Once upon a life – Part 3thumbsup
Aisha got on the first available bike to the general hospital; which was a 15-minute ride from the venue of the life coaching event. On her way, so many thoughts raced through her mind. “I hope Felicia is not hurt, bad. “Oh Ya Allah Ka kiyaye” (translated “O Lord, do prevent any ill fate.”) The ride seemed to take forever, with Aisha snapping at the biker at intervals, urging him to be careful. Her anxiety about Felicia’s wellbeing had also put her on the edge. She couldn’t wait to see her friend.
“Felicia Ogbodu’s room please” Aisha blurted, without a word of salutation to the grumpy nurses at the emergency ward nurses station. “You no get respect? See all these small shirren wey no sabi greet pesin wey senior dem” (Meaning: “Don’t you have any respect? Look at all these disrespectful youngsters, who do not salute their elders”) remarked the matron. “I am sorry ma. Good morning. My friend was involved in an accident and I want to see her, her name is Felicia Ogbodu “Shey na dat one wey drink like fish wey okada hit early this morning?” (Meaning: “is it the drunk, who got hit by a bike this morning?”) Aisha was still looking puzzled, because she didn’t know what exactly had happened to Felicia, so she couldn’t affirm the matron’s enquiry. While she was still pondering who the matron was referring to, she heard the sound of someone running towards the nurses station. “Where is she?” the lady demanded looking at the matron and Aisha. Puzzled at why the lady was looking at her, Aisha asked,“Who are you?”. “I am Titi” she responded. “Oh” Aisha responded; realizing that she was the lady whose birthday Felicia had been attending the night before. “I was just about to find out, myself.” Aisha replied.
The nurses looked at each other. The matron turned to the girls and asked “wetin you even talk say her name be sef?” (Meaning: “what did you say her name was again?) “Felicia Ogbodu” the ladies choroused. “Ah!” the matron exclaimed, “that one you go ask doctor on duty.” (Meaning: “You would have to ask the doctor on duty about that one”.) By this time the two ladies were getting frantic, because no one seemed to know or wanted to tell them what was going on. “Where can we find the doctor?” Titi asked. Pointing to the theatre door across the nurses station, the matron said “hin dey for inside, but wait make him comot”. (Meaning: “he’s in there, but wait for him to come out.”) There was nowhere to sit down and even if there had been, the ladies did not feel like it, all they wanted to know was how their friend was doing.
Aisha, who wasn’t at the party was more confused. “What happened to her, Titi? When did she leave the party?” she asked. “Felicia left around 2 a.m she had approached me to say she had to leave, because she really wasn’t enjoying the party, since her best friend, Aisha wasn’t there. Is that you?” Titi asked.”Yes, I am Aisha. Now I blame myself, for not going with her; at least we would have been together and maybe all this would’ve been avoided” she lamented. “The nurse had asked me if Felicia was the lady who had been hit by a bike, just before you came in. Are you aware if she’s the one?” Aisha asked. “I really do not know; because after she left, I thought she was already in the hostel. I heard the news about 30 minutes ago and that’s why I rushed here.” explained Titi.
While the two ladies were still wondering what had happened to their mutual friend; coupled with the vague response given to them by the nurses, they didn’t know what else to do, but pace around the waiting area intermittently.
A young man, looking like he was in his late 20’s or early 30’s wearing a lab coat with a stethoscope around his neck, walked out of the door the matron had pointed to, 40 minutes earlier. The ladies immediately knew, that had to be the doctor.
“Hello doctor” saluted Aisha. The young man lifted up his head in response. Aisha could see what she thought looked like a worried expression on his face. “Yes, how may I help you?” He asked. “My name is Aisha Idris and this is Titi” she answered as she gestured toward Titi. “Bankole” interjected Titi. She continued, “we are Felicia Ogbodu’s friends, we were asked to see the doctor on duty about her wellbeing. Is that you, by any chance, sir?” He looked intently at them, then requested “One moment please.” He walked over to the nurses station and spoke in an indistinct tone to the nurses, then he handed the file to the matron. He returned to Aisha and Titi, and requested, “Could we step into my office?” “Yes, we can” Titi quickly replied, as they started walking towards the doctor’s office.
The walk to his first-floor office seemed so long and unending. The ladies were already very anxious. They just needed some answers, not all these formalities of waiting and going to a doctor’s office. They finally got to the end of the first-floor hallway; the doctor turned to unlock the last office on their left and they all walked in.
“You may sit-down ladies,” he said pointing at the two plastic chairs in front of his shabby-looking, scantily-filed desk. “Felicia was brought in here by some good samaritans around 4.30 am this morning. By the time she got here, she had already lost quite a lot of blood and was immediately rushed to the emergency centre. No one came to look for her after the samaritans who brought her here left, around 6:30 a.m. They claimed to be students, and all they could reveal was her first name. So, I advised that they should help contact her next-of-kin. There are really no details about what actually happened to your friend, but from my analysis; she had quite a bit of alcohol in her system and her physical injuries look like she was a victim of a hit-and-run car or a bike accident of some sort. She is in a rather critical condition at the moment, I must say and she cannot speak. Do you have any family member’s contact details? I would like to talk to a close family member as soon as possible, please” he said looking at the now-shocked and perplexed ladies.
There was dead silence for about 10 seconds, when Aisha, who was virtually in a trance and as if being awakened, could hear her name from ‘a distance’.
“Aisha! Aisha! Did you hear the doctor?” Titi asked as she tapped and startled her. “Will she be okay, doctor?” Aisha asked, now gazing sadly at the doctor. “Well, that, I cannot say for sure right now, but we should be hopeful that your friend will pull through. I need a next-of-kin to talk to, first. Do you know anyone we can call? A relative; preferably a parent maybe?” By this time, Aisha was visibly upset; tears starting to whelm up in her eyes. The doctor hadn’t told her what she wanted to hear and she was disappointed. Reluctantly, she responded, “yes, I have her mother’s number”. She scribbled it down on a piece of paper, handed it over to the doctor and immediately bursted out crying.
“Please don’t tell me she’s dead, doctor, please”. Startled at her outburst, the doctor said “No, she’s not dead, Aisha. She’s unconscious and traumatised, but alive. Let’s be optimistic that she will respond to treatment and that she will be back on her feet, in no time. I’ve seen several cases like that.” “Please do all you can to ensure Felicia is alright. This is all so surreal; someone, please tell me it’s a dream.” Aisha requested. She was becoming frantic and worried about her friend. “It’s ok Aisha, you heard what the doctor said, some people get better and I believe Felicia will be fine.” Titi hugged and assured her. “I hope so.” Aisha replied between sobs.
“Doctor Nosa!” Called the matron, as she barged into the office. “The patient you transferred from the emergency room needs urgent attention.” Titi and Aisha looked at each other and back at the doctor “Is that Felicia?” The doctor grabbed his stethoscope and hurriedly left the ladies behind in his office.
The ladies followed the medical crew uninvited, but they were not allowed into the ward.
Another agonising thirty minutes went by, when suddenly the ward door swung open. An upset looking doctor emerged and said “I am sorry ladies, but she didn’t make it.” That was the last thing Aisha remembered before she passed out.