Mrs Eze Emmanuella is a native of Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area, Enugu. Two of her children were involved in the unfortunate accident that claimed the lives of many schoolchildren. She tells RAPHAEL EDE that her only son died in the accident while her daughter sustained a head injury
Two of your children were involved in a recent accident where lives of schoolchildren were lost. How bad was it?
My only son and my first daughter were involved in the accident but unfortunately, my son died on Saturday.
How did you hear about the incident?
On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, they went to school and I went to Enugu town, and in the afternoon, I was rushing to get home before they would get back. I was at the park when I heard people saying that a school bus had an accident at Nkwo Junction. So I went to the scene but my brother and sister had already got there. They saw that my son, Chidubem, and daughter, Precious, were involved in the accident. God saved my daughter. My son was taken to the hospital at Awgu town and from there, they took him to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. He was unconscious from Wednesday, when the accident occurred till Saturday. He was given oxygen and could not open his eyes till he died on Saturday. God took him. He was three years and five months old while my daughter is five years old.
When we got to UNTH, the doctors said his case needed an urgent surgical operation but he needed a CT scan before the operation. And because they didn’t have a CT scan machine or probably because it wasn’t functional, they postponed it till Thursday. Unfortunately, he died on Saturday.
How have you been coping with the loss?
What will I do (she breaks down in tears)? What would I do now that my son is gone? Who will be Chidubem for me? Who will bring him back to me? I miss him so much.
What is the condition of Precious?
She is at home but she has been complaining that she feels pain in her head. When we were at UNTH, she complained about having pain on her head but doctors said I should bring N45,000 so she could do a CT scan. But I didn’t have the money so they discharged her. Her head is swollen and since we came back, she has been crying and complaining about her head. My husband is not in Nigeria and I have been running around to raise money for the scan to be done so that I will not lose her too. She has also been asking about her brother.
But governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi promised that the government will take care of their medical bills. What changed?
I paid for every treatment in the hospital. For the CT scan, they said it would be done outside the hospital.
Where is your husband?
He is in Cote d’Ivoire. He brought the children home in December 2019 because of the presidential election in that country. So, I put the children in school here so that they will not be idle at home till their father would return to take them back.
Is he aware of the incident?
Yes, I have informed him.
What did your son tell you he wanted to be in life?
He always said to me: ‘Mummy, I will be a doctor so that if you fall sick, I will treat you; I don’t want you to go to hospital.’ I promised him that everything would be alright by God’s grace.