No one feels the fear of almost losing a child more than a mother willing to sacrifice all for those she loves, especially her children. Chinwe Ezeanya found herself in this position when her only son was diagnosed with congenital liver disease. This led her to write one of the most emotional books ‘More than a Miracle’ in which she tells the story of her trying journey of fighting to see her son live.
It started right from birth. Born on January 7, 2008, the next year of his life would be one not many people survived. The baby boy had an unhealthy appearance, his health concerned his mother who took him to many doctors as she revealed but he was misdiagnosed.
It was not until she finally approached an old and trusted consultant paediatrician when her son was about three months old that the real problem was discovered, the source of his illness was finally revealed.
The desperate mother and her baby found themselves in India for a proper diagnosis and possible cure but the only solution was a liver transplant.
Naturally it is advised that donors for liver transplants are family members, as they are the closest match, although the transplant is only done if the donor agrees to give a part of his liver. Chinwe was ready to do this but upon tests they found that her blood type was not a match to her son’s.
His father had undergone a surgery recently and was not considered a healthy fit.
There was a huge problem and it seemed like the young boy’s death sentence had been signed.
But his mother refused to lose hope.
For five months they searched for suitable and willing donors but nothing was happening, no one came through for the desperate family. Chinwe told how she kept receiving encouraging words and prayers from family and friends while some told her to let her son go, that perhaps it was God’s plan. By this time liver cirrhosis had set in and nothing could be done but a transplant.
Finally a breakthrough came. After months of watching her son’s health deteriorate slowly so much that he began to show symptoms of the end stages of the disease, their Indian doctor presented a solution – a swap transplant.
They would have to find a family also looking for a liver transplant whose blood matched both Chinwe and her son’s, and then they would swap. The healthy persons from the different families would donate their livers to the sick persons of both families.
It had never been done but it could save Dike’s life and that was a chance his mother was willing to take. They just had to find a matching family.
Dike had turned fifteen months when a donor was finally found. She revealed how they had to wait in India, throughout the period she wouldn’t leave to go back to Nigeria. She knew a miracle would happen.
It took one mismatched donor, blood donation from strangers, near death experiences, and endless praying before they finally found the right donors.
A sick Indian woman needed a liver transplant and her blood matched Chinwe’s meanwhile her husband was a match to Chinwe’s son, Dike.
The whole of India stood still during the surgery. The news was aired around the world. It was a landmark surgery. Four operations were being done simultaneously in the same hospital; parts of two livers taken from the donors and transplanted into the recipients all at once. A 36-member surgical team working on four patients for 36 hours, taking 10-12 hours to work on each patient.
June 29th 2009, Dike finally got his chance to live a life in full. The swap liver transplant had happened; Chinwe donated her liver to the sick Indian woman, and the woman’s husband donated his liver to her son Dike.
In her book, Chinwe revealed that it was her faith in God that kept her string enough to get through that period of her life. She wavered, her husband and her were stressed and in pain at the thought if losing their only son, but for God and the love of those who supported her and her family, she made it through.
Now, Dike is a healthy 10 year old boy. And as his mother Chinwe turned 50 on 29th May 2018, she released this touching book to mark her 50th year of a good life lived.