- Category: S.O.S
- Published on Friday, 13 May 2011 05:50
- Written by Izuchukwu Okeke
- Hits: 2679
This story was initially published last Friday to expose the inadequate state of the country’s healthcare services and the plight of the very poor of our society.
Photo: Onyebuchi's mother and sister praying for him
As a result of this, we have decided to post more pictures and update you with the developments.
We spoke with Mr Omagbon, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital on 08055018224 and we were informed that the patient’s debt of about N70,000 has been written off and he has been subsequently released to his family to go to his ‘village to die’ because the hospital has no financial capability to guarantee continued treatment. The hospital expressed the desire to admit him again and commence treatment as soon as funds are made available to them.
We have also contacted his sister, Mrs. Ebere Ezeh Nnam (07034678213) who is in the picture above. She has set up an account in her name for him with the following details:
Bank: United bank for Africa (UBA)
Account number: 00120680026128,
Account name: Ebere Nnam
Mrs. Nnam who speaks only Igbo promises that Onyebuchi will be returned to the hospital as soon as they have funds.
“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” - Barbara De Angelis
Thanks for your concerns.
Transparency For Nigeria
The sad story of Onyebuchi Eze, now lying critically ill at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, illustrates the inadequate state of the country’s healthcare services which has become a burden on the very poor of our society. In this moving piece, IZUCHUKWU OKEKE reports that Eze, who was involved in a ghastly motor accident, may die because he is too poor to pay the medical bills. Excerpts.
Onyebuchi Ezeh is from Akpugo in Enugu state. Before November 20, 2010, Onyebuchi was a hale, hearty and happy young man who plied his wares as a petty trader in Abuja and was preparing for a wedding to his heartthrob. But fate took a new twist for him on that fateful day of November 20, 2010 when he was involved in a ghastly motor accident on the Lokoja-Kaduna expressway in Gwagwalada.
His mother, Mama Cecilia Nnam, told Community Mirror that Onyebuchi was knocked down by a hit-and-run driver who, thinking that he had died instantly and afraid of the consequences, fled the scene. Onyebuchi was only rushed to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada by good Nigerians who arrived just in time at the accident scene. Since then, he has been critically lying in the accident ward with no hope of cure and even discharge due to lack of funds. Today, Onyebuchi is not only writhing in pains, but looks more like a moving skeleton, a condition that has further been aggravated after his transfer to the men’s surgical ward where he is now left unattended to by the medical staff. The situation is so grave that if urgent help is not received, there is the likelihood that Onyebuchi will give up any moment from now.
A staff nurse on duty who spoke with our correspondent on the issue said;”Onyebuchi sustained severe head injury from the accident which has affected his brain and resulting in severe amnesia”. Visitors testify that he not only groans in pains, but is unable to recognize them and worse still his mother. Even doctors treating him are attributing his continued survival to miracle. But like a cat with nine lives, he has hung on to life. The question is for how long? His aged mother, Mrs. Nnam, who came all the way from Akpugo village to look after him is not only poor, but has nobody to extend financial help to her as this seem to compound an already critical situation. Since the end of January 2011, medical care to Onyebuchi has been withdrawn by the hospital management over accumulated bills.
Speaking with Community Mirror in tears, Mrs. Nnam said, “All I need now is just N67,000.00 to settle accumulated hospital bills so they can allow me take my son to my village and let him die peacefully”. In essence, Onyebuchi is still in UATH simply because his old mother is still waiting in vain for financial help. For now, the old woman sleeps on bare cold hospital floor looking after her son and hoping against hope. The sight of the young man in terrible pains elicits pity and helplessness from anyone seeing him. Will Onyebuchi be left to die? That was the question put by Community Mirror to a nurse in the hospital. “No, came the answer. “If he could be alive till now, I do not see why he would not make it. But the only way to save his life is to make money available for continued medication,” she said. Mrs. Keziah Chinke, Head of Social Services Department of the hospital told Community Mirror that the hospital’s social services department helps people like Onyebuchi and have done all they can for him within the very limited resources. In her words, “Unfortunately funds are not coming in as expected. So we can only ask Nigerians to help save Mr. Onyebuchi Eze as his story is pathetic. Onyebuchi needs our help to live again”.
Also the Chief Medical Director, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital said the problem is that “the hospital has many indigent patients to care for, much more than it can handle. Because of the enormity of the problem, the hospital got approval of the board of management to start a fund for indigent patients’ welfare, which is registered with the corporate Affairs Commission. The staff on their own have been contributing some money on monthly basis into the fund and presently the money has been used to settle some very pressing bills of indigent patients. “We are extending invitations and appeals to people outside the community, we are inviting politicians and business men and well wishers to join us in this. We are still appealing that we have these categories of people who need help and all of us are potentiallyindigent patients, so whatsoever one can do for somebody, do it. You never can tell whether it will be your turn tomorrow. So we all must have assist people, like Onyebuchi”.
According, Dr. Monday Yilkudi, Onyebuchi only needs surgery on his head and the growing gash on his buttocks and then rehabilitation especially from malnourishment. His mother and the hospital management are calling on benevolent Nigerians, NGOs, religious leaders, philanthropists to come to the help of Onyebuchi. (National Mirror)