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Dr Mena's Diary- Baby Jo Crushed My Heart

Dr Mena
It was a cold Monday morning in the Harmattan season, and all the doctors in the department of Paediatrics were busy tidying up patients in their respective units before the routine mortality meeting scheduled for 1:30pm , when Mrs Sim walked into the emergency room (ER) with her baby crying unconsolably.

Madam how may we help you? The nurse in charge of our ER enquired from her. My baby Jo, has been crying and he is having a fever too, Mrs. Sim responded amidst tears. Alright Mrs. Sim, our doctors are currently busy with an emergency in the treatment room, the nurse pointed in our direction in the treatment room. We were battling to gain intravenous access for our severely dehydrated child who had just been rushed in a few minutes ago.
However you should obtain a card from the health information unit and be seen by the doctors in the clinic the nurse directed her. Not more than five minutes after she was gone, we succeeded in the struggle and fluid resuscitation commenced for our patient.
I lifted up my head from my patient in response to a tap on my back, em madam how did you get here?

Doctor please don't say "No", I broke all protocols to get in here please see my child as soon as you are done, I'll wait, Mrs. Sim pleaded gently. Alright give us a minute, we will attend to your child I reassured her. Within a short time, our patient became stabilized and I started to see Mrs. Sim's baby, Jo alongside with my residents and Medical students.

 Jo was a 7month old female who has been crying unconsolably for the past 3days and having fever for the past 24hours. After a brief history, a quick physical examination revealed Jo was jaundiced, had fever, swollen hands and feet which were tender, she was also pale. I informed her about our working diagnosis and she froze momentarily.  

 Em, doctor isn't it too early for her to start showing symptoms already? 
Well, madam, there are different factors which could determine early manifestation of the disease. 

In a short while, Jo was admitted and blood samples were drawn for investigations. We could hear Mrs. Sim praying in tongues for God to hear her prayers and give her favorable results with her child. 

We had commenced intravenous fluids and some pain killers and Baby Jo was a lot calmer and asleep by now. Within a few hours, Jo's results were out and I requested for Mrs. Sim's spouse so we could counsel them together.

Ah, doctor you can go ahead and discuss with me, Jo's father walked out on our marriage when I was 7months pregnant.

 Why?how? What happened? I asked all at the same time.

 Doctor, I can't even say why, I don't even believe what's happening to me and my daughter. It's because of this same man I disobeyed my parents and went against medical counsel because our genotype didn't tally she lamented further. I loved him and I thought he loved he loved me more. 

Well, I have long counted my losses and decided to forge ahead with my daughter, she said sobbing loudly. Oh goodness gracious! I'm really sorry to hear that I handed her a clean, warm face tissue and consoled her. 

click image to apply
But Mrs. Sim I'm afraid Jo is Haemoglobin SS and what she has, is a bone pain crisis, making her to cry unconsolably.
By this time, she seemed strong because we had earlier primed her of the possibility of the disease. Jo recovered rapidly in the ensuing days and was discharged.
We counselled Mrs. Sim on the care of Jo, the need to be regular with routine medications and clinic visits.

Faith is good!
Love is great!
But In all thy getting, get wisdom to direct you when you make these sensitive, lifetime decisions.

Bio: Dr. Onotume Okemena Esther, popularly called Dr. Mena by her friends.
Obtained her primary medical degree MBBS degree from University of Port Harcourt in 2010.  Currently a senior registrar in Paediatrics. In her spare time she writes mainly to educate the populace on health issues.

Email :

©Dr. Mena


  1. Nice one sist, knowledge is power.

  2. The choices we make affects us one way or the other, if not today, tomorrow.
    Mrs Sim did not consider the possible outcome of her decision before embarking on it and that produced little Jo in her condition. We need more sensitization and publicity on these issues. I wish little Jo a healthy life.

  3. So sad baby jo has to go though all that pain 😥😥😥😥

  4. Sad reality indeed. However, who am I to judge Mrs. Sim? A lot of us have to go through moments like this one way or another where we make poor choices damning every "obvious" consequence. Are we to blame for our actions? Yes. Will that solve the problem? No! Every day we see cases and situations that reflect bad choices we or others have made- financial, spiritual, health wise, marital, education wise and so forth.
    What is important is that we eventually realise, accept responsibility and make conscious effort to correct or manage the situation as the case may be. We must also keep talking.
    It's painful to read up stories like this because it's a glaring reality and more painful is the fact that daily people keep walking into situations like this with open eyes. We can never "talk" enough.
    I've had someone close (a medical doctor) marry the love of his life in similar situation and today he has 2 SS kids, one is a strong advocate for the prevention of SCD. Another experience is a family friend, a nurse, she couldn't live without the husband literally, today she has a sickle child but what is of note here is that the love she so saw, when the baby started having the crises she practically hated the husband and lived in regret for a long time. Today she is living with her family in the US and says the child is now more stable but then it wasn't worth it.
    It is sad that baby Jo has to live with SCD because of her parents mistakes. I hope that Mrs. Sim can be a great advocate for discouraging same mistake in intending couples. May we all learn. It is well.

    1. Even you have posted as anonymous, I knew it was you @Yvonne Zimughan-Ogunbajo the moment I read through your comment.... Thank you so much, remember we agreed we'll keep talking.

  5. Indeed Knowledge is Power... Pls we really need to be careful in decision Making when it comes to matter of the Heart cos we can't turn back the hands of Time.... Am so sorry for baby Jo. Nice one Dr... More Grace 🙏🙏🙏

  6. Love nwantiti!! Now the child is suffering the consequences of her love. She too, dey suffer. Well, we shld all choose wisely, considering the future, not immediate satisfaction.


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