Kind-hearted readers help fund boy’s first chemo dose after NHS refuse treatment
Poorly Nathaniel Nabena has been given his first dose of chemotherapy – thanks to generous Sunday People readers.
The nine-year-old was admitted to London’s Great Ormond Street hospital this week after donations poured in to help meet the initial £70,000 cost of his treatment.
Nathaniel, from Nigeria, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia during a medical trip to the UK in November and his family were told a stem cell transplant was the only hope they had to save him.
Now they are desperate to raise the total cost of his treatment, which amounts to £825,000.
Nathaniel’s dad Ebisidor told how his son – who had his left eye removed last year due to a cancerous tumour – is too sick to go home, and the life-saving transplant he needs is not available in Nigeria anyway.
Sunday People readers got behind the family and helped raise enough money for GOSH to admit him after we revealed the youngster was not eligible for NHS-funded treatment.
Ebisidor, 45, said: “We hope and pray that our boy improves. Nathaniel’s happy to be at GOSH, he’s in high spirits.
“He is looking forward to getting better and getting back to normal life.
“They have taken him in, so he must not be a lost cause – but of course, we know that cancer can go any way.”
Nathaniel will now spend ten days in hospital and receive his next dose of chemo in three weeks.
Experts will then assess whether the treatment has been successful enough for him to undergo the stem cell transplant – costing a further £755,000.
Business analyst Ebisidor, who has remained at his son’s side throughout, said: “The worry is we still need to get extra funding because as soon as we cross this bridge, we need to pay them.
“I am here continuously, bathing Nathaniel and taking care of him.
“Doctors have told us the worst-case scenario, but promised they will do all
they can do.”
Nathaniel’s mother Modupe, 38, and sisters Nadia, 11, and Nicole, 20 months, have travelled from Bayelsa, southern Nigeria, to the UK on six-month tourist visas.
They are staying with relatives in Croydon, south London.
Deji Sijuwade, of Alfred James Solicitors, said the family has lodged a request with the Home Office for a fee remission due to exceptional circumstances.
If successful, they will not have to pay £5,000 to apply for discretionary leave to stay in the UK.
Ebisidor said he and Nathaniel were “so grateful” to Sunday People readers, and added: “We say God bless you to everyone who donated.”