Benson Udeh, Anambra based grassroots football coach who had been bedridden for two years has called on Nigerians to come to his assistance to enable him recover from his injury.
Udeh who is down with spinal cord injury made the appeal while speaking with newsmen in Awka yesterday.
He said he had been without medical attention since December 2017 when he was forced to leave the hospital due to lack of financial assistance.
It would be recalled that the coach was involved in an automobile accident in June 2016 on his way to the finals of maiden Willie Obiano Academicals football competition.
He was leading his team, Community Secondary School, Aguluezechukwu football team to the final competition against Community Secondary School Isuanocha when their vehicle crashed on Oba-Nnewi road.
Narrating his ordeal, Udeh said he spent the last two years between Chukwuemeka Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Memphis Specialist Hospital Enugu, COOUTH and National Orthopedic Hospital Enugu.
“As we were on the way to honour the final match and we got involved in a road accident, what I could remember again was that I found myself in the emergency ward of COOUTH.
“I saw people visiting me, even His Excellency came to see me a day later but I could neither move my hands or legs, later I was told it was spinal cord injury that I had to undergo specialist operations.
“I must thank Gov. Willie Obiano who directed that I should be treated on the bill of the state and also the Dr Lawrence Ikeakor, the former Chief Medical Director of the hospital who ensured that I was stabilised and taken to Memphis, Enugu.
“After spending two months at Memphis, I returned to COOUTH and was referred to National Orthopedic Hospital Enugu where I spent 11 months, all this while I was on stretcher, I cannot stand and I cannot sit.
“After some time, the assistance stopped coming, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike wasn’t taking my calls as usual and the hospital management started disturbing me that I had to go.
“At this point, my family raised some money and paid part of my bill before I left in December 2017 for my apartment and since then, I have been in this house without checkup or treatment because there is no money,” he said.
Udeh said he had to cry to the Nigerian public because Anambra government through the commissioner for health said the allowance for medical assistance has been exhausted.
He said his condition had relapsed and that he needed another corrective surgery with full physiotherapy treatment to get him back to normal life.
He said he had been advised to a specialist hospital in India and that he needed about N16.5 million to make the journey and get the treatment.
“In May, Dr Joe Akabuike commissioner for health asked me to apply for assistance in writing and when I called him he wasn’t answering until I received a message that the governor had declined further medical assistance and that the budget has exhausted.
“That was how I became afraid that all hope may have been lost and I don’t want to die or remain in this condition, I still want to contribute to discovering and mentoring young talents.
“According to the doctors, I need about N16.5 million to come back to normal life, I will be glad if I can get assistance to go to India for this treatment, I am begging Nigerians to come to my aid,” he said.
Udeh prayed God will bless and replenish Nigerians as they render assistance to him at this time of immense need.
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