This young lady who fell into boiling oil needs assistance of kind-hearted Nigerians for a face surgery.
Afusat Jimoh was a bubbling young lady seven years ago until life's vicissitude showed its hands and she is now at the mercy of death, begging the Lagos State government and kindhearted Nigerians to come to her aid to survive her ordeals.
Before the calamities of life found her out, Afusat was a happily married mother of one but now, she has lost everything that made life meaningful for her. Her agonising tales began when she was helping an aunt living in the Ejigbo area of Lagos to fry some pieces of meat, where she suddenly had an epileptic convulsion and in the process, fell into the sizzling pot of oil, sustaining several degrees of burns all over her body.
She was still battling to survive the incident, the tragedies seemed to seek her out as her six-month-old child fell ill and died, followed by the death of her husband.
To compound her woes, her mother abandoned her to her fate and fled to God-knows-where.
A ray of light had come her way when the Lagos State government promised to foot the bills for her to undergo plastic surgery but that promise to has not been fulfilled.
According to the Punch Metro reports, the poor Afusat has now been forced to take to the streets to beg for arms to survive.
At the Ijeshatedo Street in the Surulere area, where she stays with a distant uncle, Afusat, an indigene of Kwara State, is not finding life easy.
Narrating her traumatic experience, a tearful Afusat said:
"I was helping my aunt to fry some pieces of meats. There was nobody at home that day and I didn’t know when I felt dizzy and unconsciously fell into the hot oil that I was using to fry the meat.
People came late to my rescue, by which time the oil had damaged my face, arm and neck."
She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she spent four months before being transferred to the Burns Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. It was while she was at the hospital that her baby boy, Fatai, fell sick and died.
"My child died because I could not breast-feed him. After his death, my husband was no longer coming to the hospital to check on me and that gave me some concerns. After several months, we decided to look for him at their family house. I was told that he had died and his family did not want to compound my woes, which was why they left me in the dark.
Right now, I also don’t know where my mother is. She has left me for years and I have lost all contacts with her. The only person I have around me now is my uncle and my old father who visits once in a while.
I was selling ready-made clothes, but people were afraid of patronising me because of my looks. This was why I started begging to complement the little my uncle provides."
Her family's efforts to raise funds for her surgery has not been fruitful as no one is willing to help the poor lady.
According to her, an Indian medical facility in Mumbai, Wockhardt Hospitals, had estimated the cost of her face-lift to be N3m, excluding the cost of her traveling and other expenses. This was in 2012 but the lack of funds has rendered the exercise useless.
A non-governmental organisation, Dot Human Development, took it upon itself to write to the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, requesting support for the victim and in response, the state’s Ministry of Health, through a letter by the then Permanent Secretary, Dr. Femi Olugbile, directed LASUTH management to do the surgery free of charge, but that too has not materialized.
The letter, dated April 2013, reads:
"Afusat accidentally fell into boiling oil during an epileptic attack six years ago. She sustained a third degree burns to the face that healed with scarring and disfigurement of the face.
Following a request, she was referred to LASUTH for assessment and recommendation. The plastic surgeon and the Ophthalmologist both confirmed that the corrective surgery can be done in LASUTH.
In view of the above, you are kindly requested to carry out the surgery on the victim on compassionate ground.
Please forward the details of cost of management to the Ministry of Health for consideration."
Even with the letter, LASUTH, according to Afusat's uncle, has refused to carry out the surgery, claiming that they needed funds from the state government to procure the tissue for the plastic surgery and without it, they would not be able to do anything.
"We started going to the state secretariat to see how they will give the LASUTH doctors the money, but they kept directing us from one desk to the other. We were frustrated and we had to leave the hospital."
Who will help this poor lady?