According to the doctors he (my son – Victor) was not supposed to exist because several tests suggested I was incapable of conceiving, but my God had His master plan in place and Victor was conceived.
With great excitement, the entire family eagerly awaited his birth and at 12:30 hours (GMT) on the 22nd of May 2008 my handsome boy Victor Ifeanyi Nwadike was born, Its was a Thursday afternoon in Winter (in South Africa), my husband by my side in the delivery room when his first cry electrified the room and sent joyful triggers through our hearts.
Then comes the doctor with a straight-face; “Oh, I think he will need plastic surgery”. My husband and I froze as we tried to comprehend the doctor’s message; at this time the joyful triggers came to halt. He (The Doctor) handed me the baby and I saw for the first time this tiny little piece of skin where there is supposed to be an ear.
I don’t remember looking at any of my boy’s other fixtures, all I could see on that day was that ear location and as I felt a combination of guilt, confusion, shame, even fear rushing through my blood and so I concluded “I must have done something wrong, how could this happen to someone like me, a strong Christian, a worship leader and a leader at my local church.
What followed were x-rays and hearing tests, and not much was said to us except that he could hear. My mom visited us in the evening to see the baby and I remember her saying “He is perfect”. I wept because I needed to hear that, that was the first time I looked at this beautiful boy, and I fell in love.
Two days later we were discharged with no counseling, no referral and no information on what to do with my boy’s situation. The lack of information from the doctors at the hospital where I gave birth, the lack of awareness of this congenital birth defect and the lack of government structures put in place to strategically address this issue in children was heartbreaking for me, to say the least.
A few weeks later, as I felt stronger, without a keywords or a name to describe this ear defect, I went onto the Internet and started researching this condition, and there it was “Microtia/Atresia”.
Equipped with adequate information sourced from the Internet, my husband and I visited a couple of plastic surgeons, most of whom had never performed such surgical procedures, it was a hopeless case. We were in despair and desperate for answers and direction.
I looked at my son and I thought of other mothers who have children born with these conditions who neither have access to Internet, nor the financial capacity (like myself) to pay for the surgery. I remember looking at my boy and making this declaration: “Because you were born like this, no child in Africa will ever again have to grow up without an ear.”
By the grace and wisdom of God, support from by beloved husband and friends I started the Give an Ear Foundation, with a primary task of giving counseling and support to families/guardians who can not afford the re-constructive surgery for Microtia and Atresia in Africa.
Give an Ear Foundation is a South African – based African Charity, Non-Profit Organization working for the repair of Microtia and Atresia in African Children.