AGONY OF A WIDOW: CRIES OUT TO JONATHAN OVER N4M MEDICAL BILL
A 43-year old widow whose husband was murdered in cold blood by robbers in 2007 has cried to President Goodluck Jonathan to save her from impending death and spare the children the agony of being orphaned prematurely.
Mrs. Rouana Kieriama, who hails from Bayelsa state is now paralyzed from her shoulder down and has been confined to a wheel chair as a result of stroke. She needs about N4 million to go for treatment in India.
It was bliss cut short when dare-devil robbers killed her husband in their home at Sabon Lugbe, near the Federal Housing Estate, Abuja on April 6, 2007. Rouana, who until then was doing very well as a trader is now a shadow of her old self as she now depends on the goodwill of people around her to survive.
Until his very untimely death, the husband the late Ebinabo Kieriama, was the president of the Association of Bayalsa State Indigenes resident in Abuja (ABSIA). Kieriama retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria before he was murdered in the presence of his wife and children. The story of the gruesome murder of Kieriama was first published in Saturday Sun on Arpil, 14, 2007. Then, the widow had told the sad story of how the robbers snuffed life out of her husband before her very eyes, shooting him in the head and hitting him with iron rods.
Since then, life has never been the same. To save herself and the children from the abiding nightmare, she had moved out of the home which the husband had built with his gratuity.
Interestingly, the news of the death of the ABSIA president, attracted the attention of Jonathan, who was then governor of Bayelsa state. He had paid a condolence visit to the bereaved widow and her children on April 11, 2007 with a promise to assist. A similar visit by both the wife of the president Dame Patience Jonathan with the wife of the Bayelsa state governor, Mrs. Alayingi Sylva, followed, also with promises to assist the widow and her children. Up until now, she has not heard from them, and beieves it might be as a result of their respective tight schedules.
The widow who has been confined to a three sitter chair in their living room at the Bayelsa Gloryland Court located on 16, Alexander Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, has gone through untold hardships since the death of her husband who left her with seven children to cater for. In her present condition, all she does is just stare at people as she can hardly talk. Her speech has been impaired as a result of the stroke which affected her coordination, and one can hardly hear what she is saying. She can hardly do anything on her own, including feeding. And her children, who are all in school help with bathing, dressing, and feeding her before they leave for school everyday and leave her in the hands of God and good neighbours until they come back from school.
However, in spite of all these, this bedridden widow, described as very hardworking by her neighbours, still believes it is her duty to provide for her children and has not given up her responsibilities as she sells mineral drinks and recharge cards which can barely take care of her drugs.
To add insult to injury, her only source of hope, her car, which they used to convey her to the hospital for physiotherapy every now and then, was impounded by officials of the Vehicle Inspectorate Office(VIO), when the driver went to buy some drugs from a pharmaceutical store.
Her ill-health started sometimes in 2008 when she started suffering from arthritis and high blood pressure. She went to the Maitama General Hospital where she was given some medication and advised to go for physiotherapy, which she did. However, rather than her situation improving, it got worse by the day and when the medical team there could no longer handle her case, she was transferred to the National Hospital, Abuja for further investigation.
At the National Hospital , her medical condition did not improve. So when her family members could no longer stand it, they sought help from native medicine which also did not yield any result either. They were forced to return to the National Hospital . Back there, she was recommended for MRI Cervical Spine test, a procedure which cost a whooping N60,000.But sadly, when the result of the test came out, they saw nothing and asked her to repeat the same test with another payment of N60,000. Again the family rallied round and paid the money.
It the second test conducted on January15, 2010 that revealed that 'there is a slight reversal of the normal curvature of the cervical spine.' The result of the MIR scan signed by Doctors Isibor and Olatunji, futher stated the impression as 'degenerated disc disease of the spine and highlights 'posterior disc bulge at C4/5 to C6/7.' Similarly, another test, MRI BRAIN conducted at the same hospital on March 22 by Doctors Ekwueme, Achilefu and Kolobe, stated among others that 'there are few lacunar infarcts on the white matter of both cerebral hemispheres.'
An Indian hospital which was contacted through the help of doctors at the National Hospital gave the cost of physiotherapy for stroke rehabilitation at the Apollos Hospital as $6000(30 days stay included) for three months.. This, according to a letter from the team, include pre-investigations, consultations and follow-up. Surgery, surgeon's fee, anesthetists fees, drugs, consumables, stay in the hospital and in India , food for total stay and airport pickup and drop also. This amount however does not include the flight ticket for trip to India and one person that will accompany her to the hospital.
Upon receiving the letter from the Apollos hospital, India , Mrs. Keriama, then decided to write a letter of appeal for financial assistance to both President Jonathan and his wife on June 11 and 15 respectively, attaching the picture of her present condition as well as the letter from the Apollos hospital, India . However she is yet to receive any response.
The letter made available to Daily Sun reads.
Greetings to you Your Execelency and congratulations on your elevation to the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. My wish and prayer for you is that God grants you the grace and wisdom to rule and govern the affairs of the nation. Amen. I am the wife of late ABSIA president, Mr. Ebinabo Kieriama who was brutally murdered at his residence in Lugbe Abuja, 2007.
Since the occurrence of the tragic incidence, I have been ill and presently I have been diagnosed with what has affected my two hands and legs and has kept me confined to a wheel chair. Hence I have been medically advised to go to India for treatment. The estimate given for the treatment from the Indian doctors is $6,000 per month for three months, i.e(N900x3months)=$18,000, N2.7million, and the estimate for my flight ticket is N700 to and fro for two people, my helper and myself.
Attached here with is a quotation from the Apollos hospital in India and pictures of me presently. Your excellency, I crave your indulgence to please assist me funds to facilitate my medical treatment abroad.'