THURSDAYS WITH COLLYBRIGHT
MEET THE 95-YEAR OLD SICKLE CELL WARRIOR
The internet was sent into a frenzy over the touching story of a 95-year-old grandmother, Alhaja Ashiata Abike Onikoyi – The nonagenarian was born with Sickle Cell but has against all odds, survived the worst possible life-shortening disease. Alhaja Onikoyi who is a mother of four tells her inspiring story in an interview.
Alhaja Ashiata Abike Onikoyi has with her inspiring story touched the hearts of many social media users. The 95-year-old grandmother who was born with Sickle Cell shared her survival story in an interview. Having lived from a time, when Sickle Cell anemia was unknown to the Nigerian society, the nature of Alhaja Onikoyi’s constant illness was attributed to being an Abiku, meaning ‘born to die.’
The nonagenarian revealed that living life as an SS patient was not all that difficult as she had loving parents who were ready to give their all for her to survive. Unfortunately, her dad died and she was left with her widowed mother who pushed her to get a quality education. Over her young adult years, Ashiata had access to the best sort of education she required to succeed in society as every good meaning parents would do for their child. However, it wasn’t all rainbows and roses for the mother of four. She had her fair share of “hard life” which she was revealed in the interview.
Speaking on life as a constant hospital patient, she said: “I was taken to the hospital; then they still brought all sorts of concoction from the Igbo tribe, from Yoruba people and Hausa part of the country, because it was a very serious sickness. I just took everything that they gave me. They would cut me on every part of my body but I gave myself to them because I wanted to live.” “They called me abiku and several other names, but thank God things have changed today. Also, the government is doing everything within its power to enlighten the people about the disease”.
Onikoyi skipped school on days she wasn’t strong enough to attend but all that pampering was just so she could survive another day. She said: “If I went to school and it was going to rain, they would bring a car to pick me because the rain must not touch me. I must not go out in the cold, I must not step on wet ground; I couldn’t even stay where there was a fan, let alone in cold weather. As nothing lasts forever, having a crisis is now a thing of the past. “All that is gone now. Since I clocked forty, I have not had any attacks,” said the jolly grandmother”.
As a woman, Alhaja was loved by men who desired her for marriage even with knowledge of her condition. She married more than once and had healthy children from her unions. Revealing details about childbirth she said:
“I remember when I had my last child, I told the doctor that I would die that day but he said no, that I would not die. He and other doctors on duty were on the ground, telling me that they were weighing the blood I was losing and they gave me the best treatment. In fact, at lunchtime I was up and doing; I even had lunch with the doctors”
Needless to say, life for the strong woman has been nothing short of amazing against all odds. Thank God for the advancement of science and technology who has brought us to the limelight and giving us the orientation that it’s a biological disorder and not the other way round, Abiku.
Adeshile Adekolajo is a graduate of Psychology from the University of Abuja, He works for Ntel Nigeria and he owns – Mccollybright.blogspot.com.
He is a writer, blogger and poet, to read more of his interesting and educative articles, please log on to – mccollybright.blogspot.com.