If you think life has not been fair to you, read this story of Abigail Ashley and you will discard that notion and be grateful for your life.
Abigail Ashley is a popular Ghanaian TV host of “My life, My health” on United Television (UTV). She is diagnosed with chronic kidney disease stage 4 and medically has some few years to live.
She was 27 years old when the doctors revealed her health condition to her. She was given five years to live but miraculously clocked a decade. She recalled how 10 years ago she began to experience frequent headaches and did the usual of taking pain killers. Her symptoms worsened when she begun coughing blood. She was rushed to Airport hospital to seek medical attention but ended up getting worse. She swelled up and couldn’t breathe so was rushed to korle-bu and that was where she was diagnosed with kidney failure.
“I remember afterwards, I was given the option to either opt for dialysis or kidney transplant. The doctors did well to inform me of what the treatment entailed. According to them, once I start the dialysis I would have to undergo the process for the rest of my life and it was quiet expensive but a good diet, exercise and prayers would sustain me”.
Abigail opted for the kidney transplant. This led her to avoid salt, sugar, oil among others.
Finding a kidney was not as easy as you may think, she had to solicit for funds through the media. Her condition was mentioned and discussed on a radio morning show called Kokokro hosted by popular Kwame Sefa Kaye of Peace FM. Through his show Abigail came into contact with a sponsor who flew her to India for treatment. Upon reaching India, the doctors were marveled at how Abigail’s physical appearance did not reflect her medical records.
“I looked too healthy for them, so the doctors advised me to keep up with my healthy lifestyle”
In an emotional interview, Abigail revealed how she has abstained from intimacy and the intention of having a baby because of her condition. She opened up about being afraid to go to bed every night because she feared not waking up the following day. It has not been easy for Abigail Ashley as she has to take pills and inject every day in order to urinate. She said this process was to deal with the acid her body generates, control her blood pressure, cholesterol and a whole lot of complication that comes with her kidney failure.
“This affected me a lot because I was not planning my life. I was constantly using the words ‘I don’t care, I will die soon’ because all hope was lost. I saw the stage 4 kidney disease as a death sentence”.
On the other hand, her family especially her mother was in an emotional turmoil over her illness. Her marriage plans was called off by her ex-fiancé when he found out she has limited time to live. She honestly admitted not blaming the ex-fiancé for abandoning her since it was humane for him to act that way.
It has been 10 years now and Abigail remains single neither has she had any intimacy with a man. She has become more concerned about her health and life than having a man. She said with a good cheer “I am married to my job”
She gathered faith in God and herself when she realized she had over lived the life expectancy proposed by her doctors. “I got excited when I became aware of my life being extended, I became grateful to God and since then my faith in him keeps increasing and that it what has brought me this far.
She said she is no longer worried about death catching up with her but in the stead prays for more years to fulfill her purpose on earth. She also said she has a deep understanding for love and happiness which makes her laugh a lot and put a smile on her face. Such revelation has inspired her to write a book titled “Behind My Smiles”.
Though at her final stage of the chronic kidney disease yet alive, she has hopes of raising a child someday. “Once you are diagnosed of kidney disease, you cannot give birth but I have plans of adopting” she said in her final remarks.
Abigail Ashley is now the producer of the health segment on Adekye Nsroma on UTV.