An American-based Nigerian Chemical Engineering Professor, Professor Dickson E. Ozokwelu, has died of kidney failure after the US government refused to grant his only two eligible donors visa to enter the US to take part in a transplant that will save his life.
73-year-old Professor Ozokwelu served the US government as a Researcher and Engineer in renewable energy with the US Department of Energy.
He needed an eligible donor to donate a functional kidney in order to save his life. His wife, children and grandchildren were not a match.
A good match is one in a million, and Professor Ozokwelu found two, but they would not make it to him until his death because of US the Consulate’s refusal to grant a visa to his donors.
The first eligible donor lives Abu Dhabi, and the US-Consulate repeatedly denied her a Visa because “she failed to demonstrate strong enough ties to the region to ensure that she will go back.”
The second donor did not hear from the embassy until Professor Ozokwelu’s passing.
In July 2019, friends and well-meaning individuals had set up a Facebook page to help him get an eligible donor to save his life.
When reporters met with him before his death, Professor Ozokwelu said the purpose of the visa to the donors was to save his life and he did beg them (the US Consulate) to consider the humanitarian aspect of the application for Visa in making a decision.
“I have contributed. I have served the US government. Can I be rewarded with somebody coming to save my life?” Ozokwelu asked.
Professor Dickson died in 2019, after serving the US government for 30 years and his donors were denied a US Visa after he suffered kidney failure.