By Maxwell Nkansah
The Blood sugar level of every healthy person should be between 4.5 to 7 milimol per liter. Kojo Yankson, who is one of Ghana’s best radio Morning Show host survived an almost certain early demise, despite a sugar level standing at a whopping 117.
Mr Yankson is one of five million Ghanaians living with diabetes a growing epidemic which has informed a group of volunteers to partner with Joy FM to launch “The Sugar Project.” The broadcaster who lived and worked in the United Kingdom (UK) as a consultant for almost 15years visited Ghana for a short visit which later landed him a job with one of Ghana’s most renowned private media house (MULTIMEDIA GROUP LIMITED).
Despite his condition, he has passionately devoted his life to fight for people with diabetes by mobilizing with health organization in giving treatment to people suffering from what nearly took his life.
According to the Broadcaster, water in the UK is processed with lots of chemicals and so it does not taste very nice to drink. It is harmless but just doesn’t taste good. Due to that he did not like water; Kojo explained his unusual abstinence regime.
Running from water and relying on soft drinks for three years, Kojo Yankson set himself on a dangerous collision course with a deadly case of diabetes.
It was as if he had planned to be named the unhealthiest adult in the Guinness Book of Records because of a life without water for 72 months.
He started drinking water in September 2004 when he came to Ghana but was diagnosed with diabetes in 2007 due to his past habit of constantly taking soda. Whenever he goes to the shop to buy water and then realizes that Fanta was cheaper, he would rather buy Fanta instead of water.
According to him, he started getting very thirsty but he didn’t drink water. The only thing he loved to drink was juice, soft drinks, Fanta. He could go through six cartons of Ceres a day. So the sugar just kept piling up in his system.
Diabetes also called “sweet urine” is caused by the inability of a person’s pancreas to produce enough insulin to absorb glucose or energy into ones system. With unabsorbed energy trapped in the body, it finds its way into the blood, eventually giving urine a sweet taste.
While the urine tastes sweet, the body struggles to find energy despite already having more than enough – if only insulin was enough to absorb it.
According to Kojo Yankson, his wife came to his rescue one night when he could hardly open his eyes; it was another sign of diabetes destructive march to bring down the young man to an early life of self-imposed blindness.
“My wife saved my life”, a thankful Kojo stated. The broadcaster stated that it was her lady who sent him to the hospital for medical attention and brought him back home in a taxi. Weak and nearly unconscious, Kojo collapsed in front of his house on the return trip from the hospital.
In the U.K Taxi drivers are not allowed to touch passengers. So he refused to help me up. “It was my wife who had to drag me into the house”.
Kojo narrated how an emergency situation the following day which had both his wife and his doctor calling for emergency services to rush him to the hospital. Two ambulances therefore showed up at his doorstep to carry the unconscious man to the hospital.
The “sweet disease” was not satisfied with the crash. The diabetes train dragged him down into a coma which lasted two and a half months. He regained consciousness only to be greeted with a better than death announcement. “Thank God” you are alive. But you have diabetes” his doctor said.
Kojo today is grateful to have the chance to make up for a poor lifestyle. He gets two shots of insulin a day and is leading a campaign to dramatize the dangers of consuming too much sugar in particular and adopting poor health habits.
The Sugar Project is a campaign to provide easy access to efficient and reliable diabetes testing and education centers and help that living with diabetes manages with a ‘healthy’ lifestyle.
Today, Kojo Yankson has been one of the best broadcasters Ghana could ever produce with his journalistic profession in changing lives and impacting in the next generation in Ghana and around the world. With the intervention of Gods healing, many upcoming youth are benefiting from the great soul we nearly lost years back.
Such impactful and personality like Kojo Yankson is what society, community and country would be happy to have to tell the compelling stories in changing the lives of the deprive citizens