It was a loud scream. We had just finished eating breakfast and I was in the kitchen washing the dishes when I heard a loud terrifying scream. My heart immediately skipped a beat as I ran towards the direction of the sound. It was from the children’s room. My eyes couldn’t believe what I saw. Sonia was rolling on the floor holding her chest and coughing severely. She was gasping dearly for breath.
As quick as lightning, I hastily went to get the key to my car and placed Sonia in the car. I was going to rush her to the hospital when Sammy started crying. I had forgotten Sammy was in his cot so, I had to carry him along. I placed him in his stroller and kept him in the car. Sonia was still groaning in pains. I drove as fast as I could to our family hospital which was almost a stone thrown from our house. I got there in less than 15 minutes and Sonia was rushed immediately to the emergency department of the hospital. It was another episode of acute chest syndrome.
The lifeless body of Sonia laid on the hospital bed. It all looked like a dream. My little girl was gone. I moaned and wailed bitterly. My husband was already with me in the hospital. He cried painfully as well. Our little girl of 10 was gone. I cried till my glands couldn’t stimulate tears again. It was really an unbearable experience.
Two months after the demise of Sonia, my husband developed a stroke. He was just 40 years old. Apart from the stroke, he had developed ulcer in his legs. I would apply the recommended ointment to his legs morning and night.
Life wasn’t fair to me. I stayed at home all day long taking care of my sick husband and my baby. And so, I lost my job as a banker. We barely had food to eat. My husband couldn’t go to work because of his condition. Few days after, the cold and cruel hands of death took him away. I almost ran mad. I couldn’t take it anymore. In less than six months, my daughter and husband was gone. I wailed and cried. There was no one to come to my aid.
It was my baby this time around. It was five years after the death of my husband. Sammy was five years old. I had rushed him to the hospital. He had been in pains. Sammy was my only hope. I couldn’t afford to lose him. He had been rushed to the emergency unit. Tears trickled down my eyes.
Is this life? I had asked myself crying uncontrollably. The pain and agony was too much. This wasn’t the beautiful future I had dreamt of. This wasn’t the life I had imagined. Life is cruel. Life is unfair. Well, it was all my fault. I was too blind to see. I was blinded by love. I had a flashback of when I was about to get married to my husband.
“Love my Foot!!!” my mum had screamed. She had warned me not to marry him. He was a sickle cell patient and I was a carrier of the trait. We were so incompatible medically but I turned deaf ears. I chose to do my will and see where it had landed me.
“Mum, I love him so much irrespective of his health condition. Besides, we could have children with AS genotype. Who says God can’t even wrought out miracles?” I had said in defiance.
“Love my foot!!!” my mum had yelled in response. Immediately, I walked out on my mother. I was so adamant and rigid. I had made up my mind.
I got married to him without the consent of my mother. In fact, she never attended my wedding. Sadly for us, Sonia and Sammy turned out to be sickle cell and we decided not to have any other children. We couldn’t bear the risk of having another sickle cell child.
I was in regret. I shouldn’t have married him. See what love has caused me. Here I am in the hospital panting up and down soaked in tears. Sammy must not die. But, what happens if he dies? I saw the doctor walking towards me with a stern face. What was the outcome? Was Sammy dead?
“Look before you leap. Don’t be blinded by love. Don’t endanger the lives of your unborn kids. Know your genotype before you dive into the river of love”
Written By Isibor Precious, Delta State University, Abraka, NIGERIA.