I never heard the word Haemophilia until I mEt Mrs. Megan Adediran… If you’ve ever needed a how to on turning your challenges to oh-so-amazing victories, then, trust me when I tell you you are literarily at the right page😉… So, sit back, relax and read on… Here are the excerpts.
Zara Obaa: Good day Ma. It’s a pleasure having you on Everyday People. May we meet you?
Mrs. Adediran: My name is Megan Buckie Adediran. Founder and Executive Director Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria.
Zara Obaa: Hmmm… For the benefit of our readers, what is haemophilia?
Mrs. Adediran: Haemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder. Simply put persons with haemophilia cannot form a clot after an injury so they bleed longer than normal.
Zara Obaa: I’d like to ask: Are you a medical professional?
Mrs. Adediran: No, am actually an accountant by discipline.
Zara Obaa: Accountant? So what’s the connection? How did you go from Accounting to the medical line?
Mrs. Adediran: Simply put….the love of a mother.. Youknow mothers will do anything for their children. When my first son was diagnosed with an inherited bleeding disorder called haemophilia, I was told the medication was not available in the country and that they hardly survive past their first 3 years. So that’s the connection… Mother’s love.
Zara Obaa: Hmmmm…
If I may ask, what was your reaction to such daunting news? You been told your little bundle of joy may not live past toddling age.
Mrs. Adediran: Shock, anger, disbelief, dumbfounded fear…. Just think of all the negative feelings one can have. But in the middle of all that, a voice whispered to my spirit…. Be still! Then I really don’t know where I got that response from, I told the doctor MY SON WILL NOT DIE. Note that at this stage of his life he was 21 months old and had received 3 blood transfusions already.
Zara Obaa: 😱😱😱
What was on your mind as per “What do we so next?”
Mrs. Adediran: What a question…. Truthfully at that initial stage nothing. I spoke the word but for the next 2 years all I did was cry; cry and cry asking God WHY ME?
Zara Obaa: Did you receive any answers?
Mrs. Adediran: NO! Then I got to a point in my life when I sat down to change my question to God…. from why me to God what are you trying to teach me? Please help me. Then I got answers.
Zara Obaa: Answers… how?
Mrs. Adediran: God began to lead me…. The first scripture I got was Hosea 4:6 My people perish for lack of knowledge. So I started reading books, and gathering information about the condition.
Zara Obaa: So, what did you do with the information you gathered?
Mrs. Adediran: The first 8 years of my son’s life was like someone traveling through a dark tunnel with no light, no road map and unaware of what lies at the end of the tunnel. So I began by buying books to read. I wanted to know all I could about blood and how it works. Why my son’s blood won’t clot.
After this I took a step further and started going to the internet (then internet wasn’t as easily accessible as it now now) so Hepzibah (a café) became my second office. I will go and google all I can about haemophilia, print out and come home to read. I made sure I became well informed…. Knew my son’s challenge, knew the solution. But the question now was how do I reach the solution?
Zara Obaa: Mmmhmmm… So, what came next?
Mrs. Adediran: By 2000 I met a nurse online from South Africa, she became a little ray of light in my dark tunnel. She will send me books and CDs I can read and watch to educate me the more. With this help over a period of 2-3 years, I continued to improve of what haemophilia is and what lies ahead for my son. I also so saw the danger in depending on whole blood transfusion as a means of management.
By year 2004, he was 8 years then and had received 7 blood transfusions. With the knowledge I had gathered I said Enough is enough. No more blood transfusion. I went online and searched for haemophilia organizations and ‘Prof Google’ came up with 67.
I returned home, wrote my son’s story and sent to all. 3 days after I received an email from Assad saying “your son’s story has been coming from every corner of the world, what can I do to help?’
I replied him that I need help. He asked my phone contact, and gave me call. On July 12, 2004 DHL brought me 27 bottles of anti-haemophilic concentrates. Money value ?….1.5m I was so happy. We used it and I saw the difference. I sent an email of appreciation back and he replied ‘your son cannot be the only haemophilia in Nigeria/you can do something” and that something I have continued to do since then.
