By Uche Amunike
I went to my hairdressers' shop exactly a week ago to have my nails and hair taken care of. It was on a Sunday evening. The weather was really hot and I was almost losing my mind as a result of the heat when I heard the beep of my phone signifying a text message just came in. I reluctantly and lazily checked my phone to know who sent the text. The moment I eventually checked it, I realized it was a number unknown to me. I clicked on the message and it was a young man whose friend's wife had just put to bed. It happened that the lady gave birth to Quintuplets. Yes! She was delivered of five lovely girls at the same time. The young man asked me in his text message if it was possible for me to use the news right here in my column.
Well, I wasn't too sure I wanted to use it as I had a lot on my table to write about especially concerning the election. However, when he called me later at night and told me that the young lady gave up the ghost, I knew I had no choice than to use the story. I was able to interview the young widower and bereaved father of the quintuplets much later that same night and therefore bring to you, the excerpts of my discussion with him.
Please read on. . .
Kindly let us meet you.
I am Mr Uchenna Onyejekwe. I hail from Amaigbo in Nwangene LGA of Imo State. I am an electrician. I do house wiring.
So, what really happened? Let's hear your story.
What happened was that my wife was pregnant, so we were attending ante-natal in one hospital belonging to our family doctor at Umuoji. So, this January, my wife went for scan. So the scan showed us that my wife was carrying about four babies. So, on January 28th, my friend's wife that works at Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba who we visited after she gave birth, advised us to go and register for ante-natal at FMC where she gave birth. That was after my wife explained the situation of things to her that we found out through the scan that she was carrying four babies. She encouraged us to go to FMC, Asaba where there are better facilities. After consulting with one of my cousins who is a doctor in Lagos, if FMC has good equipments, and if we should register there, he agreed that it was a good place. I told him that her legs were swollen, her body was changing, everything. And he said yes, that we should go to FMC. Even our family doctor agreed with us that it was a good hospital and even came there with us. On that day, we got there, he showed them the scan result and everything. Then, after seeing my wife, they said that since she is still in her 7th month, they will do an operation as she won't be able to have a normal delivery. So, they said they will do the operation on that day and then I looked at everything and said, okay let them do it so that she will be happy. I provided everything that was needed and they wheeled her into the theatre around 7.30pm on that night of 28th January. After the operation, they came out and informed me us that she was delivered of not the four babies we were expecting, but five. They were five baby girls. We were happy. Then I asked them, what about my wife? They told me that she was in the recovery room and was still recovering. I said okay. Then, after sometime, I saw them carrying my wife with their stretcher. I asked them and they said that her condition has changed and that they were rushing her to the intensive care unit (ICU). I saw the oxygen and other computer gadgets they put on her as they were rushing her to the ICU. I called the doctor and asked him what was happening, that I saw them rushing my wife to the ICU. He told me that my wife had entered Coma. Shortly after that, I kept disturbing them and they said I should cool down. I couldn't believe it. The next thing, the doctor told me that she had a cardiac arrest. I was like, what is happening? If I want to enter where she is, they will not allow me to enter. I pleaded to them to allow me to see my wife so that I can even talk to her because she might recognize my voice. They refused to let me enter. After a while, they told me that she had recovered a little bit. I said okay. On the following day, she entered a second cardiac arrest. I was like, what is happening? In the morning, they called me that they needed Plasma Blood. Already, I had bought 3 pints of blood before. But this time, the one they needed was Plasma blood which I can only get at Nnewi at the cost of twenty-five thousand Naira (25,000), with an extra five thousand Naira for the driver that will bring it, making it thirty thousand Naira only (30,000). I pleaded with them that I had already spent so much and didn't have up to 30,000 on me, except about 15,000 I had left on me. I told them I will call my sister, instead. While discussing this, some good Samaritans in the hospital that heard about us rushed to us and said they were ready to do anything to assist in saving my wife's life so that she will be able to take care of her five children. They were the ones that paid for the Plasma Blood and even the driver. So, later in the afternoon, the doctor came out and broke the news that my wife was dead. Just like that.
So, that means she recovered, but died on the very next day.
Yes. According to them. Since after that operation, I didn't talk to her. I didn't see her. Even when they said that she was in the recovery room, I don't know whether she was okay. In fact, I just don't know. All I know is that I didn't talk to her. Even when she was in the emergency unit, I wanted to enter there, they didn't allow me. Right now, I thank God that my five daughters are still alive. They are in the incubator now.
So, what's the condition of your daughters now?
They are getting better, but the only thing is that since that day that they came into the world, the nurses and doctors have been carrying out one test to another on them, everyday. I buy the drugs they have been prescribing and when I don't have, I would call on friends to come and rescue me. I don't want anything to happen to them. Even some good Samaritans still come around to bring pampers and some clothes for them. So, the children are okay.
I am sorry about your loss. Your wife has died and has left behind five daughters and a struggling young husband who is trying to make ends meet. So, the truth remains that you need help which is why I offered to push this news to the world. So, tell them your message.
I am appealing to the general public and the state government to help me in any way they can, most especially financially. I want to take very good care of my daughters. Right now, my own mother and my wife's mother are right here taking care of them and I am the one still catering for them because they have abandoned their businesses and I have to take care of them and their children. So, I seriously need financial help so I will be able to take care of my children properly.
How old was your late wife?
She was twenty-nine years old.
Was it her first pregnancy?
Yes. It was our first pregnancy.
How old was your union?
Two years old. We wedded in October 2017.
What do you intend to do about your daughters? Do you intend to take care of them yourselves or will you take them to motherless babies homes till they are old and strong enough to stay with you?
I want to take care of them myself. That is why I am appealing to everyone reading this to come to my aid. I need financial assistance. Taking care of five girls is not easy in our country, but by God's grace, I will take care of them with the help of my mother and my wife's mother. They are here already taking care of the girls. The doctors have been helpful by providing medical assistance so far and have promised to assist the two mothers by teaching them all they need to know about taking care of the children.
Please take heart, Mr Uchenna Onyejekwe. May the good Lord console you. I pray that her soul rests in peace.
My dear readers, there isn't much more to say because he has said it all. His story is a sad one and I can only appeal to everyone reading this to offer him financial assistance no matter how little. Those babies deserve to live. Nature already cheated them at birth by making them motherless. Since death robbed them of the joy of experiencing a mother's love, we can do so much by assisting them with money or other gifts. God bless you as you do this. Amen.
His Account details are: Chinonso Paschaline Onyejekwe. First Bank 3134364923. God bless you as you help a young man and his quintuplets survive this ordeal. Thank u!