For Barrister Ayodele Fasanya, 58, the only thing that matters now is how to raise money to get a kidney transplant. Fasanya battling stage five chronic kidney disease has been hospitalised at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital since November. Even though he has been receiving palliative care and undergoing regular dialysis, he said only a kidney transplant that doctors say will cost a whopping N17m can help him have his life back. LARA ADEJORO reports:
Ayodele Fasanya says he still remembers the days he used to be active and vibrant in legal practice. He said he still hopes to complete his PhD in Law to become a consultant. But, his legal practice and PhD dream are all on hold as he battles chronic kidney disease.
Fasanya said he did not know that what started as a mild illness would degenerate into a stage five Chronic Kidney Disease.
Stage five CKD, according to experts, occurs when the estimated glomerular filtration rate falls below 15, indicating that the kidneys are failing or close to failing.
His doctors have told him that he would need a kidney transplant to increase his chances of living a longer, healthier life.
According to Fasanya, his health challenges started during a routine medical checkup in the year 2000. He said that was when he got the news that he had high blood pressure.
He said that he started attending a private hospital for treatment from 2001 to 2011, adding that he was placed on medication. He, however, stated that no one discovered that his kidney has been affected.
“My serious ailment then has been gastric arthritis, my uric level was quite high and it affects my mobility because I was quite an active and busy person and what I do was to use painkillers and I later got to know that the Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not good for the kidney,” he recalls.
Meanwhile, during a proceeding in court, he slumped and was rushed to the General Hospital, Ikorodu but was later referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
“At LASUTH, I came in as a rheumatology patient but when I was doing some tests, they found out that my creatinine level was unusually high and it indicates there’s a problem with the kidney.
“By the time I was referred to a nephrologist, the first test showed that I had stage three chronic kidney disease. As soon as I heard that, I got panicked and I begin to self-audit to control and live a healthy style, I cut off animal protein, plant protein, salt but again, I had underlying cholesterol but I controlled it.
Chronic Kidney Disease is a condition characterised by a gradual loss of kidney function over time and it can lead to kidney failure.
Speaking with our correspondent who visited him at his ward in LASUTH, Fasanya said “For a while, I was fine without any issue but by the time I came for a check-up again, it has advanced to CKD stage four.
“But then, doing my PhD in law became tasking in addition to the legal practice. Two months ago, after I had written my exam, I just found out that I became numb immediately after I came home. I just managed to get to my room and since that time I became bedridden, I was thinking it will improve but suddenly, I started having violent hiccups and vomiting; it was so serious that if I eat anything, I will throw up, so I knew there was a problem, so I came to LASUTH as a medical emergency patient since the first week of November 2021. “Now, various tests have indicated CKD stage five,” he said.
The need for kidney transplant
PUNCH Healthwise observed that he has swollen feet, ankles, difficulty in walking or standing but he has slowly begun to use his upper limbs.
“We have done eight sessions of dialysis with the cost ranging from N30, 000 to N65, 000 per session depending if you’re not getting extra injections. It has been projected that I urgently need a kidney transplant.
“The budget is between N17m to N20million so that it will take care of the donor, post-surgery, logistics.
“I want the good people of Nigeria to help me have my life back. I will appreciate it if Nigerians can donate voluntarily and generously to the cost of my transplant. I’m looking at 17 million and whatever they contribute will go a long way to get to the target.
“Kindly donate to my FCMB account number which is 0025657013, Fasanya Ayodele,” Fasanya said.
The 58-year-old lawyer is billed to continue his dialysis until he can go for a kidney transplant.
“It’s a costly process but the faster I go for the transplant, the better. I appreciate everyone who has given their widow’s mite to commence the initial treatment and I still appeal for more funds,” he told our correspondent.
A 2018 bulletin published by the World Health Organisation showed that a range of communicable and non-communicable diseases result in renal complications and many people who have kidney disease lack access to care.
It added that a multisectoral approach is needed to tackle the global burden of kidney disease and the sustainable development goals emphasise the importance of a multisectoral approach to health.
The Global Burden of Disease 2015 study also estimated that, in 2015, 1.2 million people died from kidney failure, an increase of 32 percent since 2005 and in 2010, an estimated 2.3–7; while one million people with end-stage kidney disease died without access to chronic dialysis.
“Additionally, each year, around 1.7 million people are thought to die from acute kidney injury. Overall, therefore, an estimated five to10 million people die annually from kidney disease.
“Given the limited epidemiological data, the common lack of awareness, and the frequently poor access to laboratory services, such numbers probably underestimate the true burden posed by kidney disease. It is, therefore, possible that each year, at least as many deaths are attributable to kidney disease as to cancer, diabetes, or respiratory diseases, three of the four main categories targeted by the 2013 action plan.
“In addition, the estimated number of Disability-Adjusted Life-Years attributable to kidney disease globally increased from 19 million in 1990 to 33 million in 2013.12 In 2016, the DALYs associated with chronic kidney disease, along with those associated with cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, and neurological disorders, were found to have increased significantly between 1990 and 2015,” the study noted.