Zara Obaa: Wow. That was the start of something great. So far, what has the journey been like?
Mrs. Adediran: The journey has not been easy but God has remained faithful. We started in 2005 with just one registered person (my son). Today we have 354 persons we serve.
In 2005 we did not have any recognized Haemophilia Treatment Centres in the country. Today we have 19 centres. At the beginning treatment products for haemophilia was unavailable in the country, today not only do we have treatment products we have children on regular treatment called prophylaxis.
We have indeed come a long way but the truth is there is so much ground left to cover.
Zara Obaa: Wow. For you, Seeing how far you’ve come, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from this?
Mrs. Adediran: Biggest lesson….hmmm.Trust God in everything…. As he can make beautiful things out of ugly nothing. I owe everything today to God.
Zara Obaa: Hmmmm… what is the greatest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
Mrs. Adediran: Wow!!!! The challenges come in stages and are still coming… One of the greatest challenge was getting the government to accept that this condition is a problem and needs their intervention. It took years of continuous advocacy….being persistent and consistent. And in 2016 the breakthrough came. The Federal Ministry of Health accepted and appointed a desk officer. This has been followed by 3 states.
Zara Obaa: Hmmm… what has made you stick with this? Someone else would throw in the towel oh… given the fact that her child has received attention alread…
Mrs. Adediran: I saw this as a calling, my purpose….I found fulfillment anytime I get a call from a new family and am able to help. So I understand that “this is what I am created for… Sent here to do”
Zara Obaa: I love this Ma. In your own words, what will you say is a calling as most people are trying to find or know the call of God upon their lives.
Mrs. Adediran: A calling is that assignment which God has given to us to do to affect humanity positively. That is calling in my own words.
Zara Obaa: Hmmm… Will you say you have a support system? Sort of a place/ person where you draw strength from?
Mrs. Adediran: Wow!!! Of course I have a source of strength. First God and then Laurie Kelley (a mother of a person with haemophilia) she is my role model in this struggle.
Zara Obaa: Hmmm… Did you enjoy the support of family and friends from the very beginning?
Mrs. Adediran: That was a blessing God gave me. Knowing the African belief and being told by a doctor that your son has a condition that is life long and he took it from his mother, one can imagine the reaction of the average African in-laws. But God took charge. I have the most wonderful mother in law one can pray for. Hospital admissions together, prayers together, words of courage. She was really a pillar. And you know once your mother in law accepts you, her son has almost no option.
Zara Obaa: 😁😁😁
True… If you could replay your life again, would you alter this part of your story?
Mrs. Adediran: Truthfully, NO. This phase in my life has brought out the best in me. Made me use the potentials that God deposited in me. If not for this part of the story I really wouldn’t have a story. God has used this part of the story to mold me. Make me the best I can be.
Zara Obaa: ❤❤❤
I’m aware that you recently concluded a conference… please can you give us a brief detail about it and how often it comes up?
Mrs. Adediran: Yes, it was our annual national conference. This year was the 12th with the theme MOVING FORWARD. To the glory of God the conference was a success. We had participants from across the country. It is a conference that brings together healthcare providers, patients and their families.
Zara Obaa: And this holds every year? How effective is it in spreading the knowledge of Hemophilia and it’s care?
Mrs. Adediran: The conference actually is the biggest gathering of the community and we try as much as possible to use it to create awareness, which is why host city is rotated.
The conference has helped us to have more healthcare providers involved in our work.
Zara Obaa: Hmmm… great work you and your team are doing Ma’am…
What word will you like to leave a reader of this page?
Mrs. Adediran: No matter the challenge you face in life, remember that there is a supreme being who has written the script if our life and His thoughts is always of good not evil. He will always make all things beautiful in His time.
Zara Obaa:I’d like to say a big thank you for your time on Everyday People. Do have a great day.
Mrs. Adediran: Thanks so much for having me. It is a great honour.