Three years ago, Olaniran was involved in an accident. She was seven years old.
Her mother, Esther, 28, had sent her on an errand that day and though she had also followed her to the road and had assisted her to make a safe crossing, immediately after she left the scene, a motorcycle emerged from a corner and hit Olaniran.
Olaniran was immediately rushed to a nearby traditional bone setting facility where the proprietor assured them that he could handle the case. Olaniran was subsequently treated and discharged that same day.
She was seven years old then and she clocked 10 last June. The accident happened at Ibafo in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State in September 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olaniran was in Primary One when the incident happened, but her indefatigable mother, supported by her dad, taught her at home while she recuperated, and she was able to fully integrate back in school when she resumed about a year later. She is in Primary Three now, going to Primary Four, her motehr said.
From Okada accident to spiritual attack
A few days later, Esther said, the leg started emiting foul smell and had also become maggot-infested.
The traditional bone-setter, upon seeing the result of his unprofessional treatment, said the gangrene that had set in was an attack.
Esther said, “So, we called the traditional healer and explained to him. He came to check it and said it was a spiritual attack and that he would not be able to do anything about it.
“He advised us to go and consult an oracle. That was when we started calling people, and someone directed us to a hospital close to Mowe, Ogun State.
“When we got there and explained to the doctor, he said the hospital would not be able to treat the leg. So, he referred us to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos State, where the doctor told us that the leg was dead.
The traditional bone-setter, upon seeing the result of his unprofessional treatment, said the gangrene that had set in was a spiritual attack and that the family should consult an oracle
“The doctor added that if we didn’t want our daughter to die, the leg must be amputated without delay because the (tissue in the) leg was already dead and the infection was spreading fast all over her body, and that these infections would make her weak. So, to prevent the infection from spreading to her liver, we had to approve the immediate amputation of my daughter’s leg.”
Describing the agony they felt during the process leading to their daughter’s amputation, Esther said, “Just like me, her dad screamed, cried, and threw himself on the floor.”
No health insurance
With no access to a health insurance or any government help, the incident has led to the bankrupt of Esther’s business. She said, “I had a store then, but we had to sell off all the goods to get her some drugs and pay the hospital bills.
“My husband also brought the little money he got from his workplace. My mother also contributed a lot. She helped us, even after the amputation; she was the one that first deposited money for the surgery.
“My sister also contributed a lot to my daughter’s treatment because, after the surgery, we needed a prosthetic leg. My younger sister paid for the prosthetic leg.”
At Igbobi, doctors said the leg must be amputated without delay because it was already dead and the infection was spreading fast
According to Esther, her daughter, Olaniran, wants to be a model. She has always wanted to, long before the accident.
“She has always acted as a model before the amputation. She said she wanted to become a model; that is what she loves. So, we watch modelling shows on TV to inspire her and show her things she loves doing.
“We usually post videos showing her walking like a model on TikTok, where I have created a TikTok account (Igbinosaprincess13) for her since we don’t have money or connection to help her with modelling.
“What inspired her was her love for dressing up and walking stylishly in front of people. She is not a shy person, and she always watches people on the catwalk.
“I tell her that there are different types of models, so, being an amputee doesn’t mean she can’t be a model.
“Also, I gave her different career options, including medicine and law, but she desires to be a model and a doctor.”
Expressing regrets for taking her child to the traditional bone setter, Esther said, “If a child suffers a fracture, parents should not take them to a local bone setter because those people have learnt how to say the same thing – that they are better than the orthopaedic hospital but it is a lie; they can not do it.
“Parents should just take the child to a competent hospital, no matter how costly it may be.”
This was first reported by PUNCH.