My name is Mark and I have a wife and two beautiful daughters. Ella and Favour. Despite the unfavourable economy in Nigeria. I still strive to provide for my family. I make a living by shuttling people around town on a motorbike which is a popular method of transportation.
We call it Okada where I’m from. Things changed unexpectedly when I was out working one day. I remember seeing myself hurled through the air about 7 feet off the ground. The next thing I know, medics were working on my leg that was twisted at an impossible angle.
I was in severe pains but I managed to see that they were trying to straighten out my mangled leg in a splint. They did everything to stabilise me and stop the bleeding but my family declined the orthopedic surgeon’s further intervention to repair the fracture I had in my right lower leg. For financial reasons obviously.
A family member claimed to know a traditional “bone setter” who was good at “treating” every fracture or debilitating condition known to man including spinal cord injuries. Hard to believe right? That’s how they make bogus claims and end up achieving nothing.
I didn’t have a say in the decision making because my family’s financial involvement with the medical bills left me with little to no choice. That’s how I was transferred from the specialist hospital to a herbalist’s shrine and my nightmare began.
I used to believe that wounds and open sores should be tended with clean dressing materials to prevent infection from getting in and promote healing. My experience there however was a total scare. Every alternate day, the herbalist would come with a very pepperish paste of a constitution I had no idea.
This he would apply to the wound and bandage on till the next 2 days. This didn’t feel therapeutic or helpful to my shattered and exposed bones. This was my ordeal for a whole month. Surprising thing was, he had this quack nurse who always came over, to jab us antibiotic shots we didn’t know the names and were forbidden to ask.
I wasn’t the only client he had at the moment. He even had on “admission” at his “facility” a young man of about 32 years old who fell from a scaffold and injured his neck. The lad couldn’t move any part of his body except twitch his face. He had developed advanced pressure sores all over his body without any improvement despite being there for over 2 months.
Still our “healer” kept claiming all was well and telling people he was improving. This was so he could keep siphoning money from them. Typically when family members are tired of the lack of improvement. They move their people to another facility. Usually to the orthodox centers they had been running from and start the treatment process afresh. This time with non remediable complications from the past failed unorthodox interventions.
I knew after being there a month that there was a huge problem. It was at this time I and my wife began secretly looking for another solution. She spoke with someone who introduced her to a nurse. An external health care provider was forbidden on the said “healers” premises.
In other to get expert care and avoid losing my limb. I made a fateful decision and went against my families wishes. Two things the nurse from ‘nursing hands international organization’ pointed out that really fueled my resolve was : I was going to lose my leg ultimately if the sepsis didn’t kill me. The other was; he had never seen open wounds managed in such awful ways.
I left. And with his full support I got proper wound debridement and expert orthopedic attention. The nurse came to my house and helped with wound dressing and progress evaluation for about another month. Hooking me up with other relevant health care personnels like the physiotherapist.
I can say I’m am much better now though I use a walking aid. Though I almost lost my leg, I’m happy to be alive and healthy.
A big thank you to the nurses at nursing hands.