BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI,ILORIN
For Emeka Francis, 37,who hails from Unubi,Nnewi south local government area of Anambra State, Friday, February 1,2008 will remain indelible in his memory.
Fair skinned and full of life, Emeka would have passed for a show business man if not for the tragedy that befell him. When Sunday Vanguard visited him in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, aside the fact that he couldn’t stand, two pipes were seen from his body, one to pass out urine and the other for faeces since he couldn’t on his own do any of the two because of the impact of the auto crash.
On that fateful day, Emeka, a business man based in Ilorin, had set out on a journey to Lagos to purchase his wedding materials which was planned to take place in Ilorin on March 28 and 29, 2008.
The commercial vehicle he boarded had barely left Ogbomosho when it was involved in a fatal crash.
Three people died and several injured. Emeka had spinal cord injury and, since then, he has been bed ridden.
His bride abandoned him while Emeka’s mother, Mrs Agnes Francis, who had been pratically involved in taking him around hospitals and medical homes since the incident happened, died on September 20,2013 as a result of the accumulated stress and psychological problem.
Narrating his ordeal to Sunday Vanguard in his residence in Ilorin,Emeka, who had only primary education, said after completing four years apprenticeship,his master gave him a large sum of money to set up his own business.
He said he started a shop along Opo Malu, Ilorin where he sold cosmetic materials and was doing very well before the tragedy struck.
Emeka, who now lives in a one-room apartment, had, before the tragedy, completed arrangements to rent a three- bedroom apartment because of the then forthcoming wedding ceremony.
Now left with his aged father and siblings, who take care of him, the victim hopes to live his dream again only if help could come from public-spirited Nigerians.
According to him,”Everything I have worked for in life has been expended on this treatment and still no cure. I was taken to Baptist Hospital Ogbomosho immediately after the accident occurred and later to University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and then to a private hospital, all to no avail. In the course of the problem, my mother, who has been taking me around, died in September”.
He also explained how his church members and community associations tried to raise funds for him. Emeka however hopes to walk again based on a physiotheraphist friend who told him of a similar case that was successfully treated abroad.
”The victim I’m talking about is walking today and living a normal life”,he said.
Showing e-mails between him and the hospital,Emeka said he needs at least N4 million for self treatment and travelling expenses of two persons who will accompany him.
Public-spirited people wishing to help Emeka can do so through Sunday Vanguard or contact him on phone numbers 08038512046 and 08183885910 while his bank details are Emeka Francis Mathew: Access Bank account no 0020859219