The Late Lillian Nwobu (1986 - 2017)
The lady I write about is sadly, someone I never had the opportunity of meeting in person. I only heard about her after she died. You know the thing about people, when they die. All you get to hear about them is good testimonies of the kind of life they lived. Even the worst kinds of people are eulogized after they leave this world. However, this lady in question got me really interested in her story because of the effect her death had on people who knew her. Believe it when I say that she is very popular. Her name was Lilian Nwobu. She was just 31yrs old and left a little three year old daughter behind, as well as a young husband, after battling with one of the worst types of cancer, Leukaemia. Leukamia in simple terms is, Cancer of the blood.
The first time I heard about Lilian was actually in a message sent to my whatsapp page by Ms Aisha Edwards who is the Coordinator of the Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder (APLSCD). She announced Lilian's death in an interview with Fides and described her as a fighter for the cause of the APLSCD and a philanthropist of sorts. Shortly after that, I got curious about the deceased and decided to dig a little into her background. Resultantly, I engaged Aisha in an interview session and she spoke to me in tears. During that interview, Aisha was heartbroken and I felt her pain as she described the late Lilian as a lady with a heart of gold. These were her exact words, 'she was a good friend to our association and believed in our advocacy against Sickle Cell Disorder. She constantly propagated our cause consistently through her various platforms, especially her blog which had a massive readership and she did this without asking for any funds. I remember when she saw our complaints online and took it upon herself to go to court on our behalf to seek injunction stopping some miscreants from infringing on our human rights during our nascent stage'. Ms Edwards described the deceased as kind hearted and philanthropic as she remembered with nostalgia, how she donated generously to members of her association who lost their mothers at the CWO Nanka accident of December 2015, during the APLSCD end of year activities.
I eventually went in search of her husband and was able to get him to talk about his late wife, her struggles about this dreaded illness, her journey from one hospital to the other, and her death. I remember feeling a great wave of pity for him as I listened to him and can only pray for God to be with him as he mourns his better half. Here's his story, 'my wife died of an acute kind of Leukaemia and it was particularly painful because we didn't find out on time due to the rareness of its symptoms. She kept on losing blood. Then we were going to Amaku Teaching Hospital for transfusion where they conducted series of tests, but they couldn't pinpoint the reason for the blood loss. She kept on losing blood and became anaemic every now and then. She always had severe headache and bone pains. We were eventually referred to a specialist here in Awka where more tests were conducted. The doctor then advised we went for Bone Marrow Biopsy. In all these places we went to, they kept transfusing, in the sense that we lost count of the number of times that blood was transfused. We turned to God and never stopped praying and along the line, she became down again. She was eventually rushed to a medical centre in Enugu. I joined them and they gave her blood you know, shortage of blood had always been the problem. They were the people that referred us to UNTH where we were put in the Emergency unit and eventually, to the ward. That was where they did the Bone Marrow Biopsy and unfortunately diagnosed Leukaemia. They said Leukaemia had four types but her own was the acute type. I asked them what were her chances and they said the only cure is Bone Marrow Transplant which is not done in Nigeria but abroad. In the meantime, they placed her on chemotherapy which would still be done even if you do the Bone Marrow Transplant. We were there for about some weeks at UNTH, which part of the treatment was blood transfusion, and were discharged. Then, every Friday, we would go from Awka to UNTH for chemotherapy. The HOD there was of great help. He helped us to get some hospitals that could help us with the transplant with their quotations. We also researched on our own and spoke with some Indian hospitals that could perform the transplant, but getting a matching donor became a problem. The HOD asked her if she could bring all her siblings so as to help us to cross match and even see if he could help us get a donor for transplant. In order to cut the long story short, we eventually went to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ife. We were there on admission from February 2nd till she died on the 26th February. It was on a Sunday. I have never been the same since then.We wedded on January 18th 2014 and have a little daughter. My wife was a career woman and her role in the family as a mother and a wife is the best anyone could wish for. She has a heart of gold. She likes helping people which is why, in the group, Anambra Online publishers, which she is a member, they value her and have all spoken good of her. All these things are indicators that she was a good person. I lack the words to quantify her. She was philanthropic. She was humanitarian as well. Her philanthropy would be greatly missed by all because she was known for helping people who were in need of financial support and it is not easy because of the recession. Her friends, family, and colleagues are in pain as she is greatly missed by them all. I particularly miss my wife and I pray her soul rests in peace Amen'.
That was the interview I had with the husband to the Late Vivian Nwobu. I felt tremendous pity for the young man because I know what it means to be by the bedside of the one you love, watching her go through excruciating pains and struggle with death until she finally breathes her last. It must have been very harrowing and psychologically traumatic for him. Lilian also left behind a little daughter, six siblings and a mother. How sad!!! She died at her prime and it can only mean one thing she was heartbroken on her dying bed because she had an active life and still had lots of unfinished tasks to do. But then, who can ever question the will of God??? He always knows best. I am by this article, consoling her family members, friends, colleagues and husband. I urge them to leave all to God who is the giver of life. He also takes life. Nobody can question his divinity. He is the author and finisher of our fate. That simply means that He knows best, why He took her away at such an unripe age.
Again, let me use this medium to implore all our readers to be more conscious of their health status. So many people are diabetic without knowing it. So many others are hypertensive without knowing it. A lot more have a high level of cholesterol in their systems without even knowing it. While some have terrible infections that lead to one illness of the other without even having an inkling what's wrong with them. All these happen because we do not have the HOSPITAL CHECK UP CULTURE Human beings are like cars. If you drive a car for an entire year without having the engine checked for repairs, it would definitely break down. Life's really short, so let's try to make the best of it while we can. It doesn't cost much to go to the hospital bi-annually for follow ups on our health status. Nigerians, especially Ndigbo are very good at chasing after money and making the money but we are very lazy when it comes to exercising. We are also not even boastful of eating healthy. Not with all the beer and red meat our men consume. Our women are also not left out. Health is wealth. Therefore, if you're unhealthy, your wealth is meaningless. Every adult should have a blood pressure monitor at home. It doesn't even cost much. It is a necessity.
I once again ask the widower of Late Mrs Lilian Nwobu to take heart and be strong. God knows best. May her mum and siblings also be consoled by the Almighty and may her only child be sheltered under the shadow of God. May she know love all her life. May she be met with good luck and favour, all her life. May the soul of Lilian Nwobu and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. AMEN!!!