7:52 AM, 19th January, 2015.
Dr Charles (not real name) takes his breakfast hurriedly. He’s been doing that so often it’s become a habit. He would never counsel a patient to do that, but doctors are known to do many things they passionately counsel patients to avoid. Obviously, they tend to know more of how to take care of patients than how to take care of themselves.
His wife has learnt to forgive him such dining misdemeanor, and many others.
‘Honey, what’s the update on the woman at the clinic they were calling you all night for?’ she asked, sitting across him at the dining table, and munching her breakfast of fried ripe plantain, omelette and custard like a lady.
Two kids into this marriage, she is still her hot self: tall, slim and beautiful; a chartered accountant who has become a ‘consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist’ by association, having dated Charles since his medical school, through his residency program, and his subsequent qualification as a consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist.
‘She’s stable now. They were able to stabilize her yesternight. I hope she delivers like a Hebrew woman before I get to the clinic this morning. If not, I’d section her. Hers is a precious baby…’ he paused to swallow.
‘She’s an elderly primigravida [woman having her first baby at an advanced age]’ she echoed his thought.
He smiled, ‘Madam chartered accountant, maybe one of these days you’ll scrub up in theatre and assist me in surgery. You’re almost as ‘stuffed’ as some of my residents. It remains to show how you stand the blood.’ He joked.
She laughed cautiously, ‘you know, you’ve threatened me enough with this inability to stand the sight of blood. I’ll surprise you one of these days…’
That was the last conversation Dr Charles had with his wife.
He didn’t make it to the hospital that morning.
His wife and children saw his lifeless body 10 days after that day with bullet holes in his chest, left arm and left leg.
And that was after his wife had cleaned up their joint account, burrowed monies from family, friends, colleagues and enemies to raise the N10m the KIDNAPPERS had demanded in ransom after taking Dr Charles that morning.
She lost the love of her life and the father of her kids, their life savings, and the elderly primigravida in Dr Charles’ clinic.
Permit me to apologize at this point for the title of this article. As a blogger, I've realized the posts that get read and shared most are the ones with sexual undertones. So, I stupidly took advantage of that.
However, this post isn't about how to use condom safe and efficiently…
It is about something far more serious, something that literally makes my heart bleed…
An ugly monstrous trend in our society: KIDNAPPING of doctors, other health worker, and indeed anybody who’s perceived to have a fat wallet. This is coming in the heels of the recent kidnap of 4 doctors in 6 days in Rivers State, and the tragic death of one of them, Dr SamOkpara in the clammy hands of the kidnappers after a ransom of N15m had been paid for his release. It appears to be the purest form of evil, calculated and visited on care givers. There have been doctors’ strikes in the past to protest this evil especially in Rivers State, but that ends up hurting innocent people.
I am bereft of ideas right now on what to write. If something has been stolen from you before (the only pen you have at the office, a wallet with all your IDs and credit cards, a phone or a car) you know how you felt. Now, imagine how a family feels when a member of the family is stolen. It’s even worse when it’s that member of the family that’s largely exchanged the pleasures of life for the care of others at their most vulnerable state: in sickness! Not like is less for anyone else…
It's obvious government can only do so much about this. Please, if you are a kidnapper, or have contemplated being one, please, stop. Biko! Switch to 419, politics, if you must… anything less ominous.
God bless you.