I had chatted Dr. Mena on Messenger. Her post on social media was a slice of the life of healthcare workers, in the frontline of all kinds of stuff before the global pandemic came. And their work is largely unsung by healthy people. I felt her story may be a break, through society’s aloofness to the challenges of daily practice (Yes, we may be aloof until one is under the weather requiring medical assistance) I recall in those days when we pored through Reader’s Digest, now rd.com, we found “Humour in Uniform” very interesting. It was a column of jokes dedicated to UK soldiers serving on the homeland and overseas. Her story was no humor. It could start something like that for our doctors, nurses, health technicians and all in the army of our healthcare defense forces. So see her story here.
So, we were battling a critically ill child at the emergency room (ER) alongside poverty. A mother had brought her very ill child to the ER with just 500 naira (about $1+)
After the initial, emergency resuscitation of the child, we became almost handicapped.
“Ok, madam call your husband to bring money to procure medications, do laboratory investigations.”.
“Haaa, doctor that one don drink Kain-Kain fall for gutter oh,” she said
Kain-kain is a locally brewed gin with an outrageous ethanol volume per litre. It was cheap.
My jaw dropped, mouth opened for some minutes, thank God there were no flies. “Poor innocent child!” I mumbled.
“So what do we do now,” I asked rhetorically.
I stepped away from her child to get some emergency stock. Thinking I was abandoning her child, she cried out loudly, in pidgin, “Doctor save my pikin o, I no get money o.”
I don’t know how it happened but I started to “tax” all the health workers on duty, starting from myself to fund the healthcare. Some patients’ relatives also contributed to us.
It still wasn’t enough. We needed blood for transfusion too.
“God, we need a miracle,” I said silently in my heart because I was beginning to get very frustrated not having what to work with.
Thirty minutes later, a young man walked into the ER, requesting to see us. Mr. XYZ refused to tell us his name, he requested to know if we had any patient needing help. It was his birthday and he wanted to bless someone.
We quickly tabled our patient’s issues before him and he dropped a huge sum of money, a big sac that made our patient’s mother roll on the floor in a mix of emotions. He also donated a pint of blood after screening to save our patient!
What a relief it was. We didn’t have to bother how we will get drugs and do investigations anymore.
That night, I spent some time praying for God to send strangers to bless him too.
Many other times too, I’ve seen colleagues who didn’t even have money at that moment, borrow against salaries at month-end just to save their patients, others donate their blood. I won’t mention names but, God bless you real good.
#Good #Nigerians still exist. God bless you all for being a blessing. #Please keep up this #work