John Udosen, an eyewitness to a fatal accident in Lagos on Thursday night, has lamented the delay in accessing medical attention for a victim who was rushed to the General Hospital at Ile-Epo, near Iyana-paja.
John and his friend rushed Moyosore Sonuga to the hospital at about 10pm after he was overrun by an overspeeding driver while trying to cross the road at Abule Egba area of the state.
He added that another person was also hit by the vehicle but was rescued by other eyewitnesses.
According to John, the doctor on duty at the General Hospital was unwilling to treat the patient until they were able to raise funds to buy the drugs prescribed to him.
“At first, the doctor and the rest of the staff were nonchalant about the emergency condition. We were later asked to get some drugs before he could be attended to. We told them we had no money on us and had to call people to raise funds while some other patients made contributions to augment the cost of the drugs,” he said.
“This man could have survived because he was still talking for some time. He only suffered concussion but there was still enough time to revive him if the doctor had come to his rescue on time.”
“It was after over one hour that the doctor then directed us to clean up his wound so he could be properly taken care of. By that time, it was already too late for him.”
John found the victim’s wallet in his pocket and was able to reach out to the latter’s family through it.
When the doctor spoke with Wale, the elder brother of the deceased, Wale vehemently said John should be held accountable for Moyosore’s death, insisting he shouldn’t be allowed to leave until their own family was there the next morning.
The deceased’s family also alerted Ile-Epo Police Station about the issue. A police officer simply identified as ‘SUPOL Adisa’ swore to John on the phone that he would not be held accountable for the death of someone he was only helping.
John was however scared by the tone of phone conversation between him and the deceased’s family member.
His words: “The manner with which the brother spoke with me on the phone was too harsh. They were trying to hold me responsible just because I tried helping an accident victim.”
After the intervention of Twitter user Toluwalase Rasaq, who facilitated connection with several lawyers and security activists through social media, John honoured the police invitation with some lawyers.
Wale, the deceased’s elder brother, told FIJ that the family was no longer holding John responsible for the incident, although they were yet to establish all the facts of the matter.
“I have apologised to John for overreacting to the news of the accident. If he was in my shoes, I believe he would behave the same way too,” he said.
“I have visited the scene of the event with the police and we have indeed gathered that John was only a good samaritan although we still haven’t been able to trace the driver that hit my brother.”
FIJ checked the time stamps on the pictures and videos uploaded on Twitter after the incident and confirmed that the time difference between the posting of the first accident picture and the news of the death was at least one hour.
When FIJ visited the hospital to seek comments on Saturday, four staff said they were not on duty when the incident happened.
One of them, a doctor who asked to be anonymous, defended the hospital, saying: “That person obviously can not be managed here. What is wrong with him is bigger than this facility because treatment of head injury is not a small thing.
“To say that nothing was done for the patient till his death is not fair. This facility does not have a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon to adequately attend to that peculiar case. The staff can just give him basic resuscitation before transferring him to a hospital like LASUTH.”
The hospital’s public relations officer was also not available but FIJ made a call to made to one of the mobile numbers pasted at the Administrative corridor for emergencies.
The recipient, suspected to be a top official, advised the journalist to return on Monday to speak with the “appropriate authorities to get the facts about the issues”.
The 34-year-old deceased is survived by a wife.
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