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Swimming pool tragedy: How LASUTH boss met his end

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

It is widely believed that there is a time to be born and a time to die. The Chairman of Lagos University Teaching Hospital Medical Board, Dr Nurudeen Olowopopo obviously did not choose Sunday March 14, 2010 as a day to die  but was found dead in his swimming pool.

The body of the deceased was found floating in his swimming pool at his residence at No 7C Adeyemo Alakija GRA Ikeja on that fateful day. The cause of his tragic death  has already been attributed to a possible accident during a swimming exercise since he was known to regularly indulge himself in such.

A day before his  death, Dr. Olowopopo had  attended a family meeting at the Olowopopo’s Family residence in Jibowu, Lagos, where he was said to have spoken brilliantly as usual oblivious that death was lurking around the corner.

According to a source who preferred anonymity, the unassuming doctor who is well loved by his colleagues and co-workers and even patients that had the opportunity of knowing him, met his sudden death at about noon that fateful day while taking a swim to cool off and exercise his body.

•The late Dr Nurudeen Olowopopo

Some members of his household were later to find his lifeless body floating in his swimming pool. He was clad in his blue colour, boxer’s short.

Although, the circumstances surrounding his death were not immediately known, his remains had since been buried at Ikoyi Cemetery according to Islamic rites.

According to information, All his family members residing in the United States of America USA have since returned home for the burial ceremonies for the deceased.

Before his death, Olowopopo was a member of an American team led by Dr. Jonathan Nwilo which on November 19, 2004, performed the first open heart surgery, while the second exercise was carried out on June 1, 2005.

Governor Babatunde Fashola, his immediate predecessor, Senator Bola Tinubu and other top government officials had visited the family to commiserate with them on the irreparable loss.

According to Tinubu, the death of the medical chief was a huge loss to Nigeria in general and Lagos State in particular because of the wide experience the deceased possessed in the medical field.

A van belonging to the Lagos State Rapid Respond Squad was stationed a few killometrs from the building while some mourners suspected to be relatives of the deceased were seen pacing around the compound

Attempts to speak with family members for more details  proved abortive as they declined any comment with the media.

Olowopopo who died in his 60s was said to have practiced Obstetrics & Gynecology in Chicago , Illinois before his appointment as the chairman of the board.

His contributions towards the development of the Lagos State Teaching Hospital have for long been highly appreciated, especially in the area of the open heart surgery of which he was a major crusader.

Dr Olowopopo, until his death, was the Chairman of the Board of Management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). He was aged 66.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs Cilla Olowopopo, children: Fausat Oshinusi and Sherifat Olowopopo and grand-children: Raheem Olowopopo, Qudus Olowopopo and Charles Olowopopo.

He was appointed the Chairman of the Board of Management of LASUTH in 2008. A renowned Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, the late Dr Olowopopo became a Doctor of Medicine from the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine, Chicago, IL in June, 1979 while between 1980 and 1984, he was resident Physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cook County Hospital, Chicago IL.

He held membership of the Board of Directors of African International House, Chicago , IL ; Board of Directors Provident Foundation, Chicago IL ; American Medical Association; American Association of Gynaecologic Laparoscopists and American Diabetes Association.

In 2007, the late Dr Olowopopo was named as one of the most influential in Who’s Who in Black Chicago.
Before returning to Nigeria to serve his fatherland, Dr Olowopopo spareheaded several “Medical Missions of Mercy” which was involved in bringing Nigerian medical experts in the Diaspora to Lagos to conduct surgical operations and offer other medical care services to thousands of Lagos residents free of charge.

He spent 40 years in USA,practicing medicine

An autopsy was carried out on the deceased  by a doctor in LASUTH who declined to disclose the result to the media, saying only the family has the power to do so.


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