If you don’t, please go and do a test. And get to know the genotype of your spouse and family members. It’s really important. Below is a true story of a man (AS) who married a woman (AS) (didn’t know their genotypes before getting married) and had five children, all (SS). Sadly, they lost two of them….
|Mr and Mrs Adewale and their three surviving children|
A family’s struggle with Sickle Cell
The loss of a child is a traumatic experience most parents wouldn't wish for. It is usually prayed against, hoped against, with parents going to great extents to prevent a child's demise. But the loss of two children is as heartbreaking as it can be for a family.
Abel Adewale and his wife, Beatrice, have lost two out of five children to complications arising from sickle cell anaemia. As sad as their deaths were, what was even more depressing for the parents were the circumstances in which they died, circumstances they wished they were previously educated about and could have prevented.
Mr and Mrs Adewale got married in 1990, at a registry in Ilorin, Kwara State. At the time they got married, Mr Adewale was a primary school teacher at Ilorin, Kwara State; while his wife was a midwife at the Christ Apostolic Church Hospital, also in Ilorin. While Mr Adewale received his training at Teachers Training College, Osun State, Mrs Adewale only had her formal education up to secondary school and trained as a midwife in the church. At that time, neither of them had heard about sickle cell anaemia. They said they were oblivious of their genotypes and started having children soon after their marriage.
"I had never done a genotype test before marriage; we didn't do any medical test. We got married in a court in Ilorin," said Mr Adewale. The couple had their first child in July 1991, and four followed thereafter. However, as wonderful as the growth of their family was, their joy was marred by the sickly state of all five children.
"It was always sickness, sickness, complaining of sickness. Sometimes, all of them will be sick at the same time. Sometimes, it will be two or three of them," said Mrs Adewale.