). When benign or malignant tumours grow, they can cause the pressure inside the skull to increase, which can cause brain damage, and can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of brain tumours depend on the location and size of the tumour. Some tumours cause direct damage by invading brain tissue while some tumours cause pressure on the surrounding brain. Sufferers will have noticeable symptoms when a growing tumour is putting pressure on their brain tissue as headaches are a common symptom of a brain tumour.
Narrating how it began, Damilola, a native of Ondo State, said “It started eight years ago with constant severe headache but nobody knew it was brain tumour. It is as though it would explode but all the hospitals I visited just treated me for malaria and I was fine after every malaria treatment. After a short while, it comes back. It continued like that for eight years. Those years were hellish for me; my colleagues in the university and even at work knew I had constantly complained about headache.
“On the 23rd of May 2020, I fell sick and was rushed to the Crystal Hospital Akowonjo in Lagos. Then, my mother told the doctor that there was need to find solution to the incessant headache I was experiencing. So, the hospital asked me to go for MRI scan. On May 25th, I went for MRI scan at Afriglobal where I was diagnosed of brain tumour.”
Dami, as she is fondly called, said her neurosurgeons never believed she was diagnosed of brain tumour because she looked healthy though undergoing severe pain in her brain and dying silently.
She was, however, advised to undergo brain surgery as early as possible to avoid developing more critical symptoms that could lead to memory loss or even worse. Relief came to her towards the end of last year after undergoing a Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) Shunt operation at CMJ hospital in Benin Republic.
A VP shunt helps drain the extra Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) from the brain. It works by taking the fluid out of the brain and moving it into the abdomen where it is absorbed by the body. This lowers the pressure and swelling in the brain.
According to her, the operation which helped reduce the pressure on her brain cost about $5,500 (2.9million CFA) equivalent to about N3m. The money, she said, was raised by some of her friends and her mother.
Dami said she felt so much relief after the surgery as she could sleep better now and the severe headache subsided. When asked what next, she said she has to undergo another surgery for the main removal of the tumour; explaining that the first surgery was just to reduce the pressure on her brain.
Having exhausted her savings and that of her family on medical tests and prescribed medications; Dami is seeking help to raise money to undergo a brain surgery at Polyclinique Internationale Riad Annakhil in Rabat, Morocco to enable her survive the health crisis and be able to live normal life.
She needs a total sum of N10.3million to carry out the brain surgery and chemotherapy in Morocco as well as to cover cost of transportation and accommodation during period of medication.
Dami therefore appeals for financial support from Nigerians to enable her undergo the surgery.
Her bank detail is Damilola Dorcas Orisadare 2253964681 Zenith Bank Plc.