Death is inevitable but nothing is as devastating as knowing exactly when you will exit this world.
Abigail Ashley, host of My Life My Health on UTV was more than terrified when doctors told her she had five years to live after she was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 4.
But it has been 10 years since then and she cannot stop appreciating life and thank God for being alive and kicking.
“This only shows that man may have plans but God has the final say. I was 27 years old when the doctors told me what they thought they knew but God had other plans for me. I was terrified when I was given five years to live.
“I was always scared to go to bed because I was not sure I would wake up the following day. This affected me a lot; I was not planning my life. I remember I used to tell people as for me I don’t care; after all, I will die soon”, she said in an interview with Showbiz.
“Just last year, I was going through my things and realised I had clocked a decade and I was excited. I just thank God for my life and I think my faith in Him is why I made it this far. Currently, I am not bothered about death anymore, I am not worried. I only pray for more years so that I can fulfill my purpose on earth. I have a deep understanding of love and happiness so I laugh a lot and smile the least chance I get and that motivated me to write my first book, Behind My Smiles,” she added.
Nonetheless, Abigail admitted that living life as a Chronic Kidney Stage 4 patient is not easy. “It is not an easy thing. I mean I have to take drugs and injections every day. I need drugs to enable me urinate, I need injections to deal with the acid that my body will generate, I need drugs to control my blood pressure, to control my cholesterol etc.”
Narrating how it all started 10 years ago Abigail said, “I was having frequent headaches and I did the usual by taking pain killers. One evening, I started coughing blood, I was taken to the Airport Hospital and some tests were run.
“The next day, I realised I was swollen and I couldn’t breathe properly. A doctor advised that I was taken to Korle Bu. It was there that I was diagnosed with having the disease,” she said.
“I remember afterward, I was given the option to either do the dialysis or go for a kidney transplant. The doctors did well by taking me through what the dialysis entailed. According to them, once I start, I would have to do it for the rest of my life and it was very expensive. But they went on to tell me that if I eat well, exercise and pray, I would be fine.
“I opted for the latter. I don’t eat salt, sugar, oil among others, I exercise and my faith in God increased over time and here we are today,” she continued.
But this is not to say that steps were not taken for the kidney transplant. “I came on Kwami Sefa Kayi’s show later and I had a sponsor who took me to India for the kidney transplant but when we got there, the doctors were surprised saying my medical records did not reflect the patient; I was too healthy for them. So they advised that I should go on with whatever I was doing.”
According to the former producer of the health segment of Adekye Nsroma on UTV, the news of her diagnosis was a big blow to her family especially her mother. She also lost her boyfriend.
“My mom cried all the time and that drained me emotionally. My marriage plans were called off but I don’t blame my ex fiance. It was just the right thing to do,” she said.
It’s been 10 years and ever since then Abigail says she has not dated neither has she had any intimacy with any man.
“Not at all, I have not dated since then, honestly as a kidney patient, you are concerned about your life and survival than having a man. I am married to my job.”
Though being at the final stage of the chronic kidney disease means one’s inability to carry a child, Abigail has hopes of raising children someday.
“Once you are diagnosed of having chronic kidney disease, you can’t give birth but I have plans of adopting. I thought about it sometime ago but I just let it slide, I think it is time to re-visit it again.”