TUESDAY ROSE BUSHES – BOILING POINT A SHORT ‘INTEREST’ STORY
Dedicated to President Goodluck Jonathan (2009 – 2015), Late Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, and everyone who fought to kick ebola disease out of Nigeria in 2014. God bless you!
…continued from last week, read here…
Two nurses came into Bola’s room two days later to chat and keep her company as they had done since she was quarantined.
Her health had deteriorated so badly, she was half-dead. All her cells seemed to have finally succumbed to the virus. The nurses, Betty and Nana, had chatted about girly things the day before. Bola understood. They had come to lighten her condition and mood. She’d done it countless times for dying patients.
“We have great news today, Betty,” Nana said.
“We so need great news around here,” Betty said. “Don’t we, Bola.”
Bola’s lips moved but no words came out. Since the middle of the night, she had found to difficult to breathe and to talk. She had managed to let the nurse on duty know she wanted to talk to Emma. Luckily, he was still fine, and there were no symptoms of the disease yet on his body.
Emma had prayed with her for almost an hour. It was after that she slept a little. But since she woke up, all she’d done in her mind was pray and cry.
Nana smiled. “All the patients quarantined have remained stable.”
Betty stole a glance at Bola who’s condition had deteriorated completely. “I believe there is hope. God is working.”
“That’s not all,” Nana said excitedly. “Dangote has issued a statement to pay for any treatment for Ebola patients. They are determined to squash out the disease as fast as it came.”
“Shame on to all the enemies of Nigeria’s progress.”
“And that is not all the good news. Uganda has a form of cure. They have recorded almost 100% cure for Ebola based on a herbal solution they found!”
“Hey! Thank God. Africa go survive!” Betty jumped. “I hope our doctors and herbalists have gone for the recipe.”
Nana laughed. “I’m sure. But that is not even the best news yet! A Nigerian in diaspora has found a solution to the cure of Ebola. And WHO has approved the that the drug can be tested.”
Betty danced round the small sterile room.
“Take it easy, Sister,” Nana laughed.
“Where did you get all this info from?”
“CMD. While he was raking about suing Liberian government and ECOWAS for letting such a sick person into the country, the news came in his mails. I happened to be there.”
They both looked at Bola.
“Soon, Sister. Just hang in there,” Betty said.
Bola closed her eyes. Unknown to them, she slipped into a coma.
“All the patients quarantined will get the doses of the drug first. Then anyone anywhere with signs. And it’s totally free.”
Betty sighed. “Ah, thank God. I knew this thing would blow over.” She shook her head. “I just feel bad for those who had to die before now.”
“Have you heard anything about Sister Ekwy? Now that there is a cure.” Nana sighed. “Hopeful cure.”
“She’s still at large. I still don’t know why she would run, and not submit herself,” Betty said.
“Can you believe some people are calling for her prosecution?”
Betty looked at Bola and startled. “Is she breathing?”
They raised alarm. Doctors came in and checked on the fourth Ebola patient on death row. They were about to lose her.
The hospital went quiet. It was hard enough to have a nurse on the run, and the public calling for her head. To record another loss would be a major loss for the hospital and the nation.
The president had approved so much money, and spent sleepless nights staying on top of this case that another loss was just one too many.
CMD sighed. He felt twenty years older. “When is the drug coming?”
“The flight should land in half an hour,” Matron said. “If only we can get it before—”
CMD shook his head. “I doubt if she has thirty minutes. Besides, this is just a test drug. No one has ever used it. And at this boiling point, what do you think can be done? Her cells are all destroyed.”
“I believe,” Matron whispered.
The next two hours became the most important in the history of the rise and fall of Ebola in Nigeria.
Bola finally stopped breathing a few minutes before the drug arrived. The nurses refused to turn down her bed and clean her out.
Matron suggested she should be put on a life machine and the drug tested on her.
“That is totally impossible,” CMD snapped.
“What do we lose if it doesn’t work? Nothing. If it works, we gain everything!”
“I don’t want—”
A nurse walked into the office. “Sir, Bola’s mother is here. She is her next of kin.”
CMD frowned. “Who sent for her? Did you tell her anything?”
The nurse shook her head. “Apparently, her name leaked in the news. Someone already has it on twitter that she’s dead.”
“My goodness! She’s not been dead for fifteen minutes.”
Betty walked in. “She’s not dead, sir. Her breathing only ceased at that time.”
“She’s on life support, Sister. Don’t be daft. She’s dead!” CMD snapped.
Matron took in a deep breath. “Sir, what do you say?”
“Someone has to indemnify. I won’t have lawsuits on my head for doing the unethical—” CMD said.
“WHO says we can try,” Matron said.
“Not on a dead body!” CMD cried.
“She’s not dead!” Betty burst into tears.
Matron sucked in her breath. “I’m sure her mother will gladly sign.”
CMD took several calming breaths and nodded. “Okay.”
The nurses rushed out and past Bola’s mother who was accompanied by her younger sister. Both looked travel-weary. Betty whispered to Nana that they had travelled four hours from Kwara to be here.
With the success of the test drug on Ekwy’s husband and children, the Ebola scourge was broken forever.
Bola got several shots of the drug. For two days, she couldn’t breathe on her own. Her family hung in there, praying, hoping. With immediate improvement on the other patients, the world announced a Nigerian had found the drug for Ebola.
…continues next week…