He retched and retched until there was nothing in his stomach, Mammi kept lamenting, pouring water on his head and using a wet towel to wipe his face. Going to the hospital was against our belief.
Ebuka was the unfortunate one to get the Sickle Cell disease (SCD). There had been a major error in the compatibility tests of Mammi and our late Papa. The hospital told them they were OK to marry.
It began to manifest when Ebuka was three months old. Mammi has being regretting the marriage and cursing her unfortunate life ever since. I feared for her health too, her blood pressure kept shooting up.
Sometimes, at work, she would get a call about Ebuka fainting in school and she would hurry over. Ebuka’s condition made him perform poor at school. He constantly missed classes and exams. Whenever he had crises, I would miss school to take care of him too.
The crisis this time was something else. His eyes had turned deep yellow, his lips, white and dry, and his skin, pale. Mammi put a call across to our Bishop and we rushed him to our Church.
Overtime, his condition deteriorated. He couldn’t speak. He just opened his mouth and winced in pain. For months, he ate less and less. He became just skin and bones, his breathing became more audible, like mucus clogged his throat.
The church kept praying for him and the care-givers applied fruitless manual relaxation and distraction techniques.
Years ago, he had explained to me what having bone crisis felt like – the bones at the arms, legs, chest, joints and back feel like they are crushing. Sometimes, the chest feels felt tight, making breathing hard. Other times, there are hallucinations.
That day, when his friend left, he called me in and gave me a bottle and a needle. I scanned the body of the bottle and looked at him. Tears fell vertically from the corner of his eyes to the bed, and he gave a nod.
I couldn’t hug him, so I gave his hand a light squeeze. I used my handkerchief to wipe his tears then checked if anyone was watching- there was none.
I used my fist to break the head of the bottle open and filled the syringe with its liquid. I told him to close his eyes, he did. I pierced his lap with the needle and emptied the liquid inside his body.
Two minutes later, he went cold, his face looking very calm and peaceful. I disposed of the bottle and syringe, covered his face with a wrapper, then stepped out to call mother.
Read: Errors and Stitches-1
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