Stephenie Rodriguez: Australian socialite tori how mosquito bite for Nigeria lead to malaria and her leg amputation wey she no regret

Stephenie Rodriguez

Wia dis foto come from, Stephenie Rodriguez

Tori of di Australia socialite Stephenie Rodriguez wey lost her leg to amputation due to complications from cerebral malaria dey trend for social media space for Nigeria.

Stephenie say she experience major life change afta she bin attend di Hive Africa Global Leadership Program conference wey bin happun for Lagos, Nigeria for September 2019.

BBC Pidgin reach out to Rodriguez to find out more about her tori and she share how e take hapun.

E begin for Lagos, Nigeria

Stephenie say she bin spend one week for Nigeria, attend three programmes including di Hive Africa conference wia she tok as keynote speaker.

She bin also give speech for one event wey Travel Massive, also for Lagos, bin organise.

For her tok wit BBC Pidgin, she say di organisers of one of di events bin ask her to go outside wia dem do fotoshoot wit di participants for almost two hours.

"Di foto session happun near water wey bin no dey move and according to my doctors and everybody wey evaluate my journey and experience, dem say e dey possible say during dat two hours between 6pm and 7pm for September, e dey highly possible say mosquito bite me."

Exactly two weeks afta she leave Nigeria, Stephenie say she bin dey airport for Boston, USA, dey prepare to travel back to Australia, wen she begin convulse, enta coma.

Madam Stephenie say dem cari her go Havard Teaching Hospital wia one doctor and her friends wey dey work for Gate Foundation suggest make dem test for parasites.

"Na as dem test my blood, na dia dem discover say wetin dey sick me na plasmodium falciparum otherwise known as cerebral malaria," she tok.

Di malaria hit am hard and di consequences no easy at all, but Stephenie say: "I no get any regrets visiting Nigeria."She dey see everytin wey happun to her as "event."

"E no be like accident becos di universe no dey make mistakes," she tok.

"Di mosquito dey do wetin God put am dia to do." She tok.

Symptoms wey she first get

As par say she bin dey roadshow to different kontris for different continents inside di two weeks afta she leave Nigeria, Stephenie say she bin feel normal symptoms as par pesin wey don dey travel upanda continuosly for two weeks.

"I bin dey on two weeks roadshow, travel total of 40,000km inside two weeks. I bin feel wetin any normal human being go experience like jetlag and fatigue, becos I bin dey across so many time zones and flights. I bin dey tired.

"I bin get symptoms like cold but e bin no dey any different from any time wey I travel.

"E no get anytin wey I bin get signal for apart from jetlag and normal fatigue traveling from Africa, to India, to Australia, to di east coast of di United States inside two weeks, wey bin different from wetin any oda pesin for experience."

Di symptoms of di malaria bin show for how Stephenie bin dey behave, but di Australian socialite say, she no remember anytin even di tins wey she bin do on di Sunday morning wey she go Boston airport.

But one pesin notice say she don change and say she dey slow.

"My best friend wey bin dey travel wit me, she witness say my behaviour don change," she tok.

Wetin be cerebral malaria?

Cerebral malaria na di most serious nerve complication wey pesin fit get if e dey infected wit malaria parasite.

One major character of cerebral malaria na coma and multiple organ failure.

Dis severe malaria infection fit affect pesin memory, make pesin no fit see or tok well.

Wia dis foto come from, Stephenie Rodriguez

Why di amputation?

Stephenie say, according to wetin di Havard doctors tell am, di plasmodium falciparum parasite takeover 8% of her blood volume.

E takeover her liver, kidney, in fact her whole body begin shutdown and she enta serious septic shock.

Septic shock na wen infection spread all over pesin body causing all di organs to shut down and cause dangerous low blood pressure.

"Di malaria na di beginning, di septic shock na di reaction," she tok. "I bin dey so sick sotay I bin get few minutes to death.

"Di doctors tell my family say e get one procedure about severe septic and complete organ failure wey dem fit do.

E fit and e fit no save my life, but if I survive, e go get collateral damage."

According to her, doctors no explain to her family wetin di collateral damage go be becos even dem bin no fit predict how her body go take react.

Doctors give her vasopressors as last attempt to save her life.

Vasopressors na group of medicines wey dey tighten di blood vessels plus raise blood pressure for pipo wey dia sickness critical, becos very low blood pressure dey lead to organ failure and death.

At dat critical moment wit only few minutes of life, doctors tell her family say dem go do one more tin.

Wit her family permission, dem give her 100% vasopressors - pure overdose.

One hundred percent mean say dem block blood from reaching some parts of her body like her legs and hands den move her whole blood go her heart wen di heart almost stop to pump.

"Dis na di drugs wey remove blood from my legs and hands and wen I wake up two weeks later, I see say dem bandage my feet and my hand. Dem dey damaged and nobody fit tell me wetin go happun to me for future."

Life afta treatment

Stephenie spend one year and four months for hospital trying to repair her damaged feet and right hand.

"One year and 24 feet surgeries later, dem say my heel bones dey unsavable and if I eva wan waka again and comot from wheelchair, I have to make very difficult decision wey be amputation."

She make dat decision and today she dey waka wit artificial feet.

"I fit waka on top glass wey break but you no go fit," she tok.

Wia dis foto come from, Stephenie Rodriguez

Who be Stephenie Rodriguez?

Stephenie na very active woman wit very positive view to life.

She believe her mission to life na to make "contribution to humanity."

She be single mother of one teenage son. She dey run one textile company wey dey empower women.

She say her mission na to "impact one billion lives by 2025" in line wit di United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Stephenie dey ready to come Nigeria again for 2022.