Vanessa Ogbonna was born with sickle cell anemia, the third child in the family of eight, everyone wondered why she was the only sickly one, her parents were educated but they never truly believed in the sickle cell syndrome, they were fierce believers in the traditional “ogbanje” child and before Vanessa was born, they had lost two children.
Vanessa had a very long mark on the right side of her face, she was told it was to stop the evil spirits from coming back for her but it didn’t stop the severe illness that attacks her body yearly and cripples her for months.
Vanessa is a fighter and for 27 years she has fought sickle cell anemia, her both parents has the sickle cell gene and she inherited it. There are other cases of sickle cell which are HbSC and HbS beta-thalassemia where one parent has the sickle cell gene and the  other has an abnormal hemoglobin or beta-thalassemia which is another type of anemia.
Sickle cell can be diagnosed by a simple blood test, if not treated and managed, the condition can lead to death. Mortality arises from severe complications such as   paralysis, stroke, pulmonary hypertension,organ damage etc.

It is most important that you and your spouse do a blood test to ensure good compatibility.


SI Magazine

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