Isolation Unit Mainland Hospital, Lagos
The ceiling fan blades rolled slowly until they halted. Dr Akin watched the wooden pendulum clock glued against the white painted wall as its pendulum continued to swing, the long arm of the clock dropped at the figure twelve and there was a click sound.
With palpable regrets in his voice he told his assistant Nurse Titi, “time of death 6:00pm.”
He could feel tear drop navigating it way from his eyes to the hollow created by the tribal mark on his cheek and in an attempt to hide his emotions from his assistant he turned his back against the lifeless body who had initially been in coma for 24 hours before finally giving up the ghost and reached for the door.
That was the best he could do to prevent Nurse Titi from seeing his tears, he couldn’t have wiped them away as he was gowned from head to toe with this yellow protective wear, he had his hands covered by a pair of green gloves that reached inches beyond his wrists, he also had this google on his face that would have prevented him from wiping away the tears if he had attempted to, although Nurse Titi couldn’t hear Dr Akin cry but the sound his protective boots made at each impact with the concrete floor gave his emotions away as he sorrowfully walked away. Nurse Titi still couldn’t believe it. The heroic Dr Adadevoh is dead!
First Consultant Hospital, Lagos
Dr Adadevoh was packing her stuffs into her bag getting ready to close for the day. Although her official closing time was 4:00 PM, she had waited to help Dr Johnson, the doctor on call for that day. Dr Adadevoh was already getting used to the extra work as the recent strike action embarked by government doctors created a ripple effect with influx of more patients at various private hospitals and the First Consultant Hospital was not an exception.
As she made her way to the parking lot where her car had been since 8:00 AM, she was lost in thought of how she would get home before 8:00 PM with the annoying hold up that awaited her at the Obalende Axis. Then she saw an ambulance drive in blasting siren as it parked in front of the hospital entrance door. She needed no prophet to foresee that her assistance would be needed. She simply dropped her bag in her car, locked the car door and headed to meet the new patient.
Before she got to the ambulance, two hospital attendants and a nurse were responding to the emergency call with a stretcher at hand to wheel the incoming patient into the hospital.
“This patient must be a VIP,” she thought in her heart using the entourage of men in suits that accompanied him as a scale of reference.
Her guess wasn’t far from the truth: the new patient was a diplomat from Liberia on an Economy summit trip scheduled to hold at Calabar, Nigeria. He was said to be on a straight flight from Lome to Calabar when he slumped during the flight, this made the plane to make an emergency landing at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, for him to receive urgent treatment required.
Dr Adadevoh made a brisk walk past the records section of the hospital as she walked towards the A and E ward where their new patient would be received. She noticed one of the men in black suit was already opening a folder for this VIP patient. She heard the record staff ask for the new patient’s name to input in his computer and as she walked through the corridor leading to the A and E, she heard the man in black suit responded, “Mr. Patrick Sawyer”.
Accident and Emergency Ward First Consultant Hospital
Dr Adadevoh was having a critical look at the history she just got from Mr. Patrick Sawyer. She does this after the initial quick history taking to make sure she didn’t leave out a major finding in reaching her diagnosis.
“What could have caused the sudden slump.” she puzzled.
As she engaged her thinking faculty with this puzzle she could feel differentials flying through her head: hypoglyceamia, hypotension, stroke, some form of electrolyte derangement, anaemia.
Of course, she knew she would have to search deeper to come up with a possible diagnosis. She was now on a second look at the history and examination documented when her eyes fell on the temperature- 400 C; next she saw the history of diarrhea and vomiting. As she continued reading, she saw the part of generalized weakness and then the bleeding from nostrils. Her eyes rested on the bleeding from nostrils part, she quickly rechecked Sawyer on his bed with a 900 degree turning of her head to the right side to see if the adrenaline nasal pack in his nostrils was doing the intended task of arresting the bleeding.
Patrick Sawyer lay helpless on the bed numbered 4. Though now conscious after receiving few liters of Normal Saline, he looked like he was in some form of distress; he labored with every breath, breathing through his mouth and sweating profusely. Nurse Justina opened the window slides to provide adequate ventilation, synergizing the effect of the ceiling fans blowing some breeze as they circumvent.
Dr Adadevoh continued watching the light in complexion huge man whose estimated weight was around 90kg, and then all of a sudden, like an inspiration from nowhere, it clicked!
“He was coming from Liberia?” she asked.
Looking at one of the men who brought him in, expecting a confirmation from him to which he nodded.
He answered, “Yes we were coming from Monrovia though we had a stopover at Lome.”
