By Jude Atupulazi
Benson Udeh, Anambra based grassroots football coach who has been bedridden for two years, has called on Nigerians to come to his assistance to enable him to recover from his injury.
Udeh who is down with spinal cord injury made the appeal while speaking with newsmen in Awka last Tuesday.
He said he had been without medical attention since December, 2017 when he was forced to leave the hospital due to lack of financial assistance.
It will be recalled that the coach was involved in an automobile accident in June 2016 on his way to the finals of the maiden Willie Obiano Academicals Football Competition.
He was leading his team, Community Secondary School, Aguluezechukwu Football Club to the final competition against Community Secondary School, Isuanocha, when their vehicle crashed at Oba-Nnewi road.
Narrating his ordeal, Udeh said he had spent the last two years shuttling between Chukwuemeka Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Memphis Specialist Hospital Enugu, COOUTH again and National Orthopedic Hospital Enugu.
‘As we were on the way to honour the final match, we got involved in a road accident, what I could remember again was that I found myself in the emergency ward of COOUTH.
‘I saw people visiting me, even His Excellency came to see me a day later, but I could neither move my hands nor legs, later I was told it was a spinal cord injury and I had to undergo specialist operations.
‘I must thank Gov. Willie Obiano who directed that I should be treated on the bill of the state, and also Dr Lawrence Ikeakor, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, who ensured that I was stabilised and taken to Memphis, Enugu.
‘After spending two months at Memphis, I returned COOUTH and was referred National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, where I spent 11 months. All this while, I was on a stretcher. I could neither stand nor sit.
‘After some time, the assistance stopped coming, and the hospital management started disturbing me, telling me that I had to go.
‘At this point, my family raised some money and paid part of my bill before I left in December, 2017, for my apartment, and since then, I have been in this house without check up or treatment because there is no money,’ he lamented.
Udeh said he had to cry to the Nigerian public because the Anambra Government, through the Commissioner for Health, said the allowance for medical assistance had been exhausted.
He said his condition had relapsed and that he needed another corrective surgery with full physiotherapy treatment to get him back to normal life.
The distraught coach said he had been referred to a specialist hospital in India and that he needed about N16.5 million to make the journey and get the treatment.
I’m afraid that all hope may have been lost and I don’t want to die or remain in this condition, I still want to contribute to discovering and mentoring young talents.
‘According to the doctors, I need about N16.5 million to come back to normal life. I will be glad if I can get assistance to go to India for this treatment, I am begging Nigerians to come to my aid,’ he said.
Those who are touched by Udeh’s plight can reach him through
Fidelity Bank account: 6052142791 UDEH Benson Chukwudi.