By Mercy Hill
Hello Inspirational Personality page lovers, we hope you have been following the trail of this inspiring personality, Rev Sr Dr Joyce Chika Ezeugo. From a young girl who hawked in the streets of Onitsha, Anambra State, to a Religious and a renowned medical doctor. This week her story continues with part four…
Sr Chika Ezeugo (continuing on her role as a medical doctor during the bomb blast at St Theresa’s Catholic Church at Madala, Suleja, Abuja, on Sunday, December 25, 2011):
After the whole scenario, I left the scene. Even after leaving, I did not know there were people that gave gifts to people I was working with but never set their eyes on me. They worried as to why they could not find me even after looking so hard for me.
Encounter with a Muslim from Borno
When I was working in the emergency unit in 2012, one prominent Muslim man whose son had an accident that affected his spinal cord and brain was admitted in the hospital. On the third day of his stay in the hospital, I came and met his parents who were already losing hope.
I tried giving them some words of encouragement not to lose hope on the boy. His mother is an Egyptian, while his father a Nigerian from Borno State. Whenever I asked them to get medication, I noticed they delayed. I thought they did not have the money or maybe they had been told that the boy’s chances for survival were slim.
Because of their hesitations to buy drugs, I had to cough out some money from my pocket to get the drugs for them with intent to get the money back if the boy got well. I never knew they were stinkingly rich. With their appearance, I only thought it was an average class family.
When I administered the drugs on the sick boy, we discovered the boy started responding to treatment and he was immediately transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The boy after picking up, was taken to Cairo in Egypt, where the mother came from.
After sometime, the boy survived and was in a wheel chair for some years before he regained his health back. The man went home and told his people how a Christian woman helped in saving his son’s life and that he wanted to reward the person.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. B.B. Shehu, called and told me of the family’s intension to sponsor my education to any university of my choice in the world because I attended to their son well. I told him I do not have answers to their kind gestures; that he should talk to my Superior General.
The man came afterwards. Although he does not speak with me directly, he usually informs his wife about his intensions and the wife in turn will speak to me.
This Muslim man had to fly down to Umuahia with his aides to see the Mother General. After he had met with the Mother General, she had to come to the hospital to see things herself. When all of these were happening, the son of the Muslim man was already moved from the ICU to a private ward.
When the Mother General arrived, people were wondering why he as a Muslim would be going too close to Christians, especially the Catholic Religious, like me.
After all she saw, my superior granted their request and asked them to get the university. When I was asked of a choice of university, I told them that I didn’t know any school. So, the wife got two schools for me: one in United Kingdom and the other in Germany.
Having considered the fact that I had to run a course in the United Kingdom, I opted for Germany. Prof. Shehu, on hearing this, told me not to go, that he would allow me do my specialization – a request he declined some time ago. I told him I will think about it.
The school fees for the study as at the time was €16,000.00 and accommodation €1,200. The man paid half of the money without delay. When the news got to the ears of many, his people started threatening fire and brimstone. That why would he judge a Christian the best. They claimed that I only carried out my job the way any other person would. To them, it was nothing special.
The threats became too much that they had to cancel the scholarship and cut off any contact with me. The wife, whom through whom the husband was speaking to me, told me that their lives were already in danger given the threats they had received because of me.
She equally told me they would be leaving with their son to Cairo. Although they had not finished with the scholarship before disconnecting with me; they had already made half payment of the tuition (€8,000) and they left me with other expenses.
John Cardinal Onaiyekan’s Connection
Fortunately for me, when I got to Abuja and this problem came forth, I was introduced to Cardinal Onaiyekan. When he heard my story, the Cardinal felt bad about it. He said for the fact that I was treated unfairly as a Christian, he was going to split the remaining part of the bill into two, and that he would pay half of it.
He went further to call Sen. David Mark, who was the Senate President at the time and informed him of what had happened and told him they had turned it to Muslim-Christian strife. At that time, Prof. B.B. Shehu told me I should go with what was given to me by the Muslim family and do anything with it and that he was giving me a placement to do my specialization at the National Hospital, Abuja. Someone advised me not to heed to his line of thought and that it would be on record that a Muslim family sponsored me for this course.
Emir of Madala’s Connection
As the stories where springing, I did not know how it got to the Emir of Madala. On seeing me, when he came to the hospital, he recognized I was the only Doctor in the hospital that rescued victims of bomb blast in 2011. He said he had been looking for me to no avail and asked where I had been? I referred him to the Cardinal.
After all was said and done, Sen. David Mark completed the remaining part of the fee with the accommodation and other logistics. Cardinal Onaiyekan also added his. In fact, I had more than enough when I travelled to Germany for studies.
To be continued…