Popular Nigerian actor John Okafor, better known by his stage name Mr Ibu, divulged that he almost committed suicide when his 2-year-old son died in January, 2011.
Okafor recounted to Nigeria’s Punch how his son passed on following an “incident of negligence by a Lagos hospital medics, where the young one was rushed for emergency treatment.”
“The matter was actually between the Paediatric Department of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and me. It was in 2011. On January 18, 2011, my 2-year-old son fell ill. He was diagnosed with inflammation of the liver.
“The hospital suggested that he should be scanned. At the same time, I was informed that I could take my son out of the hospital to get the scan done elsewhere. But the same people later declined, saying that everything had to be done in the hospital because he was too weak to be taken outside,” Okafor told Punch.
“After a while, I was told that there was no electricity in the hospital. When I asked if there was no standby generator, they said there was no fuel in it. I offered to pay for fuel only to be told that the man that operated the generator was not around”, he continued, adding: “When I left the place and got back later, the man still had not returned. Then I was advised to write an application and to submit to the admin department. After writing the application, I found that there was nobody to receive and treat it.
“While I was waiting, I was told that my son’s condition required blood transfusion. I did everything possible to ensure that the boy was given treatment at the hospital, but my efforts were in vain. Finally, the boy gave up the ghost.
“Later, one of the doctors came to me and, without even sympathising with me, asked if I could release my boy’s corpse to him so that they could cut it open and use it to teach other medical students. In that moment, I felt like committing murder for the first time in my life.
“When I told my lawyer what happened at the hospital, he was shocked. He said it was actionable. I told him that I was ready to take the hospital management to court and sue it for $100 million in damages because my son’s death was caused by the carelessness of the professionals whose duty was to save his life. But my lawyer advised me to let go”.