Interviews | 19 March 2024 12:03 CET

“I Started The Heart Of Gold Hospice After I Almost Lost My Legs” Laja Adedoyin Shares On #WithChude. 

By "Joy, Inc"

Chude Jideonwo sat with Heart of Gold Hospice Founder, Laja Adedoyin, for his Birthday Special. As the hospice celebrates its 20th anniversary, Laja Adedoyin shares why she runs the hospice, what she thinks about when any child passes, how she takes the children everyone else has abandoned - the terminally ill, those with life-threatening and life limiting illnesses. In the episode, she shares the heartbreaking stories and the hopeful stories.

“I did not choose to do this. I would have chosen something different that would have allowed me to be a part of the ‘world’. Something happened that made me take a step back. I came to Nigeria, and I feel my leg got twisted backward. I was taken to different hospitals, and at one point, the doctor said he was going to put me to sleep so they could twist the leg back. I told the doctor that if he gave me any injection, I would die, and that I would prefer to bear the pain. It felt like God wanted me to live because he had a higher purpose for me. They were going to amputate my leg, and my worry was that I wouldn’t be able to go to parties again because I love ‘life’ in a subtle way. I promised God that if they didn't cut my legs, I would return to Nigeria and work with disabled children. My legs weren’t amputated, and that was how the journey started. After the healing period, I went back to my life because I was worried about what people would say. After a while, I had a relapse of the pain in the leg, and then I started the hospice. I am happier now than I was back then before I started. My children gave me life; I didn’t give them life. They give me reasons to live every day. They may not have come from my womb, but I don’t feel like they did not come from my womb. They are all special to me.

Adedoyin shares about 17-year-old Marina, one of her children. “Marina came at about less than 2-hours old inside a bagco bag. I remember it was raining around 10:30 pm. We were at Adebola, and she came, the nurses bathed her and did everything. The police brought her to me. When she came, she had what was considered a second stomach, but It’s not a second stomach. She had the normal stomach, but the umbilical cord came out like another growth, big. And then her tongue was also sticking out. So, I took her to Dubai, they did surgery for her. Closed the thing up, and then the mouth with time, speech therapy and everything, then everything is fine. But she’s done very well for me and herself. She has a leadership disposition as young as she is. She also cares for me. Like the others as well, Marina is chatty, but she’s very good. She’s someone that you would call, a girl with the heart of gold. Marina is currently preparing to write JAMB. The first baby of the house, Adesewa, is also studying at the University of Ilorin.

Speaking about how she feels when the child in the hospice dies. “When I child passes, I will like the world to know that this child came, he lived, and he made an impact in the lives of people. You might wonder that what kind of impact, but he made an impact, because it allows you to look at God in a different way and thank him for making him the way you are, but not thanking him that he did not make you like them.

Chude Jideonwo took to his Instagram to celebrate, the founder of the hospice, as he airs the episode about the hospice for his birthday special. “Laja Adedoyin is a saint. I’ve known her for almost 20 years since I was a teenager, and she has never stopped inspiring me. She takes the children everyone else has abandoned - the terminally ill, those with life threading and life limiting illnesses. I adopted the Hearts of Gold Hospice many years ago, and donating to them every month has been one of the greatest joys of my life. It’s a deeply personal journey for me so I have shared this only once in public when I turned 30. But as the hospice itself turns 20 years, I am thanking Aunty Laja publicly again for making this world a more beautiful place. Laja Adedoyin takes in the children that everyone else has abandoned - she gives them her surname, and a fighting chance.”

Watch the excerpt:

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