To Love OR Not To Love; Love & Sickle Cell Disease

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I watched a movie once where a man got tired of the financial burden and psychological effect that the recurrent crisis of his sickle-celled son consistently caused him and his family that he planned with his doctor to terminate his son’s life (God bless Nollywood). As odd as the case may seem, it still poses a bit of concern as to the effect that the sickle cell disease can have on the bearer, family and the society at large.

Some days later, my friend shared a story with me. A story of two people who are in love (or claim to be). These two love birds found out they both have the genotype ‘AS’. The news was so devastating that both of them could not eat for days, so I was told.

With the hope that there was some sort of error on the part of the scientist that carried out the test, they went to another laboratory to repeat it. Lo and behold, the result was the same. The repetition of the test a third time didn’t still give them a different result (like what were they expecting?).

Hoping that some sort of miracle will happen along the line, they resolved to stay with each other. “Against all odds” they said.

Their various families got involved urging them to let each other go for the sake all the wrong things that could happen if they eventually get married.Well, am really not interested in whether they are still together or not but my question is this;

How inconsiderate can you be as to allow your current emotional state adversely affect the well being of your life and that of your children in future?

As a couple with the genotype ‘AS’, it has been medically proven that at least one of your offspring will have sickle cell disease (genotype ‘SS’). And if the couple is extremely unfortunate, they may have more sicklers than healthy children (I know of a family like that).

I have witnessed firsthand the ordeal children born with sickle cell disease go through. In Nigeria, more than 80% of them die before their twentieth birthday and even before they eventually die, a lot of money and resources must have been wasted on the series of crisis that they will go through.

The effect that all the distress, pain and agony will cause for the child is not one that I even wish for my worst enemy. Should we then allow dopamine (which will eventually not last long) jeopardize our chance of a happy future? Should we put the life of our children at risk because of the matters of the heart?

I refuse to let another generation be devastated by the effect of the sickle cell disease so as I open our minds to what seems to be a neglected issue, let’s start from the basics…know your genotype today.

 

Yours in prevention science,

Ajide ‘Pharaoh’ Oluwaseyi

2 COMMENTS

  1. Nice write up, but I just want to correct one or two things.
    1. Repeating the test is not wrong, well at least twice. Who would want to end a great relationship because of a laboratory technician’s error, and trust me these errors happen.
    2. AS marrying AS does not mean that at least 1 of their children will be SS. It only means that for every pregnancy, there is a 1 in 4 chance (or 25 percent chance) of that pregnancy being SS, the same. 1 in 4 chance of having AA. This 1 in 4 chance is for every pregnancy the woman has. Personally I do not think it’s a risk worth taking as my genotype too is AS and as a medical student, seeing sickle cell paediatric patients in crisis is breaks my heart because it could have been prevented if their parents were not ignorant or didn’t go with their emotions despite all

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