…After surviving ghastly auto accident
By Tessy Igomu
Until now, Lateefah Bashiru was a very industrious food vendor who plied her trade at Kakawa, a popular market on Lagos Island. The mother of two lived happily with her husband and dreamt of diversifying her business to increase her income. As a woman bent on realising her dreams, she usually hit the road very early each morning to attend to her business.
Unfortunately, the quest to achieve her dreams was sabotaged recently when was involved in a motor accident that left her incapacitated and dependant on family members, friends and sympathisers for survival.
Since she was brought home from the hospital, she has had no respite from pain. According to the 36-year-old lady from Abeokuta, Ogun State, she daily endures excruciating pain that leaves her moaning and gasping for breath. Carrying out her daily chores has also become an uphill task for her as she moved about with the aid of a walking stick
Life for Bashiru has been traumatic and meaningless as she cannot stand or sit for more than five straight minutes. Most times, she is compelled to lie down for the greater part of the day, to avoid having her hips shifting into her waist region. If that happened, she would experience indescribable pain that would leave her screaming for help and holding her breath.
Recalling how she suddenly had her life revolving around people’s benevolence, Lateefah Bashiru told Daily Sun that she had no premonition that fate would deal her a big blow on the morning of January 10, 2014. According to her, she was on her way to Sango Ota, Ogun State, when a truck lost control and rammed into the vehicle she boarded at Dopemu Bus Stop, Lagos.
While some passengers lost their lives, she was pulled from the wreckage of the vehicle badly injured and unconscious. She was rushed to a nearby private hospital by some Good Samaritans, after which her relatives were contacted.
Bashiru said when she regained consciousness, she realised that her legs were lifeless and unresponsive to touch. She noted that, after staying in the hospital for about two months, she was referred to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, where she was diagnosed with a deformity called signature hip prosthesis. After extensive medical evaluation, she was scheduled to undergo corrective surgery that would cost about N1 million.
With her family having exhausted their savings on hospital bills and other medical expenses, getting to raise money for the surgery became a challenge. This prompted Bashiru to seek a second medical opinion, one she assumed would cost lesser. She was, however, surprised to receive a higher quotation for the same surgery.
“It has been very tough for me. When the cost of the surgery was evaluated, I had used up all my savings and my husband was struggling to cater for me and the children. Later, someone advised me to visit the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, but I was shocked to receive a bill of N1.2 million for the same type of corrective surgery.
“Since then, I have not been able to raise anything for the surgery. In my present condition, I prefer Igbobi for the surgery. It is the cheapest and I believe they would really take good care of me. I am calling on good Nigerians to come to my aid. I am really suffering and gradually getting weaker by the day,” she said.
Bashiru disclosed that, in her quest to get help, she was advised to contact the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
She alleged that, after she was asked to write a series of letters, some officials in the ministry asked her for gratification before they would forward her file for consideration. For someone struggling to feed, raising the stupendous amount demanded by the civil servants was impossible.
She further noted that, with no help forthcoming from the ministry and any other quarter, she resorted to selling packaged “pure” water for sustenance.
“I had to stop hawking the pure water at the point the pain became so unbearable; I had to quit because it was not easy,” she said.
This strong-spirited lady is, however, optimistic that God will bring a helper her way and has not ceased to pray to God to touch someone’s heart to help her. Bashiru disclosed that she had been to several churches in search of help and could not wait for the day she would walk freely and without feeling any pain.
“I am not after the money. All I want is for someone to take up the cost of my treatment and pay directly to the hospital. I am begging Nigerians to help me. Since the accident took place, life has been so sad and painful. The only help I need now is for the surgery to take place,” Bashiru pleaded.
Anyone willing to help Lateefah Bashiru should either call 09083369331 or 08025224425 or send financial assistance to Lateefah Bashiru, GTB – 0178501795.