Read Chapter XVI here.
After a rather long meeting with the program director, producers and presenters, Bisi got herself some sliced pineapples to refresh herself. She took out her phone and saw three missed calls and a text message from Nhyira’s class teacher. Bisi’s heart missed a beat. What could be the matter? The message read that it was urgent she called her back immediately and that she had tried her husband’s number but couldn’t reach him either. She called her back.
“Hello Ms. Thompson. Sorry I missed your call. Is Nhyira okay?”
“I’m sorry I have bad news, Mrs. Pratt. Nhyira collapsed during break time. He was taken to our infirmary but the doctor advised we took him to the hospital.”
Bisi was trembling; she grabbed the edge of her desk to steady herself. She nodded when she was told which hospital Nhyira had been rushed to. She thanked her and ended the call. She tried Fiifi’s number. Straight to voicemail. She left him a hurried message, took her bag, informed her boss and rushed out of the building.
She was waiting for the traffic lights to go green when her phone rang. She put it on loudspeaker as the lights turned green.
“Yeah, just spoke to Nhyira’s teacher. Are you on your way?”
“I’m about leaving. I’ll meet you there.”
“Okay; take care, honey.”
“You too, sweet.” The line went dead. Bisi exhaled deeply in a futile attempt to calm her anxious heart.
“Lord, keep my baby safe,” she kept praying.
When Bisi entered the hospital building, she looked around to find someone she could talk to. A nurse who probably recognized her from TV approached her.
“Yes; please my son was sent here from school. I was asked to find Dr. Tagoe.”
“Oh okay; let me take you to him.”
“Thank you very much.” She followed the lady through the corridors.
“Dr. Tagoe?” The nurse called out. He turned. She rushed to him.
“This is the mother of the boy who was rushed here.” He looked up at her. She looks familiar, he thought. The nurse confirmed his thoughts by adding that she was a TV presenter.
“Aha! Thank you. I’ll speak to her.”
“Okay, doctor.” She walked to Bisi.
“He’ll attend to you, madam.”
“Thank you very much.” She nodded with a smile and walked away. The doctor approached her and offered his hand. She accepted it gratefully.
“Thanks for taking the time to attend to my son, doctor.”
“The pleasure is mine. Is your husband on his way?”
“Yes, please. Can I see him? I want to wait for him so you tell us what is going on with him together.”
He nodded. “No problem; follow me.”
“He’s not in a critical condition, right?”
“He’s fine at the moment but let’s wait for your husband to arrive so we talk.”
Bisi sighed when she saw her son lying on the hospital bed with his eyes closed. She rushed to his side and took his hand. It was warm.
“He’s been administered some drugs to help him rest. It seems he was a little stressed out.”
“He was part of a group rehearsing for some school function. The activities must have worn him out.”
“I’ll be around. Come find me when your husband arrives.”
“I’ll do that. Thank you, Dr. Tagoe.” He nodded and left her.
“Hey baby…” She wiped the slight film of sweat on his forehead with her palm.
“What are you doing here? You were perfectly well this morning. Get well quickly and let’s get out of here, okay?” She sat down and held on to Nhyira’s cute hand. She kissed his palm and placed it against her cheek.
Her phone vibrated among twenty minutes later. She took it out.
“Are you here?”
“Yeah. A nurse just directed me to where you are. Seen the doctor?”
“Yeah, I’ll go and find him.”
“Okay. I’m coming.” He ended the call.
“Will be right back, baby,” she said with a kiss to his forehead and rushed out of the ward.
Fiifi saw Bisi and the doctor coming from the other end of the corridor. Their eyes met and Bisi pointed at him.
“That’s my husband.” Fiifi approached them and the two men shook hands.
“Thanks for seeing our son, doc.”
“It’s my job. Let’s go to my office.” The couple held hands as they followed him. They entered his office and asked them to sit. They all did.
“So, it seems this is a case of a cardiac condition.”
“Cardiac, you mean heart? That’s strange,” Bisi remarked.
“Is it? This implies one of you must suffer from the same condition.” Fiifi and Bisi looked at each other.
“Is he going to be all right?” Fiifi asked, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
“Yeah; for now he is. It’s a condition termed as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.” He paused when he took in Bisi’s panicked look.
“As a matter of fact, it is. It involves the heart muscle. When the heart muscle thickens, the heart functions inefficiently which causes obstruction of blood flow from the heart. That can result in dizziness, palpitations, chest discomfort, shortness of breath and fainting like what we’ve witnessed today.”
He paused again to notice the horror on the couple’s faces.
“I know it looks bad but all hope is not lost yet. He’s fine now which is a good thing.” A nurse burst inside.
“The boy is having a cardiac failure, doc.”
“What?” They all stood.
“Doc….” He left with the nurse before Bisi could finish her sentence. They rushed outside to find out what was going on.
They watched in panic as the clinical staff tried to stabilize him.
“What is happening to our son?”
“He’s going to be fine,” Fiifi said confidently, holding his wife tightly so she wouldn’t run off and interrupt them. When Bisi couldn’t take in the sight anymore, she turned and buried her face in Fii’s bosom. He hugged her.
“He’ll be fine,” he kept saying, not only to reassure her but also as a prayer.
Kukuaa and Ewuresi were driven to the hospital after school closed. Fiifi met them at the parking lot. As soon as they got out of the car, they bombarded him with questions.
“Dad, what happened to Nhyira?”
“Is he okay?”
“His teacher said he fainted. He’s not in critical condition, is he?”
“Calm down, girls. He’s fine now. He gave us a scare a while ago but he’s fine now.”
“Is mum here?”
“Yeah, she’s with him. Let’s go to them.”
He led them to a private ward where Nhyira was sleeping with a red-eyed Bisi next to his bed. The girls ran to her and hugged her.
