I write this from a place of inconsolable grief, sheer anguish, unimaginable pain, and the very zenith of fury having lost a dear one so cheaply and unjustifiably in a place that is erroneously believed to be safe but apparently needs saving itself, riddled with ego maniacal doctors with God complexes, nurses like witches, patients attendants who will not attend to you until you have called them a billion times, morticians who will milk you out of your very life savings just to get the remains ready for burial without caring that you were just bereaved, almost everyone there just seemed inappropriate for their respective jobs – such a shambolic and toxic environment! I lost hope in Nigeria for a moment.
We rushed to the emergency department calling for help at about 12am with our dear Oluwaseun diagnosed with Cardiac failure, but it took 15 minutes to have a not-so-friendly looking doctor amble to the car we brought her in just to see whether or not the case was an emergency. Soon we were asked to pay for so many written things including an oxygen tube so that she could breathe, but getting to the cashier, he told us in no uncertain terms that he would not attend to us until he has devoured his bowl of amala (biko, who eats Amala at such an ungodly hour? But that’s by the way)
We had to scream for help then a senior nurse came and spoke some sense into the glutton who reluctantly attended to us after he heard that the patient was dying. Then again we overheard a nurse say “I hope these ones are here with much money, otherwise they shouldn’t even bother”.
Eventually, Oluwaseun was checked into the resuscitation unit and trust me, that place reeked of death. A resuscitation center that had only one functional ECG monitor to serve four dying patients, not even a single defibrillator, stuffy as hell, very mean nurses; one of whom even threatened to check out any patient whose relatives were not cooperative, two malfunctioning air conditioning systems while every last office there had working ones, it was generally a place prepared to make patients sweat their very weak pulses out.
It should rather be called a euthanasia ward. How patients were objectified was absolutely distressing. One would have that euphoric shimmer of hope when a team of smug doctors strolls in like demigods only to realize that they came to learn with the patients rather than care for them. What is the point of acquiring redundant knowledge? These people are more used to deaths than saving people.
Oh Goodness Gracious!!! I thought their Hippocratic Oath should mean something or are they just murderers with license? When you kill someone with your inaction, apathy and negligence are you not complicit? This grieves my soul and won’t stop replaying in my head. I held her, watched her breathe her last, crashing; with pain written all over her face. We screamed for help but they were rather concerned with quietening us than reviving Oluwaseun.
They managed to get to her, gave her a few chest compressions in a futile CPR charade, chatting and laughing while at it, and then pronounced her dead JUST LIKE THAT. We had waited and waited for the cardiologist who neither showed up nor called for her to be relocated to the cardiology unit until she gave up at 7:20 pm on the 17th of march 2018.
This is a fresh brilliant UniLag graduate due for NYSC in a few weeks, someone’s beloved daughter, beautiful sister and wonderful friend; someone’s decades of physical, psychological and financial investment left for dead in a Nigerian foremost health centre.
Oluwaseun Ezekiel we love you. Even though you were a victim of inept doctors and failed health policies, you forever will be in our hearts. I write this hoping to find some closure by laying it all bare, peradventure it would get to relevant authorities who will amend and enforce the standard operating procedures of this helluva health facility, but unfortunately; Oluwaseun you will still be greatly missed. Rest on in the arms of the Lord.
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