Seventeen-year-old Owolabi Oladunjoye, who was rescued by a Good Samaritan after an accident on the Third Mainland Bridge, has said he became a bus conductor to raise funds for his school certificate examinations.
He was presented with an undisclosed sum of money by the management of the St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos on Friday, after he was discharged from the hospital, which had taken responsibility for his treatment and welfare since the incident happened.
PUNCH Metro had reported on January 23 that an accident occurred on the Third Mainland Bridge, in which no fewer than 14 people were rushed to the Lagos Island General Hospital for treatment.
In a follow-up report, our correspondent learnt that two of the victims were taken to the St. Nicholas Hospital, which received them without collecting any money.
While one of the victims was revived and was identified and visited by his relatives, Owolabi was said to have been unconscious and efforts to locate his family had proved abortive.
After he came round three weeks later, a worker with the hospital, Rasak Yusuf, went to Oshodi and after much effort, found a relative.
The victim’s mother, Rahmot, who travelled down from Ede, Osun State, had told our correspondent that he absconded from home.
The management of the St. Nicholas Hospital on Friday released him from the hospital after certifying him fit and stable.
Owolabi, while recounting the incident said, “I lost my father in 1994 and things became hard for my family. I struggled and worked to feed myself.
“When I was to write my final school exams, I felt I should come down to Lagos to work and raise money for my exam. I needed N4,000 for the exam so I ran from home without telling my mother where I was going.
“I came to Oshodi and became a bus conductor after my friend introduced me to the job. On the day of the incident, we were on the Third Mainland Bridge, going to Oshodi, and I was seated. All I can remember was that there was a collision and I lost consciousness. I then found myself here (hospital).”
His mother, Rahmot, while fighting back tears, appealed for help for Owolabi to complete his education and receive sponsorship.
“I thank everyone who has been kind to us and helped Owolabi without knowing who gave birth to him. All we are asking for is help for his education,” the mother of five said.
The Administration Manager of the hospital, Kunle Bamigboye, on behalf of the hospital management, presented the family with an undisclosed sum of money as “our support for his education.”
A member of the surgical team that attended to Owolabi, Sola Faloun, said he would need to return to the hospital in a few weeks’ time for final checks.
She said, “When he was brought in, it was an emergency. We had two doctors who attended to him. We conducted CT scan on him, did X-ray, and sent him to the Intensive Care Unit.
“We had to place him on a breathing machine. He had a broken jaw, several lacerations, and we had to bring in a neurosurgeon to attend to him.”
The Deputy Matron of the St. Nicholas Hospital, Mrs. Iyabo Ojikutu, said the victim’s survival was a miracle, urging other hospitals in the country to emulate the hospital.
The General Manager of the hospital, Ms. D. Claude-Enin, during a chat with our correspondent, said the hospital placed value on lives more than money.