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Stella Monye with son
Stella Monte is by all standards an accomplished Nigerian singer who has paid her dues in the music industry. For quite some time now, the Samba Girl as she is fondly called by her fans and admirers, has been struggling to repair damage cause by an accident that left her son in pain and has taken them to several medical facilities in search of solution.
Stella in the narrative below, tells her story.
It is no longer news that I was on national assignment when my son had a near tragedy accident.
Moving forward; late 2014 after the last surgery performed at Gorgon Hariana Medenta Global Hospital, New Delhi, India failed, I approached the presidency of His Excellency, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for help. Before then, I had contacted Dr. Ayo K. Gomih, M.D., a specialist urologist in Indiana Polis, USA, and had sent all tests required. I also was speaking to Dr. Michael Straub, Senior Urologist, Head of Endourology and Stone Centre, Technische Universitat Munchen, Munich in Germany, I also spoke to Prof. Dr. J. E. Gschwend, another specialist urologist in Tbilisi. I was seriously corresponding with these doctors and was at the same time seeking help from the Villa. The President told the Ministry of Health under the leadership of the then Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu to set up a panel headed by Dr. Mrs Igwilo (nee Ekwueme) who was the medical director at the Federal Staff Hospital, Abuja, to look into the matter. A ten-man panel of doctors was set up including Dr. Bayioku, A specialist urologist at the Federal Staff Hospital (FSH), Abuja.
My son was appraised and checked by all the doctors and they came to a conclusion. A submission on their findings was presented to the Minister for Health who forwarded the appraisal to the President at the Villa. The campaign was just heating up and the Minister for Health was just leaving office to move on to something else but the appraisal I was later told was in my son’s favour. I also got a copy of the appraisal. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan left office and I tried to follow up with the next government since government is a continuous process, but without luck.
I also visited the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s office in 2018 before we left the country. He instructed that the Ministry of Health should look into the matter but the Ministry insisted that we already have an appraisal in the Villa and that they should work with that. Thereafter, I wrote three letters to the vice president that met brick wall.
Moving forward, I continued to speak to the three doctors abroad while trying to raise funds and we also followed up with my son’s treatment at LASUTH with Dr. Omisanjo, the urology consultant in LASUTH and Dr. Bolarinwa, the only female urologist specialist in LASUTH. She helped with all the referral medical documents sent abroad, until 2017 when I approached Mayor Akinpelu, the publisher of Global Excellence Magazine who in turn told me to try Sun Newspaper award platform, but the award ceremony for that year was over. The Sun Newspaper published a big centre spread story on the issue and did other subsequent stories. Thereafter, I moved on to the Nation Newspaper, they agreed to start a subtle campaign for me on the matter. For six months, they ran the campaign until I saw Late Sadiq Daba’s campaign and decided that I needed more additional campaign to drive home my son’s own. So I approached Azuka Jebose. The campaign yielded when Captain Hosa Idahosa invited me to his office in Abuja and wanted to know what the problem was, I explained that some other hospital was also recommended but could be expensive, that was Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. He then wanted to know if I’ll get result at the Mount Sinai Hospital and told me to follow my heart.
Armed with the donation we got from him and others, we left for the U.S. Azuka and Stella Okosun got in touch with Washington D.C. Hospital and sent the bills across to me plus the bill I got from Mount Sinai as deposit, 50,000 USD and 35,000 USD respectively.
We left for New York and stayed at Garson Court, Beach 25 Street, Far Rockaway, Queens, New York for 700 USD per month and subsequently moved to Beach 44 Street with a private toilet in the same Far Rockaway, Queens at 800 USD to avoid infection for my son. We visited Mount Sinai Hospital 3 days after arrival and they set some tests in motion. After all the tests and all the payments, Dr. Motola, M.D., Robotic Urology Specialist told us that since he started practice, he has never seen a case like this, that so much damage was already done to my son. I broke down and cried, I was in no man’s land. I told the doctor it is not acceptable that I came this far and won’t get solution. He also said the treatment will take years to systematically put in place and the hospital can’t take up such project. He told us to go, he would reach us with a solution. Weeks and months went by since our arrival, then he called one afternoon and said we should be on our way to Dr. Morris at the University Teaching Hospital, Dallas, Texas.
We were later referred back to the whizkid, 30 years old Dr. Lee at the NYU, Langone Health, Manhattan, New York City. Our sojourn now started afresh. Several weeks and several months went by, they researched and they gave us immigration extension letters. Dr. Lee was bent on treating my son to the best of his ability. He removed muscles from his body, cut his intestine, expanded his bladder, he performed miracle and we thank God. He’s still going through systematic medical options but we are almost there, even though I still need help, we thank Nigerians specially. Very soon, we shall start the individual thank you.