By Demola Akinyemi
It was just like any other weekend at Zango, a suburbÂ in Ilorin Kwara State, where Mrs Iyabode Olorunnisola, a renowned broadcaster at the NTA, Ilorin, lives.
Iyabo, as fondly called by her colleagues, is seven months pregnant and was just seeing off a church member- a friend and a nurse who visited her to the main road when it happened.
As Iyabo told Saturday Vanguard, the incident was an admixture of a miracle and reality. It sounds like James Bond films-touchy, gripping, patently emotional.Â The NTA reporter wants the story told so that mothers all over the world can learn to care for their children by giving them closer attention,Â â€œNothing is too much for them because the children are our tomorrowâ€, she enthused
â€œI was inside the living room on the faithful day around 5pm or thereabout, with my nurse friend who had earlier called me that she was paying me a visit. We were actually discussing about my state, church matters and other related issues when I overheard my house maid, Aminat,â€ shouting at my four years old daughter to stay away from the well.
â€œSome minutes later, my guest left and I had to see her off to the main road, just a stone throw to our residence to board a taxi. She actually asked me to go back home because of my condition because I wanted to wait till she boarded a taxi. To my dismay, when I got home, Aminat was just pointing at the well, shaking, and crying that my daughter, BolaÂ had fallen into the well. I couldnâ€™tÂ Â believe it. I peeped into the well and I found my daughter gasping for breath inside the well.â€
â€œBola, since we gave birth to her, has been a very active baby .There was a day she went to visit my mother. While playing runningÂ around, she fell into a hot coal pot, and came out with burns all over her body. The scars are still there till today. She was said to be doing this â€™â€™Boju-Bojuâ€™â€™, child play whereby children will cover their face and be running around, hide and seek games. Since her elderly ones were not at home, my daughter covered her face with a bucket running around the compound. I just wonder. she didnâ€™t know the time she got to the brink of the well, and somersaulted inside. My brother, I couldnâ€™t control myself seeing my daughter dying inside the well as she was gasping for breadth.Â Watching the pains she was going through was too much for me. Honestly, I didnâ€™t know the time I jumped inside the well.â€
â€œYou could have died, not only with the baby but also with Bola you wanted to rescue,â€ she was told.
â€œMay you never be in such situation. No mother would watch her child dying and would be thinking the way you are thinking. At that time, the fear of death didnâ€™t come to my mind. All I wanted was to rescue my daughter with all my life. Any good mother will tell you this. So, I jumped into the well and with my seven months old pregnancy,Â I landed on Bolaâ€™s head inside the well, and together we went down, down at the bottom of the well.You know she summersaulted with the plastic bucket she was playing with, into the well.
That bucket, by divine arrangement, saved her skull from hitting the brick while she fell into the well. You know, as a journalist, you are supposed to know basic things about everything. So, in the process of my covering various assignments, I have heard a lot about one or two therapies about swimming. My brother, those things, I didnâ€™t know when they came to my mind. I didnâ€™t also know where the strength came from. Down, under the
water, I used my two legs already swollen up even before I jumped into the well, to bring Bola up to the water level, using my back and the two elbows to climbÂ up the well. The clothes I had on wasÂ torn to shreds in the process, and there were bruisesÂ all over my back and elbow as a result of the injuries I sustained while bringing her up to the water level.
â€œWhile both of us were at the water level,Â I balanced myself with her on my two knees. Bola was already gone. So I started beating her, all over her body, slapping her mouth, and blowing air into her mouth, nose and ear. I did that intermittently with all the strength I hadÂ and slapped her severally. Honestly, I didnâ€™t know where all those therapies came from but I must have learnt them from somewhere, sometimes.
â€œAbout 15 minutes later, my daughter started making sounds. So, I intensified the therapies. Eventually, she shouted aloud and it was then I knew where I was.At that point, I was now left with the problem of how two of us will get out of the well. I know there is God; that He exists. But this experience further strengthened my belief that there is God. If not God, the three of us would have possibly died inside the well because I didnâ€™t mind. The agony was too much for me to bear.
â€œBy now, people had already gathered at the mouth of the well. My friend who was waiting for taxi was called by my house girl, who in turn called two young boys walking away to come and rescue us from the well. They looked for ladder but the ladder couldnâ€™t enter the well because of the position of two of us. By now, I didnâ€™t have any strength in me again. So, I couldnâ€™t climb up, talk less of coming up with my daughter. So, it was a big task, as frantic efforts were being made to bring us out of the well. Eventually, the ladder was suspended halfway and my daughter who by now had been terribly weak, struggled to climb out through the encouragements of the sympathizers.
â€œIt was two hefty men that came into the well to bring me out. I thank God Almighty for his mercies! Immediately, I asked them to take us to our hospital. By now, it was going to around 6.30-7pm. All this while, my husband didnâ€™t know anything. He was at work in his office. When he got home, he saw traces of slippers flung around, and everywhere looked much unkempt. He was actually scolding my house girl to tidy up the compound before my arrival.
Could you believe that my house girl didnâ€™t tell my husband what happened until I phoned him around 8pm that he should come and meet us at the hospital. We were there for two weeks. To the glory of the Almighty God, my pregnancy was certified okay, same with my health and that of my daughter. We later went to church for a thanksgiving.
â€œItâ€™s a lesson to all mothers. We should give closer attention to our children, and be prayerful too. No matter what, I always have time for closer attention for my children. For instance, I always findÂ time to take my children to and from school everyday, and when I know itâ€™s not possible, I make good arrangement for them to stay with somebody who will look after them till I return.