The blood was so much that sympathizers were reluctant to assist, but a 'Mai-Ruwa' finally offered his wheel barrow for use.
Zuri was rushed to a private hospital but the doctor's attitude was very shocking. Even the attitude of Lagos Emergency Ambulance operators left much to be desired.
Read Femi Owolabi's narration below:
I just returned to Lagos, and in my usual routine, I retire to a local bar where the discourse around local and national politics is being fueled by AlomoBittters, OrijinBitters and every other thing that carries the 'bitter' suffix.
Zuri, 26, one of those boys who migrated from the village to seek greener pastures in Lagos, runs the saloon beside the bar. When in Lagos, Zuri barbed me. I couldn't wait to return from the northeast for Zuri to attend to my bushy hair. He barbed almost perfectly.
Yesterday, since I'm on a self-imposed 'leave' in Lagos, we had resumed at the bar early where a friend was hosting me to a bottle of AlomoBittters. Zuri sat with us, he sat beside me, and we were telling him on how to improve on the business and not spend all his earnings on women and drinks. We were all together for hours before he left to see a barber friend of his.
Barely two hours later, one of Zuri's friends in the neighborhood rushed in. His face was soaked with tears, and he was screaming, 'Zuri! Zuri!!' I gulped down the content in my mouth. 'What's wrong with Zuri?!' we collectively asked the friend. 'He is vomiting blood... he is...'
In no time, we arrived at the scene, some 6km away. I met a circle of crowd around my barber. Blood in his nose, eyes, mouth, and ears. And he looked lifeless. I shut my eyes. I opened them. I shut my eyes again. And I opened them again. Because of the too much blood, perhaps, the crowd feared touching him. I moved closer and held his hand, and checked the inside of his wrist to feel his pulse.
'Where is the nearest hospital?' I asked his barber friend whom he had come to see. The friend was already running mad. 'Ha! I've never seen this kind of thing,' he cried. 'He barbed me here in my shop, and he just stepped out to sneeze and that was how blood started coming out of his mouth and nose.'
The nearest hospital was about 4km away. Unfortunately, no one was willing to give us a car to move him. We settled for a wheelbarrow one Mai-Ruwa offered and we sped off to the hospital. While we pushed him, I continually called out his name, checking his chest if he was still breathing.
|the unfortunate Zuri, lying lifeless in the wheelbarrow|
'He's gone,' the doctor announced. We weren't even allowed to move him inside. The doctor came out with his stethoscope to check him.
It's a private hospital and after a while, the doctor became so uncomfortable and he called on me to come take his corpse away. That he wasn't their patient. I got so confused, not knowing what next to do.
I had earlier called the Lagos Emergency line. They arrived to meet him dead. 'We don't pick dead bodies,' I was told. 'So what do we do?' I asked. 'Call the Emergency line again, there are ambulances that would come pick him.'
I called, gave my details and the address of the place we were. 'We are coming,' I was told. After about an hour, I called again. 'We are coming,'. I was told.
The doctor was getting angry. He called on me. 'Take this corpse away!' he boomed. I begged him for more time. Since the Lagos Emergency guys ain't forthcoming, I asked where we could hire an ambulance. I didn't get any suggestion.
The friend, eventually, got in touch with Zuri's family. And we were told to bring his corpse to their village, somewhere in Ogun State.
I, with some other guys, rushed down to the nearest police station to get a police report. We were gonna be delayed and extorted, but I had to use my connection with the top police guys.
Dark already. No ambulance. And we just had to use a Danfo to move Zuri to his village.
'He is the first child of his mother, and anytime he goes visiting the mother in the village, he buys beverages and all for her,' Zuri's neighbor told me.
Since yesterday, I am yet to fully understand what led to the death of a young man who sat beside me few hours before the announcement of his death.