Founder of Kanu Heart Foundation, (KHF) and former Super Eagles captain, Kanu Nwankwo, has sought the assistance of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, for the Foundation to fly 200 patients on its awaiting list to Europe for open heart surgeries, Completesports.com reports.
‘Papilo’, as the one time Inter Milan and Arsenal forward who led Nigeria’s U23s to win the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games soccer gold medal is foldly called, floated the Foundation in 2000, three years after surviving an open heart surgery at the Cleveland Hospital, USA.
So far, Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF) is understood to have undertaken 561 successful open heart surgeries.
The number of patients with heart related ailments and the huge cost of flying such patients abroad for treatment inspired Kanu’s earlier plan to float a N5 billion Cardiac Hospital in Abuja, but the project is yet to get off the ground.
Kanu says there are now about 200 patients with various degrees of heart ailments on the KHF awaiting list, hence his visit and appeal to governor Makinde for possible assistance.
“As we speak, there are 200 people, boys and girls, men and women, on the awaiting list of the KHF, and as an individual, I cannot do it all alone,” Kanu opened up to Completesports.com
“Of course, this is reason why I came to meet with His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde for possible support.
“I’ve equally been moving from one state governor to the other, as well as corporate organisations, soliciting for support.
“I pray they respond by coming to our aid. We are also planning to build our hospital in Nigeria because we are tired of taking them out of the country every time. The bill for flying and treating these patients abroad is getting higher every day.
“It is all about sacrifice, and I believe no sacrifice made in saving life is too much,” Kanu reiterated.
By Sab Osuji