HealthThe Stethoscope

A Wicked Weekend in Abuja

This last weekend in Abuja, was well, wicked!
Wicked, as in packed full of fun and happenings. I mean a roller-coaster from Friday to Sunday. So many ups and downs it made one dizzy just thinking about it. The question is this, ‘What kind of weekend did you have? Was it anywhere as action packed as our weekend in Abuja?
Shall we compare notes?


Jaja and her kids
The little ones from the comprehensive special government school in Nasarawa State were in town. These children led by Head of School, Mrs Baerbel Jaja, travelled from Lafia to Abuja for MRI brain scans of the brain. We were looking to conduct research into their peculiar conditions and health challenges. You see, these are special children with varying degrees of disability including autism.

Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura
The Nasarawa State government created opportunities for vulnerable citizens in the state when it created and equipped the school with modern facilities to ease teaching and learning of children with special needs. The state governor, Umaru Tanko Almakura explained that the special school is to provide individual care to children with learning difficulties. Anyway, we wanted to see their brains and what we can learn, how we can help in making improvements to their health and learning. So, we got Mrs Baerbel to bring the kids and their parent to Abuja, supported by the governor’s largess, of course.

Lifebridge Diagnostic Centre
Lifebridge Medical and Diagnostic Centre provided free medical services and comprehensive MRI scan of the brain for the children. The centre was absolutely brilliant in caring for the comfort of the kids and ensuring they were calm throughout the procedures.

Alliance Hospital, Abuja
Alliance Hospital also opened its doors and its heart to the children and performed many MRI scans of the brain for the kids. The hospital did not charge a single kobo even if the event disrupted the normal Friday schedule in no small way. The MRI scans will definitely enable the school and the parents to improve development programs of the children, preparing them for a brighter future.

(From right: Dr Chris Otabor, Mrs Jaja Baerbel and some of the kids from Comprehensive Special Government School, Nasarawa).

Meanwhile, another baby we operated upon with a brain tumour on Thursday developed a complication that required further emergency surgery. We got the team together and were back in theatre Friday evening, solving problems. Honestly, brain tumour surgery in Nigeria is never a walk in the park and keeps you on your toes even long after discharge from hospital. Anything can happen and it often does!

One bad back deserves another
Did we rest on Saturday? Go out partying? Did we, heck? Of course not! Mrs J has a long history of back pain and was in severe pains. She cannot stand for long, cannot walk to save her own life and has a miserable time daily with bilateral and disabling leg pains. She demanded an operation and we were only too happy to help.

The team assembled at 6 am and proceeded to perform a spinal decompression surgery on her. This means taking the pressure off the nerves supplying her legs, freeing them and thus helping to alleviate the pains in the legs and her intense suffering.
The joy on her face after the successful operation was indescribable. We were so chuffed we went out to Chicken Republic for guess what, Chicken! Oh, right! One bad back deserves a good chicken!

The banker
Okay, the one impressive patient we had on Saturday night was a banker. A retired but not tired 60 something year old.
Two issues with him.
A banker!
A father of many, many children!
And a terrible back!
His back was as old as Methuselah!

We suppose sitting for long periods (hours upon hours) and sex takes its toll on your back.
We cannot wait to see the MRI scan of that House of Representative member.
Four wives and 27 children later!

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