At this Dr Adadevoh ordered everyone out of the A&E ward and quickly scribbled into her computer a virology test among the chain of investigations she had earlier ordered for. As they all made their way through the door the two men in black suit were the first to exit the room then Nurse Justina, who was adjusting the drip drop to the meet the prescribed rate, she had to stop what she was doing immediately because of the urgency she sensed in Dr. Adadevoh’s voice. Following Nurse Justina was Dr Johnson and then Dr Adadevoh who shut the door as she made her way out of the room and ushered all the four people already waiting for her at the corridor into the dressing room just opposite the A&E ward.
She looked at Dr Johnson who she was sure was waiting for an explanation for the test she ordered, though all had responded without questioning.
Then she said, “We have to seal the A&E, we can’t admit any other patient in there, because, people, I guess we are dealing with a case of Ebola!”
Accident and Emergency Ward First Consultant Hospital
Dr Adadevoh looked perplexed. She just told Mr Sawyer what he has running in his veins but instead of the surprise expression she had expected to see, she saw a knowing look on Sawyer’s face interrupted with flashes of anger as his lips twitched covering his tightly clenched teeth creating some rows of skin folds on his forehead.
“You knew all these while”, Dr Adadevoh accused Mr Sawyer.
Mr Sawyer protested shouting “Noooo, I can’t die now!”
Sobbing, he reached for the IV line in his hand as he attempted to remove it,
“It’s like you people too can’t help me” he said as he removed the IV line.
“Mr Sawyer you have to lay back on your bed” Dr Adadevoh instructed, trying to barricade the door with her arms wide open yet stepping backwards to increase the distance between her and Sawyer, then she continued in a polite voice with a face full of empathy.
“I understand how you feel judging from the fact that the Ebola disease has no known cure for now, but we have a duty to prevent its spread to other people and one of the ways you can transmit it is by contact with your body fluids, so please lay back so that we can reconnect your drip and insert this catheter to collect your urine for proper disposal.”
“We have contacted our ministry of health; they should be around any time soon to take you to an isolation center where you would be taken care of,” Dr Adadevoh reassured.
The mention of an isolation center triggered an eruption of anger in Mr Sawyer, the memories of how his aunt suffered neglect all in the name of isolation in Liberia when she contacted the disease resurfaced.
“You people can’t hold me here, I know my rights you know, I demand to be discharged against your medical advice, bring the form to that effect and I will sign,” Mr Sawyer threatened.
Dr Adadevoh at this point knew this was going to be a complicated case, the DAMA provision is for patients that want to discharge themselves against medical advice. In this provision, the patient or the care giver is to sign after he or she has been well informed about the medical and legal implication of taking such a decision. But she also knew the threat to lives Mr Sawyer would be posing if allowed to set foot outside the hospital. Weighing her options within a flash of seconds she decided Mr Sawyer must be prevented from leaving the hospital and locked the door with the key in her hands. At this moment Mr Sawyer wished he had a gun to shoot these two doctors standing in his way from leaving the hospital. With no gun within reach, he looked around to see if he could find any other dangerous weapon, unfortunately, he found none then he saw Dr Adadevoh hold the catheter and urine bag in her hands.
He exclaimed “yeah body fluids.”
He reached for the zip of his pants, unzipped and in absence of a weapon for destruction he brought out his weapon of life but instead of shooting seeds of life to a waiting egg he shot the content of his bladder into the air aiming at the faces of the doctors. The urine flowed out in a projectile stream and splashed on Dr Adadevoh’s face. As she used her gloved hand to rub it off her face she could taste the salty urine as her hand ran over her lips. With an adrenaline rush Dr Adadevoh pounced on the gaint Sawyer to retrain him from littering the ward with his urine. And after successfully retraining him with the help of Dr Johnson who also has his trousers soaked with Ebola virus infected urine, Dr Adadevoh looked at Mr Sawyer; she didn’t see him as a patient but as a medical terrorist!
Isolation Unit Mainland Hospital, Lagos
Dr Adadevoh laid on her sick bed as she was being attended to by a health worker. This health worker Nurse Titi, was among the few health workers who took up the voluntary job of rendering health care to Ebola infected and ebola exposed patients in Lagos, Nigeria. She was in yellow protective gowns with other protective wears in different parts of her body.
The news of Dr Adadevoh testing positive to ebola virus came to her as saddening but not surprising. She was gravely exposed to the virus no thanks to the foolish act of Mr Sawyer when he urinated on her face. It’s been 28 days since Sawyer flew into the country with the Ebola virus and a lot has happened within these days. Mr Sawyer died four days after his arrival into Nigeria but not without infecting 11 other people. Dr Adadevoh, Dr Johnson, Nurse Justina and the two men in suit who brought him to First Consultant Hospital didn’t escape from contacting the disease as they had primary contact with Sawyer when he was in the hospital.
