The Trials and Triumphs of Dike (BOOK REVIEW)

December 24th, 2018

By: Balarabe Oshiafi

Title: More Than A Miracle

Page: 251

Year of Publication: 2018

Author: Chinwe Ezeanya

Publishers: Parresia Publishers Limited, Lagos

In 1997, I scripted for Stage Elechi Amadi’s Prose, The Concubine. While it was being interpret­ed at the National Theatre, Lagos, the Narrator (played by Victor Eze), captured the many and varied ups and downs of life thus: “Life is a battle. Battle to be born. Battle to metamorphose from infancy to adulthood. Battle to raise a family and battle for self actualization.

Life is a battle. When Chinwe Ezeanya and her Husband, Mike were joined in Holy Matrimony, they never contemplated that fate was waiting in the wings to attempt to shatter envisaged marital bliss and the accom­panying fulfillment that go with the furtherance of pro­creation.

In this Book, vicissitudes of life appear to always lurk around this family as espoused in More Than A Miracle. This true life story which is authored by Mrs Ezeanya herself also cel­ebrates the omniscience of the Supreme Being who superintends over Man’s so­journ on Earth.

This is a first person narra­tive which revolves around DIKE’AGHA KENECHUK­WU NADIM YOBANNA VICTORY EZEANYA, now a ten year old big boy. Dike’s conception and birth wit­nessed intriguing family and cultural drama. Should we make one more attempt? Are the three Girls God has given us not okay? Although Mike was unperturbed as to whether they have a Male Child or not, the spirit of the high premium the aver­age African family places on a Male child prevailed. The Couple met yet again. Dike eventually came into this troubled World by 11:14pm on January 7, 2008.

His arrival plunged the en­tire Ezeanya family, friends and well wishers into a cele­bratory mood which evapo­rated soon afterwards when the Boy was diagnosed of a baby killing Disease called Necrotizing Entereocolitis.

From this period till Dike landed in Apollo Hospital in India, several trials pertain­ing to the frustration the average Nigerian faces in healthcare delivery, medi­ocrity some of our Medical Practitioners exhibit, Family faith in God which went a long way to sustaining the patience of the Ezeanyas were witnessed.
In this context the Health Sector successfully served as an indicator of the endemic infrastructural decay and inefficiency in other ma­jor Sectors of the Nigerian Economy.

The Ezeanyas deserves special commendation from the Authorities for helping, through the Health chal­lenge Dike and his Dad, Mike faced, to expose the lapses in healthcare delivery. I mean, the family needed two referrals. One for Dike and the other for his father who had pellets buried in his left arm as a result of gun shots he got during an armed robbery attack in 1997. Nigeria, what a Coun­try!
More Than a Miracle is not just an account of the harrowing experience the Ezeanyas went through in securing cure for their to­day’s bundle of joy-Dike, it is a worthy contribution to medical literature that should be consumed widely in the academia.

The phenomenal, inno­vative and unprecedented nature of Dike health, tra­vails and triumphs is best described in the words of Dr Neelam Mohann Direc­tor, Department of Pediatric Gastroenenterology, Hepa­tolology and Liver Trans­plantation, Medanta The Medicity Hospital-Gurgon, India. in the fourth para­graph of her foreword to the Book. She wrote, “One day, I suddenly got this idea-why can’t we swap donors to benefit two needy pa­tients? This had never been done before in India and it needed a large surgical team for four to be operated on si­multaneously (two patients and two donors)”

She continues in para­graph five, “After selecting the right swap donors and patients, we performed the surgery having taken per­mission from Government. Thereafter, the news of this breakthrough surgery was as rampant as wild fire in our country, both in the pa­pers and electronic media, besides international cov­erage (Liver unites families across Continents) this was the first Swap Liver Trans­plant in India and it paved way for several others to fol­low thereafter”.

Biliary Atresia, the ail­ment for which Dike Ezean­ya underwent a thirty-six hour surgery in the hands of thirty-six Surgeons is not an everyday condition. No doubt, both the Boy and the parents suffered but the experience has also thrown them into global reckoning. They have emboldened oth­er families who came close to throwing their sick babies in the toilets or uncomplet­ed buildings to seeking help.

The Book records on page 223, for instance, that after Dike, Hawii a Kenyan who had the same problem was also successfully operated upon in the same Hospital in India. Three other Nigeri­an Children referred by the author to the same Indian hospital were successfully operated upon.

Credit must go to the Au­thor for her deft usage of Medical terms as though she had background training in the exact sciences whereas she studied a behavioral sci­ence course.

More Than A Miracle is animated by thematic rel­evance. It is bold, beautifully packaged with pictorial em­bellishments. It is scholarly. It is highly educative!

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