“Are you okay, mummy?” She nodded and forced a smile.
“Yeah, I’m better. How about you two?”
“We’re fine. What’s wrong with Nhyira?”
“We’ll talk about it later.”
“Why don’t you take them home and get them something to eat? You can join me here later,” Fiifi suggested.
“No, you rather go with them. I want to be here when he wakes up.”
“You look exhausted. Go freshen up, get some rest if you can and come back if you’re feeling up to it. You can bring me dinner then.” She nodded. She turned to find Nhyira’s hands being held by his sisters.
“He’s going to be okay, right?” Ewuresi asked.
“Yeah, by God’s grace, he is. Let’s go home so you can change and eat something.”
“Can we come back here with you?”
“You have school tomorrow. You need to rest. Don’t worry, I’ll give you updates. Let’s go.”
“Get well soon, brother,” Kukuaa said. Ewuresi squeezed his hand before letting go. Bisi got up and hugged Fiifi.
“Everything will be fine,” he whispered before they pulled apart. She nodded.
“Let me know when he wakes up.”
“Sure. See you soon, girls. Be good, okay and pray for your brother.”
“Okay, daddy.” He hugged them together by his sides. Mother and daughters left the ward. Fiifi sighed and sat down.
“You were supposed to be a perfect invention. Is God trying to punish me?”
“Mummy, please tell us what is wrong with Nhyira,” Kukuaa asked.
“The doctor mentioned some heart condition. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the facts.”
“Heart condition? That sounds serious.”
“Yeah; let’s pray it’s just going to be a one-time scare because…I don’t know how I’m going to deal with that.”
“Daddy doesn’t have a heart condition, does he?”
“No, he doesn’t. Why do you ask?”
“So it’s the mother.” Bisi gripped the steering wheel and swallowed.
“Did dad know?”
“That she had a family history of heart conditions?” Bisi sighed.
“I don’t know, Kuks. From the look of things, he didn’t.”
“That was bad business then. Dad is a great businessman and he always goes for the best. Why would he go for a baby from outside without knowing for sure he wouldn’t have any traits of some major medical condition?”
Bisi couldn’t counter her argument. Kukuaa made perfect sense. After witnessing what she did back at the hospital, she realized raising a child like Nhyira would demand more from her and Fiifi than they were both prepared for.
When they arrived home, Bisi prepared dinner and packed some for her and Fiifi. She took a quick shower and changed into more comfortable clothes. She said goodbye to the girls after telling them to lock the door behind her and not opening the door to any stranger.
The driver drove her back to the hospital. She was too exhausted that she dozed off on the way.
She arrived at the hospital a little after seven. She entered Nhyira’s room to find Fiifi leaning against his seat with his eyes closed. He looked as wearied as she felt. She touched his face and he woke up.
“Yeah, I brought us dinner. How are things? Did he wake up?”
“Yeah, for a short while but he’s sleeping now. He asked of you and I said you were on your way.”
Bisi sat down quietly for a while.
“Something on your mind?”
“I’m just thinking about Nhyira’s supposed condition. You said his mother took the necessary tests before the insemination, right?”
“Uh huh; I requested the usual-HIV, sickle cell and a few others.”
“And was her family medical history taken too?”
“Yeah, she was asked the routine questions. Why?”
“I’m just wondering how the doctor could have missed such a vital question about heart conditions.”
“It could be she denied it.”
“Why would she? This was a business transaction, right?”
“Maybe she needed the money so bad that she thought she could hide a few details.”
“Where on earth did you meet her, Fii?”
“B, I’m too tired to be having this conversation. Talking about this isn’t going to get Nhyira off this bed. Let’s just do what we can and take him back home with us.”
“It’s like the harder we try to bury the truth, the more further evidence pops up showing that he is from outside, Fii. None of us have this trait of the condition. Aren’t you worried it’s going to raise more brows?”
“I could care less of what others would think, B. It’s my son lying on the hospital bed, fighting for his life.”
“Your son, huh? I thought it was forbidden for any of us to claim sole ownership over any of the children.”
“You know what I mean. His well-being should be our focus right now.”
“I know. I’m sorry; it’s just that this changes everything.”
“Did you bring dinner?”
“Yeah, let’s go eat.”
They ate in silence. Fiifi complained of exhaustion and headache so Bisi convinced him to go home and rest. She would stay with Nhyira at the hospital. Fiifi was hesitant to leave her alone but after some persuasion, he agreed. The driver took him home and Bisi went to Nhyira’s room. She took his hand and squeezed it.
“Father, I know you didn’t take away my unborn baby to give me sick child. I don’t care from which womb he came from and what conditions she might be suffering. But if you say he is my son, then I refuse to accept this heart condition. His father and I don’t have it so he shouldn’t have it. Your Word says by Your stripes, we are healed and I call forth your precious Blood which bought me at Calvary to cover my son too. I’m not taking my son back home with that diagnosis. He is going to live a normal life with no pacemaker or a death warrant hovering over his head. I declare him healed, whole and sanctified in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
“Amen.” She opened her eyes to see Nhyira smiling weakly at her. She wiped the tears which had fallen on her cheeks and smiled back.
“Hi baby.” She kissed his forehead.
“How are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling okay, mummy.”
“Good, good.” Bisi sat down beside him.
Fiifi took his phone and called a number he hadn’t dialed in years but it went straight to voicemail.
“You better call me the second you get this message. And you better have a very good explanation for lying to me about your medical history. You assured me you were not hiding any information from me but clearly that was a lie. And if in case you are dying right now, I wish you a speedy trip to hell,” he spat and ended the call. He was furious beyond control.
Josephine Amoako (c) 2016
Read Chapter XVIII here.