I’ve had it good, being born with sickle cell disease for which I had many odds stacked against me, but the love and support from family, friends and an amazing church family have been wonderful.
I’ve spent quite a lot of time in hospital. I remember being rushed there many times while in basic school, prevented from partaking in sports and my mom being overly fussy over me.
Thankfully, I wrote my BECE without incident. The decision was made to keep me in Accra, close to home. Rather, close to hospital. I was furious. My grades were great, my friends were going to amazing schools and there I was, stuck in Accra, and without the full range of options. I felt sickle cell disease was going to ruin – or run – my life.
Turns out mom’s decision to keep me in Accra was brilliant. I started senior high school in the boarding house but nothing could prepare me for that experience. I was faced with very hostile school authorities but in that very period the love of the church family shone through. I always thank God for Miss Margaret Nyame who provided me hot water to bathe daily. Warm water at 4:30am for a person living with sickle cell disease is a lifesaver.
The cycle continued: admitted, discharged, readmitted after a few days, repeat .My grades plummeted. I was frustrated. That was the end of boarding school for me.
Senior high was singlehandedly the most unpleasant period in my life. Yet, God came through in grand style again, even during WASSCE when I was in such excruciating pain during my core maths paper. It’s a miracle I passed. I was driven straight to the ER from the exam room to begin three days there, ordered only to be discharged on the morning of my next paper. I really couldn’t afford to miss any papers. I was trying to get into medical school.
That’s exactly what happened. Here too, everything that could go wrong, did. Too many times! During my time in medical school it was the same old thing, including new sickle cell complications. Final exams in medical school and again, I fell ill. I resisted getting admitted so hard because I wanted a different testimony. I wanted to be able to say I wrote a major exam without breaking down completely, but God had other plans.
Friends and church family had to persuade me to go to the ER on the night before my surgery finals. I was so distraught, but God spoke to me through my doctor. It was simple. Had He not done it for me before? Had I not been admitted during major exams and still passed? Had he not brought me to medical school? All I had to do was believe and have faith. No doubt. This was not beyond him.
To the glory of God, I’m Dr. Sefakor Enam Bankas.
Remarkable as it is, my story isn’t unique. I try to inspire others like myself and that of others who are beating the odds, living with sickle cell disease. These experiences have spawned a blog and many other ideas. It’s fulfilling that through Sickle Life I can inspire others to aspire to more despite these challenges. I think God may just have led me to my calling.
There is more to talk about. RETURN SOON!