She felt her world crumbling before her eyes. As they scrambled for their clothes strewn around on the floor, she picked her phone and rushed out of the room. Grabbing her bag blindly, she flew out of the house ignoring cries of “wait”. Her eyes filled with tears, she could hardly open her car and her hands shook as she put the keys in the ignition. She pulled out of the driveway and turned the corner with great speed, tears streaming down her cheeks. Ignoring the honks of other cars, she entered the main road right into an oncoming trailer. The last sound she heard was BANG!!! And everything went pitch dark.
The pain nudged her into consciousness and through the haze of pain she realised she was lying on a bed in a sterile white room. She glanced round with pain-filled eyes and saw men and women, few sleeping, others gritting their teeth in pain. Moving her body, she groaned in pain. It was excruciating and she found it difficult to lift her legs. Her eyes caught sight of tubes of different sizes coming from a machine and noticed that they were attached to her. Fear filled her and a scream rose up in her throat threatening to spill out. She opened her mouth to shout but no sound came out. Terrified now, she struggled against the bed ignoring the rising crescendo of noise coming from the equipment attached to her. Suddenly two people appeared beside her: a male and a female. In her distressed state she had not heard any footstep. The lady took her hand and started checking her pulse as the man wearing a white overall spoke. Gradually she calmed down, the voice permeating into her consciousness. He was a doctor and the lady a nurse he explained. She was in safe hands and in the hospital. Seeing the quizzing look in her eyes, he explained that she had been involved in an accident and had been unconscious for a couple of days.
Noting her pulse calming down, the nurse turned towards the doctor and an unspoken signal passed through them. She turned and walked away as the doctor glanced at her and smiled. “Your family is waiting outside. They are anxious to see you. They will see you in few minutes.” His calm demeanor and warm eyes reassured her and she gave a hint of a nod.
The door opened and an elderly couple entered. Quickly, they rushed to her side as the doctor discretely moved aside for them. The eyes of the woman were red rimmed and swollen, revealing hours of crying. Though the man seemed calm and composed, one with a discerning eye could note the occasional tremor passing through him.
Her lips mouthing the words “mom, dad” brought smiles to their faces as they leaned over her, her mom stretching forth her hand to clasp hers, while her father smiled at her. It was a poignant scene and the doctor who was standing a distance away was touched. In his short time as a doctor, he still had not gotten used to the moving scene of sick patients reuniting with their loved ones. In this case, he knew that this family still had a long ordeal to face. Intruding on their moment, he informed them that they had a few minutes with her before she would be wheeled away for an MRI scan. Nodding their understanding, they turned towards her again as he walked out of the room to give them some privacy.
As Adaobi struggled to make out words, they hushed her up telling her they were aware of everything and reassured her. Her mom sighed tearfully as she informed her that her twin brother and his fiancée were on their way and would see her after she finished the scan. Her mum and Dad avoided mentioning anything about Tola despite the questioning look they saw in her eyes.
Within few minutes, two nurses came to prepare her for the scan and her parents stepped outside to wait. An hour of waiting saw her back in her hospital bed, tired and in pain. She felt pummeled all over. The nurse quickly gave her painkillers after she was settled in bed. She could hardly keep her eyes open to greet her brother and his fiancée before she dozed off, the painkillers kicking in.
The re-united family met in the waiting room anxiously waiting for the diagnosis. Her father paced up and down while her mother rested her head against the wall, her eyes closed but Nnamdi and Chichi knew she wasn’t sleeping. Her pinched lips betrayed that fact. They both sat together, Nnamdi on the phone quietly talking to someone. Chichi heard snippets of the conversation with Tola’s name mentioned a couple of times. She had met him a couple of times and had taken an instant dislike to him as soon as she set her eye on him hid it carefully away from Ada. She didn’t want to hurt her sister-in-law to be.
They had to wait almost an hour before they met with the consultant and his junior colleague- the young doctor who had ushered the parents in earlier. The grim look on their faces confirmed the prognosis- she might not walk again or at best her walking ability will be highly limited. Tears rolled down women’s eyes and the struggle the men – father and son – had in maintaining a stiff lip was noticeable. The consultant explained that the MRI had revealed blot clots in her brain and nerve points that had been severely damaged by the impact. The consultant explained details and possible treatment while the young doctor looked on, taking some notes on the note pad he held. After the interaction where questions were asked and answers proffered, the family left the doctors, sober and thoughtful. Knowing the odds, the recovery battle for Adaobi’s health had officially begun.