FACE TO FACE WITH DEATH—BUT ALIVE TO TELL THE STORY (2)

By Azuh Arinze

Olumide and I departed Owerri, Imo State, with two versions of what might have transpired that Thursday, November 10, 2022, around 11am.

The first is that our driver may have dozed off behind the wheel. The second, and the most plausible, is that he was moving at a top speed, a trailer was equally speeding right behind him, and from no where a Keke or Korope veered into his lane. To compound the situation, a crater occupied a major portion of that section of the road. Knowing that the trailer would crush us if he turned left; and that the Keke or Korope driver wouldn’t have survived if he turned right, he ran into a massive median, and that was what led to the ear-piercing sound. The type I had not heard before in my 50 years.

Back to Imo Specialist Hospital, Umuguma: The reception was great. In fact, it became even greater after it was learnt that we were from the commissioner for health or better put, the Governor’s Office.

The nurses quickly arranged two beds in the emergency ward for us. Olumide continued with his drip while we awaited the arrival and attention of the doctors. In no time, the first one, a likeable and lively soul that goes by the name of Okorie, appeared. Amid rib-cracking jokes he professionally attended to us. Thereafter, the second doctor came and after examining both of us insisted that we proceed immediately for a scan. Mr. Chuks Nwanne, editor of The Guardian on Saturday, happily relinquished the cab that brought him to see us and off we went.

Done with that and back at the hospital, one of the doctors took a look at the results and said he knew I had been masking my pains; that my injury was substantial.

To cut a long story short, a neck collar was also prescribed for me, just like Olumide. Then, we were moved to a private ward. The nurses there were as warm as those at the emergency ward. They attended to every of our need with this soothing smile that’s infectious and, forgive the exaggeration, also sumptuous.

We passed the night there. And the day after, on Friday, my younger brother, Amatus and Messrs Dotun Oladipo and Gabriel Akinadewo visited again. This time, they had two hefty packs of food for us, which I immediately descended on. Former Lagos NUJ president, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, had stopped by on his way to the airport see us. And also wish us quickest recovery. Same with Mr. Steve Ayorinde, former editor of The Punch and immediate past commissioner for information and strategy, Lagos State. Also in the hospital that morning to see us was Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi, vice president, Southwest, Nigerian Guild of Editors and a couple of others.

The doctor came in the morning to see us and after examining and ascertaining that we were no longer in bad shapes asked that we be discharged.

But to avoid stories that touch, we remained in constant touch and communication with him, from our hotel room at Immaculate.

Olumide was still in excruciating pains, forcing me to abandon my room for his. It continued till things started getting better and more people visiting to know how we were faring…

(To be continued)

-Azuh Arinze is the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine and author of the bestsellers, The CEO’s Bible, Success Is Not Served A La Carte, A Taste Of Success, etc

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