Also, the coming of Sawyer to Nigeria made Nigeria joined the league of Ebola infected countries in the world with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone topping the table. About a thousand of souls have been recorded to have been lost to this disease with Nigeria contributing 4 souls, warranting the WHO to announce the disease outbreak as a health emergency.
Though when compared to the other three Ebola ravaged countries, Nigeria seemed to be doing a lot better with 5 out of the 12 Ebola cases cured and discharged. Indeed this couldn’t have been achieved but for the quick response of both the Lagos state government and the Federal government at curtailing the spread of the disease.
However, Nigeria has also experienced some pitfalls over these days; first was the 4 deaths recorded which included the passing away of Nurse Justina and one of Sawyer’s colleagues at the hospital; the turning down of Nigeria's request by the US government to give the Nigeria government samples of the untested zmapp drug used in treating two American citizens who contacted the disease while in Liberia also was a major setback recorded. Lastly was the embarrassing salt and water public madness that many Nigerians showed gullibility to where they were made to believe a warm bath with salt and a drink of salt in water would prevent them from contacting the virus. Of course the naïve act ended some people in hospitals and two people were rumored to have died from salt intoxication.
Amidst all these negatives was a silver lining after a supposed US based Nigerian scientist proposed to have the solution to this Ebola virus in his drug called the Nanosilver. It was on this beacon of hope Dr Adadevoh clung to as she has started manifesting the late symptoms and signs of the disease .
Nurse Titi noticed something unusual about Dr. Adadevoh ; she seemed not to be responding.
She immediately alerted, “Doctor, doctor, help!”
Dr Akin rushed to the direction of the distress call, he was equally gowned as Nurse Titi. He checked some vitals and noticed the heart beat, pulse and breathing were intact but the Glasgow coma scale was 3.
“She has tilted into coma,” he reported.
Somewhere on Lagos street, Time: Unknown
Dr Adadevoh walked side by side with an old man down the First Consultant street. When they got to the front of the hospital the old man asked politely in a British accent,
Isn’t that where you used to work?”
Dr Adadevoh nodded, “yes I used to work there as a medical doctor, I was a consultant endocrinologist at the hospital she replied.
Quickly stating her short CV which she believed was by no means near the intimidating CV of the man she was walking with.
“That’s good,” the old man replied
“You took after your dad afterwards” he said with a knowing smile.
There was something familiar about the old man aside the British accent. The striking, unmistakable style of his moustache.
Alas, He was Herbert Macaulay!
Yes indeed! Dr Adadevoh happened to be the great granddaughter of this national icon though Dr Adadevoh has never seen him face to face. The mental pictures of him that she has were from the one naira coin and some family pictures of his days. Strangely, both of them seemed to be getting along with each other in this unusual family reunion. It was like they’ve known each other for ages.
As they continued strolling across the streets of Lagos, Herbert showed Dr Adadevoh various sites where he had engaged in the nationalism struggle. Dr Adadevoh listened as Herbert recounted the labor of our heroes past. She could feel fulfillment and happiness in his voice.
She looked into the poor old man’s eyes and wondered if only he knew the state of the country he gave his whole life for. If only he knew that the country he fought for independence was at the edge of breaking up because of greed, if only he knew that the corruption he fought the White against was now the order of the day in the country he helped to create.
And as she continued to wonder in her thought the old man asked,
” So what do the present generation think of me?”
Dr Adadevoh quickly searched for the proper answer in her head. She knew she dared not say the truth that the present generation doesn’t give a dime for who he was or what he did, so she lied.
“Oh they see you the father of nationalism”
“In fact they immortalize you by putting your portrait in one of their currency’s denomination.” She added.
She cleverly hid the fact that the currency denomination she was referring to, was the one naira coin and that it was in extinction. Then the old man smiled, again she could feel the fulfillment in his heart.
“I heard you also died serving your country, that you sacrificed your life for the lives of millions of Nigerians by preventing a sick man from entering the streets of Nigeria to spread a deadly disease,” the old man added.
“Yes papa,” Dr Adadevoh answered, hoping to find fulfillment in her heart too but she felt nothing.
“Don’t worry,” the old man continued
“I am sure Nigerians would reward your act of sacrifice by probably naming you the mother of patriotism and immortalize you too by putting your portrait on one of the currency’s denomination notes,” he assured.
Dr Adadevoh gave a cheap “I hope so.”
She doubted if anyone would ever remember her act of valor as we never remembered her great grandfather’s.
Debonair stories 2014
..……………………...it may not be the true side of the story but it’s the Debonair side of the story.
. Article Sent in by Dr Owolabi Olufemi
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