30 Jan Matters of the Heart: Monday Francis Agoboye’s Story
“There is nothing that moves a loving father’s soul quite like his child’s cry.”
― Joni Eareckson Tada
A lot is said and written about a mother’s love but a love that’s equally as strong and tenacious is a father’s love. A great example of this was seen in a viral video that made its rounds in the Nigerian social media sphere three days ago; A father sitting by the roadside while cradling his visibly sick 2-year-old son who was born with a congenital heart defect (multiple holes in his heart, blocked blood vessels, and an enlarged heart).
The man, Mr. Monday Francis Agoboye, an indigene of Rivers State in Nigeria had just been beaten and kicked out by security officials of the Government house Rivers State where he had gone to seek financial assistance for his son’s surgery and in despair he sat by the roadside narrating how he had gone everywhere from government parastatals to churches unsuccessfully seeking help to raise the complete funds for his son’s heart surgery.
He and his wife had expended all their savings and spent most of their time catering to their son. As the parent of every sick child knows, especially one who is critically ill, your every thought and move is done with your child in mind. His son’s heart might have been weak but the sight of it still beating made Mr. Monday want to move mountains for his son. His friends and family had been helpful and contributed what they could but more needed to be done. The situation was critical as the doctors had given his son 64 days to live (roughly 2 months) if the surgery wasn’t done.
Like every good father, Mr. Monday has a dream to see his son, Beniah, grow and excel. He wants to witness Beniah’s first walking steps, his first day at school, have conversations with him about life, watch him achieve his academic and career goals, boast to his friends about Beniah’s latest achievements. Simply put, he wants his son to be alive and well and the possibility that this dream could be taken away from him in 64 days breaks his heart.
ParadisePlanetEarth read about his story and reached out to Mr. Monday. We donated towards his son’s surgery and are also in talks with our partners in the UK who offer discounted medical services for people with life-threatening diseases. Asides our donation to his child’s surgery, we reached out to Mr. Monday to offer our goodwill in person. It took some time to get across to him because he had to visit a pediatric hospital as regards to his son’s health.
A meeting was finally set at the Nigerian Immigration service where Mr. Monday had gone to process passports for his child and a few family members towards a possible trip overseas for his child’s treatment when the sufficient funds were raised. After waiting for over two hours, we were able to briefly meet Mr. Monday and his son and listen to his story which spanned from when his son was diagnosed with the heart defect at two months old to his resilience and the sacrifices he and his loved ones have made since then.
We were making a video of his story when we got interrupted by an immigration officer who empathized with the initiative behind the video but said such recordings were not allowed on the official premises to avoid any possible scandal. The camera was withheld and we had to go justify what we were doing at the Public Relations Office.
While it seemed an unfortunate turn of events, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the Immigration PRO after listening to the purpose of the recording and seeing the child’s condition decided to speed up the process and get the passports ready the next day!
Little Beniah can grow to become a great teacher, a heart surgeon, a philanthropist, or even become the president of a nation. All this and more are possible if he stays alive. We urge everyone to give what they can towards his surgery via his father’s account details; 0067660529, Diamond bank. We at ParadisePlanetEarth wish our dear little Beniah a successful surgery.
Mr. Monday Francis Agoboye talks about his journey so far in finding help for his son.
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