Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Olatunbosun Babatunde Kosoko needs your help!
Olatunbosun Babatunde Kosoko, a 2009 Lagos State University graduate of International Relations is a descendant of the Kosoko family in Lagos. He was shot at the back by suspected armed robbers three years ago. This has affected his spinal cord and he has been going from one hospital to another. He talks about his predicaments to Taiwo Abiodun.
HE is fair in complexion and handsome. His dream after the completion of his course at the Lagos State University (LASU ), Ojo, was to work in an embassy if given the opportunity. Unfortunately, when he completed his studies he worked briefly in a private firm – Lagos Tertiary Institution Transport Corps – and was looking forward to working in an embassy when tragedy struck.
According to Olatunbosun Babatunde Kosoko,37, his travails started three years ago (on September 11, 2011)-when he was driving out to meet one of his friends who was preparing for a wedding. His story: “A friend of mine, (we call him Kenny),was preparing for his wedding and I was going to his place in order to assist him do shopping. When I left home on that Sunday morning, I never knew it would be my last outing or else I would have turned back home on seeing the heavy traffic. When I got to Agric Bus stop in Ikorodu area, I tried to avoid a gulley. Suddenly I heard a big bang on my Camry Car, and when I looked back, I saw two men on a motorbike (Okada). I again looked back whether I knew them but when their faces were not familiar, I kept on driving. As I attempted to drive into a filling station the two men crossed me again. I glanced at them to ascertain whether I knew them. They later pursued me and demanded for the golden necklace I was wearing, my wedding band, wrist watch, trinkets and the money I wanted to use to buy clothes as one of my friend’s grooms men. I quickly obeyed and quietly gave them all without objection and they left. But again, they in a jiffy returned to me and by this time they meant business. When I saw that one of them cocked his gun and was about to pull the trigger, I immediately sensed that he was going to shoot me and I quickly bowed my head to avoid hitting me on the head. Lo and behold, that was all I could remember until I heard the sound of a gunshot.”
In an emotion taden voice, he continued: “Four days later, I found myself on the hospital bed where I was told that I had been unconscious for four days. I learnt that I had been taken to Ikorodu General Hospital where I was rejected but later referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja . It was there that I was told that the bullet hit my thoracic 3 and 4 and I was operated on but was later told after the operation that there was possibility that I would lose my lower limbs. A surgery called ‘exploration of spinal cord canal’, was performed on me on September 23, of 2011.”
More problems after the operation
Kosoko said that at the hospital, the medical doctor confirmed his state of health, saying he would not be able to sit down not to talk of walking in his life again. “The doctor told me about 11days after the operation that the gun has done a severe damage to my spinal cord and that it had affected my number 3 and 4 spinal vertebra and that I would need another major operation in order to be able to be confined in a wheelchair for life if I am going to be well at all. The doctor advised that I should build on my upper limbs. I went from one hospital to another, I went to Eko Hospital where I underwent another surgery. I spent some months before I was later discharged. Later, I realised that one of my legs had swollen up and I was directed to a traditional bone – setter at Mile 12 where I stayed for two years. But there was no improvement – I couldn’t walk. I became devastated. I said many who have spinal cord injury can still sit up, but for me I couldn’t sit on a chair except lying on my back. I couldn’t standup too. I went to Igbobi Orthopedic Hospital to see how I could treat my swollen leg but the doctor after many X-rays said the bone in my pelvic had scattered and healed in a wrong place as the pelvic had been shattered by the gun. I was told this was serious. They said if they open it again it could degenerate to another thing.
“My problem continued as I came home and discovered that I could not pass urine as my system had been badly affected. There was no money to go to the hospital so a nurse was brought to me to fix catheter on my bladder but she blew the balloon and blood did not circulate in there. I became uncomfortable as I later discovered that there was no urine in the urine bag. I sent for her and when she removed the rubber blood was rushing out, which could fill an bottle of water. I collapsed and fainted because I had lost some pints of blood. I was later rushed to the hospital that night where another surgery was performed pending the time the urethra will be functioning on its own. They then performed a minor surgery and I had been using urine bag but blood was still coming out. I spent another one week at the hospital. Now, I am still using the catheter.”
According to Kosoko, the doctor had advised him to go to Israel for the surgery to enable him sit on the chair. He said, “I was told to go and do spinal cord operation in Israel so as to be able to sit on a chair. The doctor said the pellet broke my spine and left a big gap, he found out that the space was too big and it had affected my lower limbs, immediately the pellets went into my spinal cord it affected my bone, and I couldn’t push and my urination was no longer regular. I was going to the toilet 10 times a day until it went to once in a week, now the legs gap has become tiny.”
Deserted by family and friends
Kosoko claims he only sees very few of his friends now as many have deserted him. He said: “When I was working and making money, I assisted many but when I had this problem some were coming until they stopped. I was on a temporary employment and it was a private job and the job had stopped since my family had deserted me, only few of my friends come here. But I thank the few who remembered I had assisted them when I was still agile for they gathered money to rent this self – contained apartment for me and my wife last year September. I was not close to my biological father because I grew up in Owo in Ondo State with my maternal father whom I bore his name until I gained admission to the university.”
Kosoko said he does not want to be a burden to anybody so he had wanted the operation done if he can only sit on a wheelchair for life. “I want the operation to be done because all my friends have tried their best. My wife has tried but it would get to a point when she too would be tired of my problem, and one cannot blame her.”
Don’t let me die!
Kosoko is appealing for assistance from good -spirited Nigerians. He lamented: “I came home to stay waiting for death. I realised that I had bedsore, I was bed wetting and I am just lying on my back all along. My held dream had been shattered and I am unable to fulfill my long dream and ambition -no thanks to the wicked armed robbers that struck. The gunshot which affected my numbers 3 and 4 spinal cords resulted in many complications. Now, I cannot sit or shift my body except I am carried or lifted up or turned.” as he was talking, he was groaning in pains. His two legs had started withering and going numb while from his waist downwards he has remained motionless – he could no longer lift or move his body on his own.
In tears, he appealed: “Please, Oga Journalist I cannot stand up or sit on my own. This is how I had been lying for the past three years. Now I am developing bedsore, and I know the implications.” He continued, “I had been told that I will not be able to walk again but I shall be able to sit on a wheelchair if the surgery is performed.”
But one thing about him is that he wants to live and does not want to be a burden because, according to him, his hands and brain are still very active. Exuding confidence and with sincerity he added, ” I know I cannot walk or stand on my feet for life but let me be sitting on a wheel chair to enable me do something and not be totally useless and be a burden on anybody.
“We had gone to series of places and they said I am going to spend about N6.5million for the surgery. I will do another scan before the end of this month,” he said.
His wife, Oluwakemi Meminat Kosoko, also a graduate of Business Studies from LASU said “since he was shot my world has crashed.”
She is unhappy that she had been denied the joys of marital life, “We courted for six years and after our marriage the devil crawled in. I felt bad because I didn’t enjoy my marriage.”