We’ll only be a few minutes, just enough time for a sip of hot coffee, or jebena as it’s called here, named after the ceramic cup which it is made and kept hot in.
The word that best describes Osas is enthusiastic. Enthusiastic about life, and enthusiastic about EMERGENCY. This year, he spent far more time at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery than he ever could have imagined. Let’s tell you his story:
Osas is from Nigeria. Last year, he was screened through our Regional Programme and diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease. He left his country in January in order to receive free cardiac surgery at the Salam Centre and, after two procedures, made a great recovery. Although he initially thought he would return back to Nigeria in March, we took this picture the evening before his actual departure… on 7 August. Osas spent 7 months at the Salam Centre, as the world locked down due to Coronavirus.
By the time Osas went home, everyone at the hospital knew who he was and liked him. He constantly dedicated his time to other patients, encouraging a family atmosphere through social initiatives and theatre plays for the children.
“We created many plays from scratch with the kids to thank the medical staff for everything they did for us. I will not forget their warmth, or their professionalism, which helped me look at the concept of healthcare from a different perspective, that of cleanliness, quality and care”, he tells us.
Here you see him with Fabio, one of our ICU nurses currently based in Khartoum. “Most of the time Fabio could see me but I couldn’t see him because I was unconscious in the ICU ward, but later on we met properly at a dancing competition I had organised for the children.”
Although Osas has returned to Nigeria, this isn’t the end of his story with EMERGENCY. We will provide him with the lifelong medication that he needs after his cardiac surgery. That’s our promise to him, and to all our patients here.
“EMERGENCY supported me with quality services, taking care of everything, and this is something I am really grateful for.” We are grateful too. Grateful to meet incredible people like Osas, who despite facing circumstances that may demoralise others, used those circumstances to create community and joy, all with that trademark enthusiasm of his.