Header Ads

I Was Asked To Pay N18,000 For Ambulance While My Son Was Dying, Says Father of Pupil Who Fell To His Death From Tree

The last few days have been some of the most difficult for family members and friends of Temidayo Oluwole. Since March 30, 2019 when he fell from a mango tree while trying to pluck the fruit within the premises of the school he attended in Akure, Ondo State – Ijo Mimo High School – life has not remained the same for all those, who knew him closely.

That fateful Saturday morning, the 20-year-old had arrived the school in company with other pupils preparing for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination to attend tutorials. As a senior prefect in the academic institution, Oluwole was known and respected by all especially because he excelled at almost everything he was involved in. Things went on normally at the place that day until later when the Physics teacher named only as Mrs Kura asked the young boy to climb the mango tree within the school and pluck some of the fruits for her. In the process of carrying out the assignment, Oluwole slipped and crashed to the ground. It was a fatal fall – one that would eventually put his life in jeopardy.

























The minutes that followed that incident brought utmost tension and chaos with it. Everyone was in panic. The race to save the 20-year-old’s life began. Different obstacles surfaced. But by the time Oluwole eventually arrived at a health facility, time had raced ahead of him. The story had taken a different turn.

“My son would have still been alive if not for the nonchalance of the people in charge of ambulance,” Bode Adegoke, a clergyman and foster father of the victim told Saturday PUNCH. “For instance, when the ambulance arrived, they asked us to pay N18,000 for fuel and another N5,000 separately for something I don’t know.

“When we told them that the boy was a student and was supposed to be attend to free of charge, we were told that we had to pay by all means.

“For the fact that I wanted to save the boy’s life, I had to pay the N18,000 for the ambulance and another N5,000 for fuel before they agreed to carry him to the hospital.

“By the time we got to the Trauma Centre in Ondo, his condition had worsened. Though he was attended to, he was still unconscious.

“If the ambulance had rushed him to the place on time, he could still have been alive today. Instead, those operating it were asking me to pay N18,000 while my son was dying,” he said.

READ ALSO: Death should have taken me instead of my only son –Mother of resident doctor stabbed to death in Lagos

Describing the late Oluwole as a responsible and brilliant child, Adegoke said he would be greatly missed by all of them.

“Temidayo has been living with me since he was a toddler, his father is my younger brother.

“In fact people think that he is my biological child. He was good in all things and was very reliable. We will miss him a lot,” he said.

Asked if he was going to press for charges following the boy’s tragic demise, the clergyman said he was leaving everything to God as nothing could bring back the 20-year-old to life.

“If those in government wish to punish anybody for my son’s death, that is for them. As for me, I have left the matter to God,” he added.

Corroborating Adegoke’s claim, a pupil and teacher of the school told our correspondent that indeed nonchalance on the part of the ambulance operators and medical workers at the initial places he was taken to contributed to the death of the  victim. According to them, if he had been attended to promptly immediately after the fall, Oluwole could have still been alive today.

“Temidayo would have survived the accident if there was a quick response to resuscitate him at the hospitals he was taken to initially. He died as a result of delays on the way to the hospital.

“When we were informed that he had fallen down from the mango tree, initially we thought it was a mild thing but when we got there and saw blood coming out from his nose, mouth and ear, we realised it was serious.

“We didn’t get an ambulance early enough to rush him to the hospital. In fact a vehicle that carried him initially also had an accident along the way.

“When the ambulance arrived and he was eventually taken to the Trauma Centre, he had started breathing abnormally.

“The oxygen at the place had some problem and by evening the boy stopped breathing. He died five hours after he fell from the tree. If he had received help on time, he would have still been alive today,” one of the pupils, who asked not to be named, said.

The pupil, who is a classmate to the victim, said Oluwole performed excellently well in various activities in school and had won many prizes including in inter-schools quiz competitions. This is apart from being a good athlete in the school.

For Mrs Joseph, a care giver to the pupils of the school, the deceased died as a result of lack of necessary equipment to offer first aid treatment in the hospital he was first taken to after the incident.  She lamented that when the boy was rushed to a specialist hospital in Akure, the state capital, there were no medical facilities to treat him before he was later referred to Ondo Trauma Centre where he passed away.

“The problem that we have in this state is that there are no good medical facilities in our hospitals.

“Had it been I was around when it happened, I will not allow them to take him to the state hospital, rather we will take him to another place.

“If he had received prompt medical attention immediately he fell from the tree, he would have survived it.

“When I was called, I met him inside the ambulance at the hospital with oxygen on him. I asked about the doctor, the driver said he was coming. I had to personally hold the bed on which he was lying inside the ambulance. There was no medical personnel with us inside the vehicle.

“This is very shameful. For a state like Ondo not to have health facilities that can save people’s lives, it is very bad. This young life had just been wasted because those in charge have failed to do the right thing,” she said.

During a visit to the Ijo Mimo High School earlier in the week, our correspondent observed how the institution still wore a mournful look following the death of one of its best pupils. Everybody around the place were seen discussing the issue in groups, wondering how the entire incident had happened. During the visit, our correspondent gathered that three other pupils of the school had also fallen to their deaths from the same mango tree in the past, raising concerns that there could be something strange about the tree.

“I think it is more of a coincidence than anything spiritual,” a teacher at the school, who also asked not to be named, said. “It just happened that the pupils fall down after maybe some kind of mistake. There are several others who climb and come down safely, so I don’t think there is anything strange about the tree,” she added.

Unhappy at the incident, the Ondo State Ministry of Education announced that punitive measures would be taken against the teacher, who asked Oluwole to climb the tree. Commissioner for Education in the state, Mr Femi Agagu, said that the matter had been taken up by the state government and steps to prevent a reoccurrence had been taken as an order had been issued for all trees within the school compound to be cut down.

Spokesperson for the Police in Ondo, Mr Femi Joseph, told Saturday PUNCH that the command had arrested Kura for sending the victim on such dangerous errand. He said she was currently being interrogated at the Criminal Investigative Department and may face prosecution for negligence of duty.

“She (Kura) was supposed to be the parent of the pupils in the school and should not have sent the boy on such a risky errand.

“This is the reason she is more culpable, her negligence caused what happened to the boy and that is dereliction of duty. We will do justice to the best of our ability,” Joseph said.

No comments