A TRIBUTE TO DR ADADEVOH: THE LABOR OF HEROES PAST
Ebola Treatment Center, Lagos
The ceiling fan blades rolled slowly until they halted. Dr Akin watched the wooden pendulum clock as its pendulum continued to swing, till the long arm of the clock dropped at the figure twelve and there was a clicking sound.
With palpable regrets in his voice he told his assistant Nurse Titi, “Time of death 6:00pm.”
He could feel a tear drop navigating its way down his cheeks to the hollow created by the tribal mark on his cheek and in an attempt to hide his emotions from his assistant he turned his back against the lifeless body who had initially been in coma for 24 hours before finally giving up the ghost and reached for the door.
That was the best he could do to prevent Nurse Titi from seeing his tears, he couldn’t have wiped them away as he was gowned from head to toe with this yellow protective wear, he had his hands covered by a pair of green gloves that reached inches beyond his wrists, he also had some goggles on his face that would have prevented him from wiping away the tears if he had attempted to, although Nurse Titi couldn’t hear Dr Akin cry but the dull, heavy sound his protective boots made at each impact with the concrete floor gave his emotions away. Nurse Titi still couldn’t believe it. The heroic Dr Adadevoh was dead!
Patrick Sawyer lay helpless on the bed numbered 4. Though now conscious after receiving few liters of Normal Saline, he looked like he was in some form of distress; he labored with every breath, breathing through his mouth and sweating profusely. Nurse Justina opened the window slides to provide adequate ventilation, synergizing the effect of the ceiling fans.
Dr Adadevoh continued studying the face of the fair, huge man whose estimated weight was around 90kg, and then all of a sudden, like an inspiration from nowhere, it clicked!
“He was coming from Liberia?” she asked, her question directed at one of the men who had brought him into the hospital.
He answered, “Yes we were coming from Monrovia, though we had a stopover at Lome.”
At this Dr Adadevoh ordered everyone out of the A&E ward and quickly scribbled into her computer a virology test among the chain of investigations she had earlier ordered for. As they all made their way through the door, the two men in black suit were the first to exit the room, then Nurse Justina, who was adjusting the drip to run at the prescribed rate had to stop what she was doing immediately because of the urgency she sensed in Dr. Adadevoh’s voice. Following Nurse Justina was Dr Johnson and then Dr Adadevoh who shut the door as she made her way out of the room and ushered all the four people already waiting for her at the corridor into the dressing room just opposite the A&E ward.
She looked at Dr Johnson who she was sure was waiting for an explanation for the test she ordered, though all had responded without questioning.
Then she said, “We have to seal the A&E, we can’t admit any other patient in there, because people, I guess we are dealing with a case of Ebola!”
Somewhere in Lagos.
Dr Adadevoh walked side by side with an old man down Obalende road. When they got to the front of the First Consultant’s hospital the old man asked politely in a British accent: “Isn’t that where you used to work?”
Dr Adadevoh nodded, “Yes I used to work there as a medical doctor. I was a consultant endocrinologist at the hospital,” she replied.
“That’s good,” the old man replied
“You took after your dad afterwards,” he said with a knowing smile.
There was something familiar about the old man aside the British accent. The striking, unmistakable style of his moustache.
She blinked rapidly. It was unbelievable! He was Herbert Macaulay!
Yes indeed! Dr Adadevoh happened to be the great granddaughter of this national icon though Dr Adadevoh has never seen him face to face. The mental pictures of him that she had were from the one naira coin and some family pictures of his days. Strangely, even though she had never seen him, she felt like they’d known each other for ages.
As they continued strolling across the streets of Lagos, Herbert showed Dr Adadevoh various sites where he had engaged in the nationalism struggle. Dr Adadevoh listened as Herbert recounted the labor of heroes past. She could feel fulfillment and happiness in his voice.
She looked into the poor old man’s eyes and wondered if only he knew the state of the country he gave his whole life for. If only he knew that the country he fought for independence was at the edge of breaking up because of greed, if only he knew that the corruption he fought against was now the order of the day in the country he helped to create.
As her thoughts continued to wander, the old man asked:
“So what do the present generation think of me?”
Dr Adadevoh looked away from him trying to figure out what the right thing to say was. She knew she dared not say the truth which was that the present generation didn’t give a kobo for who he was or what he did, so she decided to walk a thin line.
“Oh they see you as one of the fathers of the nation. In fact they immortalize you by putting your portrait in one of the denominations of the nation’s currency.” She added. She cleverly hid the fact that the denomination she was referring to, was the one naira coin and that it was in extinction. Then the old man smiled again and she could almost feel the fulfillment in his heart.
“I heard you also died serving your country, that you sacrificed your life for the lives of millions of Nigerians by preventing a sick man from entering the streets of Nigeria to spread a deadly disease,” the old man added.
“Yes papa,” Dr Adadevoh answered, hoping to find fulfillment in her heart too but she felt nothing.
“Don’t worry,” the old man continued.
“I am sure Nigerians would reward your act of sacrifice by probably naming you the mother of patriotism and immortalize you too by putting your portrait on one of the currency’s denomination notes,” he assured.
Dr Adadevoh gave a disbelieving “Hmm.”
She doubted if anyone would ever remember her act of valor as we never remembered her great grandfather’s. Only time will tell if she will be right.
Debonair stories 2014
..………………………it may not be exactly the way it happened story but it’s the
Debonair side of the story.
By Jinmi Adetutu