Maimed by reckless driver, graduate seeks N3m for spinal cord treatment
Olawale Evans Shobakin, like most Nigerians, had looked forward to those days when he would be independent, pay his own bills and cater for his aged mother. Just as he thought that the waiting days were over, having graduated from the university, fate gave him a rather hard nut to crack. Today, he is in search of N3 million to stand a chance of a normal life and relive his dreams.
At a glance, his spirited voice with good English accent wouldn’t tell his predicaments, but for his frail look. Underneath his shirt, when ripped off, was a lumbar jacket and loops of catheter all strapped around his emaciated body. It was a sight that would well up tears from anyone.
Shobakin told The Guardian that it all started on a Monday morning in April 2011, on his way to a job interview in Apapa, Lagos. He had just returned to Lagos after concluding the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in Maiduguri, Borno State.
While waiting to catch a bus heading inwards Apapa Industrial area from Trinity bus stop, a gulf car, in the midst of negotiating its way ran into some pedestrians waiting at the bus stop. Shobakin was one of the unfortunate lots.
“I noticed the car swerved in my direction, but that was the last I saw till I woke up in (Lagoon) hospital.” Shobakin, it was gathered, was one of the three pedestrians ran-over by the reckless driver. But it was the beginning of another life of hardship, multiple surgeries and pains for the fresh graduate of Business Administration at University of Ado-Ekiti.
The accident left its victim with severe spinal cord injury, lower limb weakness and complications, which have caused him to be shuttling between Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja in the last four years.
At Igbobi, according to a medical report, he was admitted and managed consecutively for traumatic paraparesis with fracture of T12 vertebral body and spondylolisthesis.
“After three months, I was discharged with a wheelchair but I couldn’t control urinating. I was told that it had to do with the nervous system and the back pain. Later I couldn’t even pass out urine and this took me to LASUTH in 2012.”
He was diagnosed with urethral strictures and bladder stone. On June 19, 2014, according to LASUTH medical report, Shobakin had substitution urethroplasty with open cystolithotomy.
“I contacted Indian hospitals; doing lots of online findings and was able to settle with Paras Medical Centre, Gurgaon, Delhi, India. They studied my documents and other results of the test and gave the bill of N3m for corrective surgery,” he said.
In a correspondence from the Indian hospital, dated July 27, 2015, the patient needs “spinal instrumentation and decompression with rehabilitation” at the cost of $8800 – $9200. The cost includes all diagnostics, doctor fee, procedure, drugs and medicines, room stay for the patient and one attendant, dietary requirements and airport transfers.
The 32-year-old Ogun indigene, from Abeokuta North, appealed to well meaning Nigerians, corporate bodies and government for help. “I have no one to help me. My mother is an aged widow. It is just my mother and I. I need Nigerians to help me so as not to waste away. The suffering is unbearable. I need N3 million to take care of my medical expenses and travel to India,” he pleaded.
Shobakin can be reached on 08024038374 and through Access Bank account number: 0027307795.