By Abimbola Okulaja
Anselm Odinkalu spoke the mind of some of us in his tribute, but I will add mine.
My wife and I have been so devastated. Ameyo was our personal physician. It is very difficult to imagine that she is gone.
On Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:23:10 I sent an email with the subject: Just Checking – “Good morning Doctor, We follow the Ebola events online from the USA, and in particular the joint statement issued by FCH. We are concerned and just checking to make sure that you are fine and that the situation is under control. Very Best, Abimbola & Busola”
In her usual manner, she responded almost immediately July 31, 2014 at 7:48:50 AM EDT “By God’s Grace, we are all well at the hospital. Thanks for your prayers and support. God bless”
You were a thoroughly amazing woman, thoroughbred professional and you were the only female physician that I know who men lined up to consult. It is either Ameyo or nobody. You were indeed the life wire of First Consultant Hospital. I personally had not consulted with any physician my entire adult life apart from you.
My entire family was silently praying for your miraculous recovery and when your passage was announced, I sobbed. It is remarkable that you saved the lives of so many people but gave yours for the sake of the nation.
I fell ill at some point in 2011 but God used you to rescue me. You arranged for me to go to another location for tests and more tests to narrow down on the treatment. When I recovered, you asked me to call the cook and you instructed her on how to make sure that Ugu ( a vegetable delicacy ) was always part of my meal, and how it should be cooked. I never knew anything called Ugu prior to that time.
You were the personal physician to my parents-in-law and they indeed broke down on hearing the news about your passing. At some point I brought my mum to consult you before she passed on.
You had grace, you had charm and was always doing so many things at the same time. Consulting, talking to one elderly relative peeping though the door to say hello or to get free consultation, or talking to someone on the cell phone to give free consultation. You were always surrounded by so many young doctors eager to learn at your feet.
You took my son at some point, at such short notice to shadow you. We had similar plans for him this holiday but this did not work out.
When my mum was terminally ill and had to be brought back to Nigeria, you showed interest and gave me a list of medical needs to bring along to take care of her, and when she passed on, you wrote a beautiful consolation email to me.
We need to keep in mind that in the midst of decadence and rot in the health care system in Nigeria, you stood out. When my family received the initial false news that you had been discharged, we all held hands together and were jumping in celebration. Moods changed when it turned out that the news was false and a few days later you bid us goodbye.
Judging by all the moving tributes, I have no doubt in my mind that you are resting at the foot of The Lord. May God grant you eternal rest, and comfort your son and all the loved ones that you left behind to mourn you.
Adieu our doctor AMEYO.
Abimbola Okulaja wrote from the United States of America.