In Fact this Project under our Global Grant heading was funded in Rotary Year 2017-18 during able Leadership of Rtn. Buchi as President.
At earlier stage during Year of Rtn. Buchi the Grant Application came from Rotary Club of Greater Nigeria to support surgery of a 1 Year Girl having Heart Defect. We disbursed Amount of US $ 5000 for this Surgery in Nigeria and ass usual as a true Donor we forgot to look in to this project!!
Unfortunately this amount of US $ 5000 was not used as this surgery was not possible in Nigeria.
Now at the End of Rotary Year 2017-18 Project Completion Report was not submitted to us by applying Nigerian Rotary Club and we Rotarians of Rotary eClub One were in Dilemma of Closing of this Grant issue!!
In normal case Rotary eClub sanction many Small, Medium and Large Grants and depending upon the size and period we eClub receive its Completion Reports with Photographs and details of Expenditure. But as Surgery of Miracle was not done, Grant amount was handed over to Aniagu Family and the Rotary Club based in Nigeria was not able to submit Project Completion Report.
On 30th July 2018, the New President Rtn. Eyo Effiong circulated a notion requesting all Board Members to VOTE ‘How to validate this Grant, (Call back the Grant or Extend the Period)
Some discussion was carried out on this Grant and finally it was resolved that we should give some more time to Aniagu Family and if needed we should stand beside them!!
Rtn. IPP Buchi was trying to find out the solution of this surgery where he found some Hospital offering this surgery at cost of US $ 6000 + Accommodation + Travelling.in Delhi, India. When India was discussed at Board Discussion, Rtn. Harshad Raveshia suggested a very good Pediatric Heart Surgeon Rtn. Nischal Pandey for this surgery and now the direction of this discussion was ‘How to bring Aniagu Family with baby Miracle to New Delhi, India?’
As we all are sincere and dedicated Community Service minded Rotarians, we agreed to pay additional amount whatever needed to complete this project. Rtn. DaShan suggested that we should float a Financial Support Request at Social Media.
We floated a Request at our Social Media Pages but NO Financial support was possible at Media.
But there was a Miracle!! Rtn. DaShan found 2 Rotary Clubs in India offering ‘Free Heart Surgery’ on India and he passed on this information to Rtn. Harshad Raveshia for follow up.
Rtn. R. K. Bubna was the first person to come in to contact with us who agreed to support us by offering Surgery without a single penny. Rtn. Bubna representing Rotary Club of Belur, Kolkata, West Bengal, India explained us that their Rotary Charitable Trust having big amount of Fund to support all Kinds of Medical Assistance to Children of Nigeria and Afghanistan.
Aniagu Family applied for Visa at Indian Embassy in Nigeria, Rotary eClub One supported their Air Tickets and finally they arrived Kolkata on 24th October 2018. (Their schedule of flying to India was delayed due to Mega Festival of Durga Puja in Kolkata and entire West Bengal)
Finally on 24th October Aniagu Couple landed at Kolkata Airport with Baby Miracle, Rotarians of Rotary Club of Belur gave them a Grand Welcome at Airport, escorted them to Narayana Hospital, Howrah, Kolkata and provided them accommodation at a special room in Kolkata and provided them accommodation at a special room in Hospital. Hospital.
Now it was hard time for Aniagu Family, New Country, New City (with population of 20 million) and strange people whom they even don’t know and understand!! Though Kolkata Rotarians speak English but Nigerian and Indian English slang different!!
But SALUTE to Rotarians of Belur Rotary, in a day, they build such a strong relationship that Aniagu Family started calling Rtn. Bubna ‘Daddy’ and Rtn. Tiwari ‘Uncle’. Even both of them addressed me as ‘Daddy’!!
Good and Free Food for Family, Free Stay, Good care and cooperative Staff and Doctors of Hospital won Heart of Aniagu Family and in a day this family forgot that they are in Strange Place. Even they managed a Mobile Sim Card for couple for communication! Now Aniagus were happy, they understood that they are among good People and Best Place!
Now Aniagu Family was confident that they are at correct place and Rotary eClub One have given them the Best possible option of world for the Surgery of Daughter Miracle.
Rtn. Harshad Raveshia was in constant touch with Mr. & Mrs. Aniagu on Phone and What’s App and in addition to this Mr. Aniagu formed a What’s App Group where Rtn. Bubna, Rtn. Tiwari, Rtn. Bhatiya (President of R C Belur), Rtn. Buchi, Rtn. Harshad and Mrs. Aniagu were added and time to time shared all updates of Miracle.
After hospitalization of Miracle, Doctors started with various test prior to surgery and during one test they found that her Blood Vessel going to Lungs was too thin or narrow which was a greater risk during her surgery. Doctors informed Rotarians of Belur Club and they agreed to perform this surgery too after explaining that to Aniagu Family and Rtn. Harshad Raveshia.
