My husband Eze and I have been married for 15 years. We have one son, Chibuzor. Chibuzor is not Eze’s biological son and for many years, Eze didn’t know the truth because I never told him. I had never shared my secret with anyone and I’d hoped I would never have to.
Chibuzor was diagnosed with acute leukaemia shortly after he turned 10. He was immediately admitted to one of the teaching hospitals and from there my husband flew him abroad to a great hospital in the UK where he remained critically ill for many months.
The doctors told us that his best chance of survival was to have a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible.
We needed a compatible donor. As Chibuzor’s parents, we were to have our blood tested the following day. If neither of our blood types was compatible, then our other relatives would be contacted and his name would be put on the donor list.
At this stage, I realised it was inevitable that Eze would discover he wasn’t Chibuzor’s biological father. I had to tell him the truth that very evening. I felt that it was better he heard it from me than from the doctors the next day. You can just imagine!
That night after having dinner, I explained to Eze that he was not really Chibuzor’s biological father and that I’d had a brief affair with a man in my office called Edward, during our marriage. Eze was filled with shock. Without a word, he stood up in a daze and walked away from me to his bedroom and locked himself inside the room and slept off.
I waited up for him all night on the sofa in the living room, for him to call me into the bedroom but he didn’t call me.
The following morning, Eze coldly told me that he would divorce me but not now. He said that he would remain with me for now for Chibuzor’s sake because Chibuzor needed him.
He said that when Chibuzor was well again, he would file for divorce and leave me. From that time on, he refused to have anything to do with me outside of Chibuzor’s hospital room and he slept on his own in the bedroom.
My blood type was not compatible with that of Chibuzor so I had to contact Chibuzor’s biological father, Edward. He had moved to London with his wife before Chibuzor was born and we had long ago lost contact.
Edward was shocked to learn that I had become pregnant and given birth to his child as a result of our extra-marital affair. He was sorry to hear about Chibuzor’s illness, but refused to help. He didn’t want his wife to find out about the affair or about Chibuzor.
After many weeks of trying, we were not able to find a compatible donor for Chibuzor and we were reduced to simply waiting in the hope that one might eventually turn up.
It was as though all my sins were finally catching up with me; I was being severely punished for my infidelity and stood to lose all that I loved. I had already lost my husband and now I could lose my son!
Chibuzor became so ill that the doctors said that conventional medical treatment could do no more for him. All we could do was remain positive and do everything in our power to help support him in his fight against the Leukamia cancer.
Throughout this terrible, terrible time, Eze my husband was simply wonderful to Chibuzor. He was loving and funny; an endless source of comfort, hope and strength. Chibuzor never suspected that behind Eze’s cheerful facade, he was hiding so much hurt and anger.
Over a year later and against all odds, Chibuzor won his fight against cancer and returned home with me. For a short, precious time, we were once again a family. My joy at having my son safely home was tinged with sadness; because now that Chibuzor had fully recovered, Eze was free to leave me.
I was determined to be as calm and as strong as Eze had been for Chibuzor for all those months. If Eze wanted to leave, I would let him go with grace. He had already given me so much by helping to bring Chibuzor back home.
However, to my greatest surprise, later that night, Eze gently took my hand in his. With tears in his eyes, he asked me to please forgive him for his foolish, stubborn pride.
He said that it was no longer important to him whether he was Chibuzor’s biological father or not. Chibuzor’s long illness and recovery had made him realise what really mattered, which is that we were a very special family and we all belonged together.