By Ikeugonna Eleke
Mrs Ujuka Ifediba, a patient at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awka, has cried out to Nigerians to assist her offset the balance of her medical bill to enable her to go home after nearly three years.
Ifediba said she was tired of celebrating successive Christmas periods in the hospital and needed to go home to join her family for this year’s celebration.
Speaking to Fides at the hospital, the patient said a container had fallen on her in Lagos in 2017, inflicting hip and lower limb injuries on her.
She said she had been discharged since October 29, 2019, after three major surgeries, but could not go home because she needed the sum of N465, 000, about $1,292, to complete the payment of her bill to the hospital.
She said her family could no longer bear the cost of her ailment as they had stood behind her, taking care of her since her travail, and paid about N1 million from the total bill.
Ifediba, an indigene of Umuoji, Idemili South Council Area of Anambra State, pleaded that she would like to spend 2019 Christmas with members of her family in her home after celebrating it twice in the hospital.
‘I have been here for a year and seven months following an accident I had where a container hit me on my back. I have been to the theatre for three times now and finally they have discharged me. They said I should go for now and that was on October 29; but I cannot go home because we have not settled our bill.
‘My total bill was N1, 424, 920 and the balance is N464, 920. That is what we need to pay now so that I can go home. Now COOUTH doctors are on strike, so I am on my own.
‘I have spent the last two Christmas outside my home but I am appealing to Nigerians to come and help me so that I can come out of this prison. I want to go home and celebrate with my family and loved ones,’ she pleaded.
She said those wishing to assist her should pay to Ifediba Christiana Uju: Zenith Bank Number; 2252875025.
Dr Ifeanyi Ezeobi, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who handled Ifebida’s condition, said she had a complicated case of pelvis and femur fractures which had been operated upon but yet to fully heal.