Experience Stories

My name is Toochukwu Edward Egungwu, I was born with sickle cell anemia. The timeline for my current health situation is as follows; in July 2003, swelling in the left leg due to prolonged exposure to stress, which resulted in calf inflammation and tenderness by the evening of the same day. This condition stayed that way for a few months in fact, the leg never quite went back to its normal size.

In April 2004 I was admitted to the Federal University of Technology Owerri, where I was bitten while asleep at night by a venomous farm ant on the inner ankle region, this caused a minor sore, this sore degenerated rapidly in a few days into an ulcer.  Alternate wound care was ventured into herbal remedy that didn’t last more than a year. I went to different hospitals around the country but the ulcer was recurrent.  September of the following year (2006), I travelled to Enugu to meet a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who introduced Zinc Oxide Adhesives (Elastoplast bandage) for treatment of the leg ulcer, a surgical procedure was done on the leg to get rid of some Varicose veins which healed the ulcer on the inner region of the leg, but It reoccurred on the outer side of the ankle by February 2007 and the same treatment method was used.

Up until 2008, the ulcer kept switching locations on the left leg (between the outer and inner regions of the lower region of the leg), by April the state of the ulcer had worsened, Pentazocine injection was introduced to manage the pain with the Zinc Oxide Adhesive still in use, the prolonged usage of the Zinc Oxide caused the darkening of my left leg from below the knee to my feet (this was always the bandaged region) and so was discontinued. In December 2008, the inner region of the leg seemed to have healed (perfectly) while the outer part still had the ulcer. Pentazocine injection was still being used to manage the pain at the time but lead to the eventual breakdown of the skin on my arms because the veins had collapsed and the injection was being administered blindly. On the left leg, the injection was administered on the ankle, feet and lower area of the thigh. The injections lead to my having DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in the leg characterized by excessive swelling of the left leg (from the knee downwards). I was admitted into Igbobi hospital and then transferred to the private wing of LUTH towards the end of October, was also able to go to India to get the arms grafted the following year (2010 October).

Things were stable for about a year but then the leg ulcer which healed before I was in India reoccurred and the arms broke down(in a different area) due to bad management. My Mother passed away in March 2008 and my father currently has stage 4 prostate cancer and that has eaten into his funds for healthcare and left none for me. I need to go to India to have my leg fixed and the arms regrafted. The pain is so unbearable especially at nights which I spend sleeping in a chair because the position is a bit bearable for the leg. When I am in bed for an hour, the pain starts again. I need to raise $20,000 (Twenty thousand US Dollars) for my trip, surgeries and postsurgical care, hence my honest appeal for help.

Toochukwu Edward Egungwu