Dr Obande came down the stairs of the intensive care unit this time without a smile. He has been our family friend and doctor for over 10 years and he’d come every night to the hospital to check on us. As he walked towards me, I sensed something had gone wrong, he wasn’t wearing his usual assuring smile. He held my hands and for the first time since he came visiting said Odion, Ochi is in a very bad condition. I stared into his eyes that were always filled with hope to draw strength but this time I saw fear and uncertainty as he continued to speak; she just had a heart attack and has been resuscitated. If you can, pray! O boy! Did I pray that night? I don’t think I even slept.
I was born into a nuclear family and the second of seven children. Growing up in the northern part of Nigeria was a good experience for me even though my mum was very over protective which meant less of friends and parties. She had a way of making up and pampering everyone of her child. As a result, the only close friends I had was my siblings. Ochi was my elder sister but also my best friend. We had lived all our lives together including high school and college live. I was her wedding planner and of course her maid of honour.
I still remember the excitement in her voice as she woke me up at 6:00 am on the 5th/05/12 to tell me she was expecting a baby. The thought that I was going to be an aunt was so overwhelming. I spent every spare time I had preparing and helping her plan for her baby’s arrival.
So here I was in a fix as I watched my sister battle between life and death. The most terrifying part was that as the day went by, she grew from bad to worst. As I sat by her bedside, I remember the few occasions she spoke; she said where is my baby? I hope he isn’t crying? Too bad she never saw him or held him in her hands as he was in the incubator. The baby I had waited so long to come was in the incubator and Ochi was lying helpless with a life support. Her kidneys had shut down, her blood wasn’t clotting, her livers where infected and her lungs were becoming weak.
On the 17th/12/12 the doctor called me to a room and said she didn’t make it. Like Doctor Obande had said, she suffered three more heart attacks early morning of the next day and didn’t get through the last episode. Indeed, life paused for me and I was filled with anger. I was angry at the fact that her death would have been averted if when she complained of headache, and was taken by her husba