Life has not been smooth for 43-year-old carpenter Uchendu Jacob and his wife Chidinma, 32, since they were involved in a kerosene explosion. Unable to take care of themselves, and with a mountain of bills to pay, they are constrained to appeal for help. The most pressing is their hospital bills.
The couple who was rushed to Madonna hospital, Umuahia, the Abia State capital, around 3am on August 4, 2018, was in severe pains and terrible shape following the explosion which led to fire engulfing them in their home.
The couple who have spent well over a month at the Christian hospital and have been staying at the male and female wards have called on public-spirited Nigerians and corporate organisations to come to their rescue as they cannot afford the hospital bills.
Speaking at his hospital bed, Jacob said on that fateful day after work that he bought a bottle of kerosene for their lantern. He said that at around 11 in the night his wife woke up to refill the lantern that was about to go off with the kerosene he bought and that the next thing he heard while sleeping in his sitting room was an explosion and the shout of fire from his wife.
The carpenter said he woke up and went straight to the room to save his three little boys, adding that in the midst of that confusion he fell inside the fire twice, which is the reason he had more burns than his wife.
He noted that his happiness was that his three children were unhurt and that only he and his wife were the only ones affected by the fire and used the occasion to appreciate Madonna Hospital for accepting them by commencing treatment on them without any deposit.
Jacob revealed that they are right now at the mercy of the hospital as they have been unable to deposit any money, adding that the hospital bill is about N700,000.
He pleaded with public-spirited Nigerians to help deposit money in the following account, for their medical care. Uchendu Jacob, Access bank 0006217619.
Speaking also, Jacob’s wife Chidinma, a petty trader, said she woke up around 11pm to discover that the light in the lantern was going off and quickly rushed to refill the lantern with the kerosene her husband brought and the next thing was the explosion.
Chidinma said, “The lantern was on the floor with little light on; the moment I took the bottle of kerosene and was opening the bottle, what I heard next was an explosion, I never knew the kerosene was adulterated.
“I have never witnessed anything like this before in my life, I am pleading with Nigerians for help, we are poor and cannot afford the hospital bills, we are leaving by the mercy of the hospital and good Samaritans even to feed is a problem”.
In his own reaction the administrator of Madonna Hospital Rev. Father Christian Anokwuru said the couple was brought to the hospital in a very bad shape, adding that they commenced treatment without the victims depositing any money, “We are happy that they are doing well and responding to treatment”.
Father Anokwuru said the hospital management and staff did their very best and called on good Nigerians to come to their help, adding that it is obvious the couple do not have the means to pay their bills.
He revealed that the couple have been in admission since August 4 and the hospital has been bearing the expenses, adding that they do not have subvention from government except what the generate which they use to run the hospital.
The cleric pointed out that the hospital has all it takes to treat the couple while he confirmed that about seven hundred thousand naira would be needed for their recovery including surgery.