Finally on November 2nd, Heart Surgery + Opening of Lungs Vessel was done and by 2.00 pm, Rtn. Bubna informed me that it was successful surgery and baby will remain under observation for 48 Hours. Same news of surgery was broadcasted by Mr. Aniagu, Mr. & Mrs. Aniagu were happiest couple on Earth at that moment.
After surgery Miracle was transferred to ICU.
Rtn. Bubna informed us that there was fast recovery of Miracle and soon Doctors will remove all life supporting systems.
By the noon of November 3, Miracle recovered and Doctors permitted Aniagu family to give her first liquid meal after surgery!!
Now it was time for celebration!! For Aniagu Family, their Daughter was ‘Safe’ after Successful Surgery’ and for we Indians it was time of our Biggest Festival called Diwali Festival. The Festival of Lights, Greeting People around, Distributing Sweets and Fire Crackers & more!! Now Aniagu Family was enjoying Indian Traditional Festival and their hearts were full of Joy!!
Beloved Daughter Miracle enjoying Decoration of Diwali!!
Now it was time for discharge from Hospital. November 8th, 2018. The day when Aniagu Family landed and came to Narayana Super Specialty Hospital, their minds were full of doubts and heart full of fear but now at the time of discharge, their Hearts were full of Joy, Eyes full of Tears as they were departing from such people whom they never knew but they gave best Treatment of the world.
We can see the sparkles of Happiness on face of all three...
Aniagu Family holding Miracle with Doctor who performed her surgery.
Farewell Dinner at the Residence of Rtn. Ramesh Tiwari.
On November 10, 2018, Rotary Club of Belur organized a Press Conference where Mr. & Mrs. Aniagu participated with Baby Miracle.
In the presence of many Media People, Mr. Aniagu delivered a beautiful Speech of Gratitude to all Rotarians of Belur Club, Rotary eClub One, Narayana Hospital Doctors & Staff and People of India. Rtn. Bubna said that Mr. Aniagu was so much moved by this surgery that he spoke from depth of his heart with eyes full of Tears. (Earlier Mr. Aniagu was hesitating to speak but Rtn. Harshad Raveshia inspired him to take advantage of this Platform so that people of India can understand people of Nigeria. This Speech was aired on Kolkata TV News Channels and many News Papers.
On November 12, 2018 the Final Checkups of Miracle was done by Team of Doctors at Narayana Multi Specialty Hospital and Aniagu Family was given Permission to fly back to Nigeria.
On November 13, 2018 Rotarians of Rotary Club of Belur escorted Aniagu Family with Healthy Miracle to Kolkata Hospital.
They took flight to Nigeria via Bombay - Addis Ababa – Nigeria and reached their Home town on November 16, 2018.
After reaching Home town Mr. Aniagu sent Mails of Appreciation to President Rtn. Eyo, IPP Rtn. Buchi and Rotary Club of Belur & Narayana Hospital.
After safe return to Home town, Mr. & Mrs. Aniagu have started spreading Message of Goodwill among Local Community about Rotary and Rotary Service.
On ‘Thanks Giving Day’ Aniagu Thanked God at Church for managing Rotary as mediator of Surgery of Miracle!!
This is the Story of People of 2 Countries coming together with strong bonding of Love & Friendship through Bridge named Rotary eClub One of R I District 5450!!
This was first of its kind of Rotary eClub One Project which involved a Nigerian Family, Nigeria based Rotary Club, Rotary eClub One of RI District 5450 and Rotary Club of Belur (Kolkata), RI District 3291, India. All of Involved NGOs unknown to each other and above that the Nigerian Aniagu Family who never-ever travelled in Aircraft or abroad.
But the Bridge between all these was Platform of Rotary where no-one is stranger at all in unknown place!
Now doubt we all involved equally in the Surgery of Baby Miracle but the real credit of this project should go to Rotary Club of Belur, it’s dedicated Rotarians; mainly Rtn. R. K. Bubna, Rtn. Ramesh Tiwari and Club President Rtn. Rakesh Bhatia. Truly they are the Heroes of this Project.
IPP Rtn. Buchi Akpeh at our end served as Champion of this Grant Project, Rtn. President Eyo Effiong was very much supportive and he played a Inspiring Role in this project. Our Social Media Coordinator Rtn. DaShan was the link between RCB & ReC1 through Face Book. And I, by myself Harshad Raveshia played a small Role as Link between all to engineer the Bridge of New Friendly Relation between 2 Great Rotary Clubs.
Though in 4 Decades of Rotary Membership, I have done so many small and big projects as a Rotarian but today I say that this was the BEST Project of my Rotary Life!! This is first time that I was instrumental for giving a New Life to a Baby and bringing Smile on the face of Crying Parents!
Its my suggestion to ReC1 that we should encourage such more projects which can give us real satisfaction of doing Good!!