A team of Nigerian doctors in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territiory, has shown the wonders it can perform in the country with highly improved healthcare facilities, with a surgical feat, the kind CNN would have beamed to global viewers if it had been done in America.
The story began when a commercial motorcyclist, Muhammed Kabiru, 35, first proved that he is a diehard and that God has special interest in him.
He miraculously survived an attempt by a robber to snatch his motorcycle by stabbing him in the head with a long dagger that penetrated very deep into his head and stuck fast. It remained in that position until doctors surgically removed it after several hours.
The incident happened in Abuja.
Kabiru, who spoke through his brother, Mustapha, said that on the fateful day, one man, who pretended to be a passenger had approached him to take him on a ride to Masaka, a town in Nasarawa State that borders Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, and they agreed on a fare.
The journey along the highway was smooth with Kabiru not having an inkling he was taking the devil on a ride and that tragedy was lurking around.
“As we approached the man’s destination, I asked for the transport fare of N300.00, which we had earlier agreed on. He dipped his hand into his pocket and what he brought out baffled me. Rather than give me the transport fare, he stabbed me with a dagger, thinking that I would fall off the motorcycle and he would take it away.”
Taking up the tale, Mustapha said: “Alas, my brother did not fall off the bike, but instead he rode on with the long dagger stuck in his head.”
Sunday Sun learnt that his situation drew the attention and sympathy of other motorcyclists around, who rallied round and promptly took him to a nearby police station to lodge complaints.
“He was later taken to Pan Raf Hospital, Nyanya, where doctors led by one Dr. Odia and other members of staff battled to save his life, through emergency care.
When he appeared to have stabilized, the doctors referred him to another hospital for proper management and care.
“An X-ray of the skull showed the dagger had gone in from the right side of the face just in front of the ear and was nearly poking out from the cheek on the other side,” a source at the hospital said.
The terrible condition, Sunday Sun learnt necessitated an urgent surgical operation to remove the dagger stuck on his head and save his life. Realising that time was of essence and to avoid a situation where Kabiru would bleed to death, the two hospitals undertook the immediate medical care including surgical operation without demanding money.
One of the doctors, who performed the yeoman’s job, Dr Biodun Ogungbo, a consultant neurosurgeon shared the case via www.dokilink, an online platform for Nigerian doctors.
He said: “I got the call from the hospital at 6 am. They had also emailed the shocking pictures of the man with a dagger buried in his head.”
“The hospital (Pan Raf Hospital), had mobilised a team of doctors and nurses to review, manage and operate on this chap in the quickest possible time. The ophthalmologist had reviewed and luckily, the dagger had not damaged the eye. He could move his eyeballs equally on both sides and without pain. There was also no blood in the eye. The maxillofacial surgeon was happy with him as well.”
Ogungbo further stated: “No obvious bleeding from the nose or ear and all looked calm in the face. Except for this long handled dagger sticking out of him. The neurological evaluation was also satisfactory. He could give a good account of the incident.
“We proceeded with plans for removing the dagger. First, we sent him for a CT brain scan to see what damage the dagger had done and the likely injured structures in its path through the head.
“The brain and the eye as well as the big blood vessels (carotid arteries) supplying the brain all seemed well. It did appear that he had escaped major brain injury, stroke, blindness and immediate death. He bled a bit from the wound but was alive and still talking.”
Continuing, Ogungbo said: “Under general anaesthesia, we cleaned the area thoroughly, including the knife and applied our sterile drapes around it. We then made fresh cuts in the skin to help expose the skull bone and the area where the dagger actually entered into the bone.
“It required a big hammer and an outstanding effort to whack the dagger back through its track in the bone. A great effort was required and this gave further evidence, attesting to the severity and savagery of the attack. He did not bleed to death on the table and instead went on to make a safe and satisfactory recovery.”