Like Splint

Siren blaring and the colours of the overhead lights almost invisible in the bright rays of the sun, the gallops and bumps were not hassles for the only one that mattered. At least, they helped jerk him back to some liveliness. The painting on the massive building of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital was the only thing his blurring sight could catch. There was this large rectangle that housed a circle at its centre, and as he continued to stare it seemed the circle transformed into a portal that led to eternity and it now beckoned on him to come. The sight was soon lost as the ambulance drove past the view of the painting and his mind switched to the bouncing of the ball at the basketball court just beside the road, where lively young aspiring doctors were catching fun. There was a lot of panicking and activity in the ambulance as the medics felt his hands for pulses and checked this and checked that to ensure he was at the best condition to survive the ghastly motor accident he had just encountered. The lady who had called the medics to the accident scene panicked beside him so badly they thought she was his wife She had been stained by his blood so badly but she did not feel the soggy irritation of it. Well, she was his wife would have been the best guess and Dr Ndukwe, Head of surgery team, had concluded.

‘Your husband will be fine madam, just calm down’ and as if he felt like that sounded too harsh he added ‘Your panicking is not good for him’ and he faced the man and checked the rate at which the blood transfusion was running from the blood bag that hung on a stand just beside the bed into the man’s veins. It was okay. He glanced back at Juliet, ‘He lost a lot of blood, but he’d be just fine.’

As if she had enjoyed every moment that she had been addressed as the wife of a stranger or rather she didn’t see the need to correct the over assuming doc, the matter at hand was too serious for all those formalities. She just remained stoic as though she heard nothing and now whimpered since doc would not take more panicking; the other medics who knew whom she was just smiled and didn’t interrupt as if they wished she was truly his wife.

The man heard none of those. He did not even perceive anything transpired in that vehicle, all that happened was outside the bus. Suddenly the sound of the moving ambulance stopped. It seemed they had arrived at the entrance of the Emergency unit building. The doors flung open and heavy light rays gushed in. His eyes adjusted to absorb the light rays and almost immediately the medics appeared in his view as silhouettes. Those were the last things he saw. It seemed the clock stopped ticking or was it his heart that stopped beating? They dragged him out on a stretcher so carefully and began to push so speedily, steadying him and the blood bag that hung beside him that was now in a nurse’s hand.

‘Accident victim clear the road. Accident victim clear the road’ Nurse Tayo beckoned as she led the way to the emergency room. The other medics that followed either pushed the stretcher or were almost jogging, adjusting their coats and stethoscopes with every motion. It was another rush to save a life but they had become used to it.

But the man stood, wondering why they bothered so much about him since he was healthy and strong.

Inspired by a visit to Lagos University Teaching Hospital.