It’s a season of joy and sharing.

But some people are lying critically ill in the hospital, hoping to get back on their feet.

They are not bothered about Christmas, what to wear or places to visit, they just want their health back.

Some of them, especially those with heart problems, have spent so much money fighting to stay alive, some are left with little.

There they were lying on their beds inside the cardiac wards at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), praying that the sun will shine on them.

And there comes Nwankwo Kanu, the former Super Eagles captain and Arsenal striker.

His entrance into the ward brought smiles on faces of patients, as they were not expecting such an August visitor, most of them thought he came to see a particular patient, but he was there for all of them.

He spent some time with them, both in the men and women’s ward, made them smile and dropped some gift items before leaving.

Before his visit to the wards, Kanu was in the office of the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof Adewale Oke, where he was told about how the facility is making effort to treat more patients with heart problems.

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According to a cardiologist at the hospital, Dr Bode Falase, LASUTH has done 75 cardiac surgeries so far, and 11 in 2018.

He said with the intervention of Kanu Heart Foundation, “we can do more surgeries”.

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For Prof Oke, Kanu’s visit at Christmas is a priceless gift.

“In the past, most of our referrals go to Kanu Heart Foundation, but like we discussed today, we think there is need to increase the number of cardiac surgeries here, and from our meeting, that will happen, and it will save a lot of patient’s life.”

He explained the different type of cardiac surgeries, which according to him, are minor and major.

“We have seen patient who need minor heart surgery, which we do easily, but there is the bane of the problem, who are those that have this (major) problem, but it takes time (for them to seek treatment), over the years, they just come in here and can hardly take one or two steps before they are tired. Some of them have swollen feet and examination shows us either there is a muscle problem, but most of the one we have are those with vascular problem.

“In Nigeria, the problem is patients cannot afford it, and that is why Kanu Heart Foundation has done a lot in treating these patients and prolonging their lives.” He said.

In Kanu’s opinion, there is need to increase the number of heart surgeries because there are lots of patients who’s lives depend on it.

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“It’s what the foundation is all about – making sure we touch lives.

“While we try to work harder and carry out more heart surgeries, we still deem it fit to put smiles on their faces this Christmas buy visiting them, giving them hope and some gift items.

“This is not our first time of coming here (to LASUTH), it’s a good one knowing that we can do it here. Funding a heart surgery is difficult, even a salary earner cannot afford it and that is where this foundation comes in, and not only us, whoever has the opportunity should please join us to help these patients.

“They (LASUTH) have 100 and we have 200 patients on our waiting list, if you put it together, we have 300, and there are many out there who are not on these lists. And I am saying that heart is something that if you don’t take quick action, it stops working and that is the end, so we have to do what we have to do fast.

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