Nollywood performing artist, John Okafor, well known to be Mr Ibu has cut a specialty for himself in the film business, prominently to be a comic on-screen character, yet in a late meeting with Punch, he has uncovered that regardless of his dedication to making individuals to laugh, he has had cause to be troubled, much intense, on a few events.
As per Okafor, carelessness with respect to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) had a part to play in the 2011 death of his 2 year old child who had quite recently been discharged from kidnappers.
He was bitter to the point that he nearly established a court activity against the administration of the hospital.
The matter was actually between the Paediatric Department of the hospital and me. It was in 2011. My wife and our two-year-old son had been kidnapped. After I paid the ransom demanded and they were released by the kidnappers, I returned to Lagos from Enugu.
“Then on January 18, 2011, my son fell ill. He was diagnosed with inflammation of the liver. The hospital suggested that he should be scanned. At the same time, I was informed that I could take my son out of the hospital to get the scan done elsewhere. But the same people later declined, saying that everything had to be done in the hospital because he was too weak to be taken outside.
“After a while, I was told that there was no electricity in the hospital. When I asked if there was no standby generator, they said there was no fuel in it. I offered to pay for fuel only to be told that the man that operated the generator was not around. When I left the place and got back later, the man still had not returned. Then I was advised to write an application and to submit to the admin department.”
In the wake of composing the application, Okafor found that there was no one to get and treat it. While he was holding up, he was informed that his child’s condition required blood transfusion.
The movie character did everything conceivable to guarantee that the weak kid was given treatment at the healing center, yet his endeavors were vain. At long last, the young man surrendered the ghost.
“That was how my son died. Later, one of the doctors came to me and, without even sympathising with me, asked if I could release my boy’s corpse to him so that they could cut it open and use it to teach other medical students. In that moment, I felt like committing murder for the first time in my life.
“When I told my lawyer what happened at the hospital, he was shocked. He said it was actionable. I told him that I was ready to take the hospital management to court and sue it for $100 million in damages because my son’s death was caused by the carelessness of the professionals whose duty was to save his life. But my lawyer advised me to let go”.