Facelift for a Cancer Patient

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Adibe Emenyonu writes on Governor Godwin Obaseki’s visit to accident victims caused by a vehicle in his convoy, and his pledge to clear the medical bills and take responsibility for the treatment of a five-year-old cancer patient 

On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, the press unit bus in the convoy of Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, was involved in an accident due to brake failure.

The accident occurred at the front gate of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital while he was coming back from Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state where he went to inaugurate a new 11,000 hectares of oil palm plantation estate owned by Okomu Plc.

Apart from journalists, three other persons were seriously injured in the accident, including a medical doctor.

Besides the injuries, three vehicles were said to have been damaged beyond repairs apart from the Government House Press bus. The medical doctor’s car and two others because of the impact generated when the government owned bus rammed into the vehicles in its front due to break failure.

Like other convoys attached to politicians and well to do Nigeria, it is expected that nobody will want to take responsibility.

A typical example was the accident that killed a former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Fetus Iyayi at Lokoja, Kogi State when the convoy of a former governor of the state allegedly chased the vehicle conveying the revered scholar and his team into the bush and the man died with no one accepting responsibility.

This case was however different. The moment the governor was told, he gave orders that those who sustained injuries be taken to the hospital immediately for treatment.

This was how fate smiled on two of the victims of the accident, Mrs. Mary Okoro and her five-year-old son, Freeman Okoro, including a relation of theirs.

Before the accident, the little Okoro, a cancer patient has been visiting the teaching hospital for chemotherapy treatment unknown to Obaseki.

However, when he was notified by the medical doctor who was treating him and his mother as a result of the accident, the governor pledged to take responsibility for his cancer treatment.

Not only that, Obaseki also pledged to offset the bill of Freeman’s cousin, who had been held in the hospital for his inability to pay for his treatment.

Speaking during the visit, Obaseki said, “I came to see the condition of the victims of the accident myself, just as we have promised on the day of the accident when the victims were admitted. The state government has taken full responsibility of their medical bills.

“We will also make sure we follow up with the full recovery of those who are still being treated for injuries from the accident.”

In his response, Consultant General and Coordinator, Accident and Emergency Department, UBTH, Dr. Nnadi Nwashile, said, “The patients are in stable condition. Six persons in the bus were treated and discharged on the day of the accident.”

He added, “The two patients in the hospital now are Mrs. Mary Okoro and her son, Freeman Okoro, who are being treated. Mrs. Okoro sustained a fracture on her upper arm and is being attended to by an Orthopaedic doctor. The son will be discharged soon.”

It was on this note that Mrs. Caroline Enoch, sister to Mrs. Okoro and aunty to Freeman, the cancer patient, knelt down and began to thank the governor for his uncommon show of gesture.

She said, “I am also grateful to God that the boy’s condition has brought succour to the family because my own daughter could not go home due to my inability to pay her hospital bill.

This is not just a twist of fate to the accident victims whose resources has depleted tremendously as a result of the cancer treatment as well as his relatives.

It is also a blessing in disguise for the press crew who for long has been drawing the attention of the governor to the dilapidated state of the bus to no avail before the unfortunate incident that has now brought a new bus to them.