Mystery man Died but woke up thrice
It is commonplace to die, but uncommon to struggle back to life from the grip of death. But it is absolutely rare to go through this feat three times.
Meanwhile, the man that has experienced this historic life-death dingdong in triple bouts is alive to tell the story.
Mr. Ikechukwu Obiorah is the mystery man Abuja Metro found and listened to his rare tale of getting used to making a toy of death so many times. Maybe, the death track and back to life must have become a familiar road to Obiorah that he might be one of the few that are immuned to the dread and awe human beings attach to death. Possibly, the ordeal of his sport with death and back to life would make a good documentary to unveil the mystery of death and lay bare the unknown factor attached to it over the ages.
Obiorah's uncommon feat has not left him without so much wear and tear. The vagaries of the tough road he has travelled three times both ways show in the loss of his four limbs, his memory, kidney and voice. But the wife who has also been a victim of weeping and laughter three times, during the incidents of her husband's passing out and coming to is the one that actually has the voice to narrate the ordeal. She said: “God made my husband regain them all, because of my faith.”
Prior to May 24, 2014, Obiorah and his wife, Rose, were happy with their five kids living in their home in Kubwa Abuja, until stroke struck him on a Monday he was preparing to go about his daily business.
The 44-year-old transporter was having his bath that fateful morning when he started shouting that his head ached. He started vomiting, gasping for breath and eventually collapsed, and the family called out for help and neighbours came to help to take him to the hospital.
He was unconscious, desperate and dying. Getting to the neighbourhood hospital, Kingscare hospital, Kubwa, the facility could not handle him. He was immediately transferred to the public hospital in Kubwa where the wife was told that he had suffered stroke, and that his kind of stroke, only one of hundred survive it.
He was moved to another hospital in Gwagwalada as he was not attended to and then Garki Hospital where his treatment eventually started.
Death number one
As he came down with severe stroke, HE had rivers of blood inside his brain and was already out with little breath. He needed an emergency operation, which they could not afford. Fortunately, a doctor at the Garki Hospital, Dr. Biodun, was touched and signed an undertaking for the family.
After the emergency brain scan, he was rushed into the theatre where two drains channels were put in his head to remove blood clots. Tubes were passed through his neck to enable him stay alive as he could not breath and his teeth were clenched. He was literary dead to the world.
According to the doctor, Biodun Ogungbo: “After the emergency brain scan, we rushed him into the theatre and put two drains in his head to remove blood clots.
This released the massive pressure on his brain. However, he remained unconscious, dead to the world and had to be transferred to the intensive care unit for a machine to breath for him. We intubated him by passing a tube through the mouth, the neck, his throat and into the lungs. This helped him breath and so sustained his life.”
Death number two
After ten days when the doctors decided to remove the tube thinking it was safe then, he died immediately.
“After about ten days we decided to drill a hole directly in his throat, (tracheostomy) to help him breathe. This helps us in in cleaning the chest and reduces the work of breathing in patients who cannot breathe well by themselves. On removing the tube at what we thought was a safe period, he deteriorated immediately and died in his bed. He could not breathe as his throat had swollen shut and cut off air going into the lungs.
We rushed to resuscitate him, keep him alive and then secured the tube back into his lungs with great difficulty. Luckily, he rallied round and survived this second ordeal,” said the doctor.
Death number three
According to the wife, he died on his own later on, after the two ordeals he had survived. He was alrady being moved into the mortuary as she was wailing and begging the doctor to do something because she still believed the husband was not dead even though it was clear he was.
According to her, two weeks before the third death, the doctors called her during their meeting and told her that anything can happen now, as they have tried all they could medically and his condition was terrible.
“ I told them to be patient with me, seeing his tiny breath. I still believed, I knew he would survive and I called on God to handle the matter. They agreed because they saw how determined I was, because I was all about doing anything I can. I didn't want to say anything negative. That night I got sick. Although, as human being and with the things I saw, I knew that anything can happen at anytime but I just believed God because I didn't want to give up or accept the negative. I kept having faith.”
The third death was normal death on its own. He just gave up, his tongue was all out with spittle and his eyes had already turned white. That very day I went out and they called me as they will not like to move him to the mortuary without me seeing for myself, because we had stayed in the hospital for a long time and according to the matron, she knew how far we had gone. When I came, I held him, and called on God, when I was crying they wheeled him out, all the doctors in Garki hospital came, pressing him, beating him all over his body, giving him medication, trying to resuscitate him, because they felt like, if we had tried the first and second times, let's see what we can do. After two to three hours they called me, and when I came, I saw him smiling.” She narrated with tears.
The doctor also told Abuja Metro that his kidney had literary packed up.
“Part of the management of this type of stroke is to shrink the brain, thus reducing the pressure inside the skull. We use a drug called mannitol. This is the type of sugar that draws water out of the brain to reduce swelling. The same drug is removed through the kidneys, and in large doses can damage the kidneys. Well that is exactly what happened.”
His kidneys packed up and stopped removing dirt, poisonous waste from the body. The waste was killing him again. He became swollen like the famous Michelin Man, full of water and waste that the body could not get rid of.”
After the ordeal, Obiorah had dialysis every week for months till his kidneys recovered sufficiently to do the job themselves. The man lived. They were four of them who went through the operation (tracheostomy), the other three died, and he is the only one that survived it. However, he does not remember these trying times, but the wife who stood by him through these times had all the story to tell.
After five months he came out of the Intensive Care Unit, he started recovering gradually. Already, he was all shrank after the dialysis. He lost his memory, was even taught to talk again, and the wife had to introduce the children to him.
“It is the grace of God that kept us and made me stand by him, with all the times I had lost hope.
Throughout the six months I only came home twice, I was with him all through, although my sister was taking care of the kids at home,” she said.
“After he was discharged, the bill was over N5.7m and we could only pay N1.2m. My salary is N63,000 every month, I signed an undertaking to pay N30,000 every month, but I couldn't meet up, being the only source of income and we are nine in the home, in addition to a child I am taking care of. Now I can only pay N10,000 a month and I have gone to plead with the hospital to give me more time. He is supposed to be going for routine check, but can barely do. He lost his hand, leg, memory, kidney, voice, but God replaced them all and we are recovering step by step, it's just the burden of the bill.”
Speaking to Obiorah on how he is doing,' he spoke calmly in few words.
“I feel ok now, and by God's grace I am ok. Anybody that is touched by my plight can help in paying the bill, and I will remain grateful.”
Living at heavy cost
“We have tried and successfully saved him from death, but this came at great cost. All the cares were carried out by the hospital and the family still owes over N5m. The hospital has reduced his bills substantially. The National Evangelical Mission and the Ministry of Niger Delta have also helped. I waived my fee for his care. He needs to go home and resume his life from where he left out. But Obiorah will continue to be poor, broke and broken without your help,” said Doctor Biodun.
The family needs help to offset his huge bills at the hospital. His account number for assistance is, Marius Ikechukwu Obiorah, Diamond Bank, 001867568 or Zenith Bank, 2009823354