Sunday, 21 April 2013

TRAGIC: Grief as train hits epileptic woman

If Toyin Osho of Ijoko town in the Ifo Local Government area of Ogun State had premonition of losing her limbs to train at Ijoko Railway Station on Thursday, April 18, 2013, she wouldn’t have bothered to move out of her abode, let alone go to the railway station. But as the saying goes, no one knows exactly what is going to happen in the next seconds of one’s life.

Osho is now in critical condition at the emergency ward of Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital, Yaba, Lagos where she is undergoing treatment as regards injury sustained at the railway station. According to eyewitness accounts, she was billed to visit a herbal medical practitioner who is to cure her of epileptic fit that she had been battling with for a very long time.

But on getting to the railway station, she heard the hooting of the Ijoko/Lagos bound train that was shunting in readiness for takeoff; she fell on the track and as she was trying to wriggle herself free from the track, she got her limbs crushed. According to the history of her ailment, heavy noise or hooting of high magnitude usually triggers the fit and as such, the sufferer will always be at the receiving end of noise.

Oluwafemi Agbodo, the Station Head of Ijoko Railway Station, told Sunday Mirror that the victim is a well known person to him as she was friendly with everyone and that any time she passed by the station, she exchanged pleasantries with all and sundry, despite her predicament.

His words: “My brother, I don’t know how to explain it because her condition is pathetic, she is not kind such a thing should happened to with her condition, though I was not there when the incident happened but from what deduced from my people, I learnt she was billed to go to a particular herbal home where she was to undergo treatment to cure the ailment that she had been afflicted with for sometime now, but while she was walking along the railway line with another lady, she and the other lady heard the blaring of the train and in panic, she tripped and on the track and from the history, I got to know that a noise of high magnitude always trigger her kind of ailment and in the process, it can cause the victim to lose his/her balance, which I suspect made her fall on the track.

But instead of being rescued by the lady with whom she was going, the former decided to run away, maybe due to fear. “As she was trying to wriggle herself free from the jaws of death, the train caught up with her and grazed her left leg. She also lost all her toes in the process.

In fact, her case can be described as that of someone who has been destined for greatness but enemies of progress decided to afflict her with pains and troubles that would stop her from attaining that greatness; because I cannot understand why such a cruel fate would befall her the day she was supposed to meet the person that would cure her of the ailment,” Agbodo lamented.

Speaking with Sunday Mirror mother of Toyin Osho, a sexagenarian who did not want her in the print, affirmed that it was true that she and Toyin were billed to go somewhere but did not disclose the location and what their mission was atrophied by the disaster that befell her daughter.

She, however, blamed Toyin as the architect of her misfortune as she warned her to wait till she would be through with some chores nearby so that she could aid her across the railway line.

 But Toyin, according to her, would not listen. Nonetheless the accident, Toyin’s case was indeed a miracle as most people at the station and aboard the train with her concluded that for her to be alive as at the time she was being stretchered to hospital, at around 1:30 pm., was rare.

The Ijoko station head also affirmed that for her to be alive till that time and the time was spectacular. “I must confess to you that Toyin’s case is a miraculous one; by the time the last Ijoko/Iddobound train for morning period was leaving Ijoko, I was amazed and surprised that she was still alive as the time she was being taken into the train to be transported to the hospital for treatment, was an average time of three hours interval. At Yaba Railway Station, Toyin was taken to Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital for treatment while the train continued its journey to Iddo while all other passengers prayed for her to overcome her predicament. On Saturday, April 20, our correspondent visited Toyin at Igbobi Hospital but on sighting the reporter, her face lit up.

When asked of her state of health, she responded well to questions, although she was still smarting from excruciating pains. One of the medics spoken to at the hospital, who did not want his name in print, said that the patient’s condition was improving as she was responding to treatment.

His words: “Toyin’s condition is getting better by the day and her response to treatment is wonderful, despite losing that volume of blood before she was brought in. That she was able to pull through in that short period of time means she has a very good background, despite epileptic fit she is suffering from.

“Yesterday (Friday), she was wheeled to the theater to have the bad legs amputated but action has to stay on the process because of her condition (epileptic fit). With this condition, she will have to be referred to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, where a team of medical experts will see to the state of her condition; it is from there that the fate of her legs will be determined, though those limbs may have to be amputated,” he said.

It would be recalled that Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has made it clear that railway tracks are not walkways for pedestrians; rather, it is strictly for trains and so people should desist from walking on railway lines at all time. Not long ago, Sunday Mirror reported of how dangers were averted at Agbado Railway Station whereby scores of traders and market women would have lost their lives.

In a swift reaction to the story, the NRC ordered that rail tracks be cleared of market women throughout the federation; but traders claimed they paid some railway service officials to have their wares displayed on tracks. But NRC Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adekanbi, sneered at the traders’ claim, challenging them to produce evidence of such payment and also, fish out officials that collected money from them.

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