A kidney for Mr. Essandoh

Chances are you don’t know Ibrahim Essandoh. I don’t know him either; not personally anyway.

I only heard of him this weekend – Mr. Essandoh is a soft spoken 42 year old immigrant from Ghana who lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife and three children.

I imagine the Essandohs were a happy family once, and at one time Mr Essandoh considered his life, family, blessings, magnificent views, his great friends, neighbours and his new country, he even believed a little that he lived in the “best place on earth”

These days Mr. Essandoh is very sick, his liver is failing and is on frequent kidney dialysis, but what Mr. Essandoh needs most is a new kidney.

His would have been a standard medical story (although medical stories are hardly standard), had it not been for his potential kidney donor. Mr. Essandoh’s brother, Thomas lives in Ghana, is a match and is willing to give his brother a kidney. The only set back is that the Canadian Embassy in Ghana has rejected Thomas’ application for entry into Canada – where his brother Ibrahim resides and needs the kidney. Ibrahim Essandoh

This is where the details get a little sketchy; all we know for now is that the kind officials at the Canadian Embassy in Accra are “skeptical” of whom Thomas says he is, which confuses me a little because… how the heck then did the hospital determine he was a match? His doctor was on tv confirming his brother is a match, he even wrote letters to support his application. Is the Dr. in cohorts with Thomas to swindle the Canadian government?

They seem to be also concerned about Thomas’ “motives” – I’m not exactly sure what that means (possibly because I’m not trained in the art of weeding out fake visa applicants) but here’s a logical way out, since this is an established matter of life and death, how about we grant him the visa and let CIC take it from there (when he gets here), if Thomas has some maniacal motives to prey on his dying brother for a free trip and entry into Canada and squanders off with his kidneys intact, then let’s have the branch of government that deals with that handle it. But please, please do not deny Mr. Essandoh his life because we’re skeptical of Thomas’ motives. Mr. Essandoh could die.

Personally, I think Thomas is a hero and I commend him, I doubt that any of my brothers (I have three very healthy ones) will give up a kidney for me. He should be given an award not shut out of the country while his brother possibly dies.

It’s also imperative that we address this now, it’s vital that this doesn’t set a precedent. Canada is a multicultural nation, we’re a country of immigrants with family scattered all over the world. If my mom needed a bone marrow transplant tomorrow, and her only brother happened to be a match, I would hate for him to be denied entry into Canada because no one said anything when the first, second or third would-be donor from a developing country was denied entry into Canada — to help save a Canadian’s life.

Isn’t Ibrahim Essandoh’s life worth saving, isn’t he Canadian enough? The man has lived here for 25 years; he’s paid taxes and has been a model citizen.

Let his brother help him.


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