My Second Chance Story

Life has a way of serving you dishes you never want or desire. How we handle these dishes determines our overall outlook to life- disgruntled and angry with the world or a stepping stone to greatness. I have a story. Anyone who sees me today will never believe it happened. Even I, the main star in the story, still doubts its authenticity from time to time but then a glance in the mirror, a sudden nervous twitch brings me back to reality. As I reflect back, I am grateful to God, my family and all who stood by me during the biggest challenge in my life.

November 2009, a great turning point in my life. I got married to the love of my life. I was ecstatic! When one grows up reading love stories and praying for your own prince charming to arrive, when he does, the world rights itself in your favour. That was my mentality.  Relocating though painful was exciting. I was set to cut the strings from mummy’s apron and stand like the big girl I thought I was. Today however I have come to the realization that truly the strings to the apron can never be truly cut. Once birthed, your life is interwoven to your family.

As a woman, the joy of carrying your unborn child especially that of your loved one is indescribable and the pain in losing halfway…earth shattering. I  lost my very first few weeks after conceiving. I was numb! From the evacuation process to burying the fetus, It seemed as if I was in a different plane looking at what was going on. My husband, my family members worried, tried to jolt me out of that state but me…..I was spaced out. I just wanted to sleep and carry on as if nothing was out of place. If only I knew, we knew what was in the months ahead.

Barely six weeks after, I took in again but in my naΓ―ve state, I couldn’t differentiate any bodily change. It took a serious bout of vomiting and malaria symptoms to rush me to the hospital where it was confirmed.  The twist came in here. I was given an injection.  Up till today, no one can fully ascertain whether it was the drug that sparked up the next phase in my life or my body simply reacting to the pregnancy.

Initially,  when the reactions started,  many thought it was malaria. I believe the elderly women who were my neighbours thought I was just being lazy and pampered. After all it was just a pregnancy they reasoned. “We all have had many.” Funny enough, it was the same thought going on in some of the nurses that attended to me. My memory was flitting in and out but I remembered in one of the visits to the hospital where I was admitted,  the nurse just gave me a bowl to spit after doing all she could. I was spitting blood!!! Subconsciously, I knew this wasn’t pregnancy symptoms anymore.  My husband quickly called my mother and I was discharged against medical advice and moved to a teaching hospital close to my childhood home. Phase 2! It became worse. Ironically, the journey down there I couldn’t remember apart from telling my husband and mother my fear that I wouldn’t make it- something they both rejected instantly. 

My stay in that hospital….I have a better understanding of patients I see now, the pains and frustration when they try to express their ordeals to their healthy loved ones and they can’t comprehend.  It is a silent hell.

 I could still talk,  I could remember though hazily, I could stagger, I could see. I never knew a day would come when all these will be near impossible. By the way, I was still pregnant. In the recess of my mind, I kept encouraging myself. Just seeing the pain in my family ‘s eyes-my husband, mother, sisters- I braced up and smiled,  swallowing the pain and gritting for nighttime when no one was around. In all honesty, the doctors attending to me tried given the facilities they had to work with but my case was puzzling.  There was no change and I was getting tired of staying in the hospital.  In my opinion,  I was getting worse instead of better and my care left a lot to be desired. I could get better care at home I reasoned so I persuaded my mother and husband so I could be an outpatient. 

I was discharged and permitted to be coming for checkups and antenatal clinics. A doctor friend visited me daily at home to fix whatever had to be done. A time came I couldn’t see. It happened suddenly. All of a sudden it was darkness. My mother quickly rushed me back to the hospital.  Mothers! God bless true mothers. The fight they fight for their children is enormous.  Soon after some drugs, I recovered my eyesight. The doctor revealed then something was wrong with my central nervous system, something was going on in my brain that couldn’t be detected. In life sometimes , some people are put in your way to push you to where your help and breakthrough will come (in their mind they think they are being cruel and hurtful). In my case it was a very close family member.  I was shattered. “You are supposed to be there for me not push me into the world” I cried within myself but then after weeping in my weakened state, I requested to go back to my husband’s house. My mother and siblings agreed and I travelled back. 

Throughout this time, faith in God, strong family support propelled me on that I could beat this. Later I got to know that people called my husband aside to tell him I was not good, citing that we just got married and all this happening and I came to siphon his money. What a wicked world! In life not all who you call friends are friends.  A hard lesson learnt. In that state, I didn’t see my ‘so called friends’. It was barely six months after many had danced at my wedding.  Life! The more we live daily, the more we learn. 

My limbs got weaker, my sight dimmed and to remember simple things became  so hard. My mum stayed with me when my husband went to work, my siblings came visiting and helped when they could. No one knew what was wrong. Most people concluded it was because of my stay in the hospital that was the reason for the weakened limbs so encouraged me to move around. That was difficult! My mother had to support me with my growing pregnancy to take few steps each day. There came a day- was so bad, my husband and mother looked at me lying helpless in bed unable to move. He decided there and then this was not just working. Time to seek another medical advice. His friend and wife came and as soon as she saw me being that she was in the medical profession compelled us to immediately go back to the hospital as the deterioration over the last couple of days was horrendous. 

Dead weight! That was what I was. Three men struggled to carry me to the car. In the hospital (the very first one I went at the beginning), one glance at me and immediately I was referred to a major hospital in the nearby state, Lagos. Oh Nigeria! We weep at the sight of our roads. Before they were able to get me to the hospital,  hours had passed and it was nightfall. In the hospital as I was being registered, I kept pleading to urinate. I was assisted to the toilet but couldn’t pass any urine. That was a red signal to the medical team. Immediately a catheter was fixed and the amount of urine showed need for immediate attention. My organs were failing. I was rushed to the hospital headquarters where immediately on arrival at the emergency unit I had a cardiac arrest. Till today, the thought of what my family went through seeing me being resuscitated over and over again is something that will forever leave an indelible mark on my heart. 

The medical team that night I am forever grateful. They refused to give up. When I was stabilised, I was moved to intensive care. At this time I had slipped into a coma and was no longer aware of my surroundings.  I stayed in a coma for a couple of days attached to a life support machine. Today, when I see a life support machine when watching movies and see the pain and agony the loved ones are facing,  I get a better grasp of what I and my family went through and I am forever grateful to God. Never ever take this life for granted. It can easily slip through your grasp.

I woke up unable to move from neck down, my last memory was of happenings over two months ago. I was so afraid in the sterile ward, no familiar face. When my family came to see me,  the tears in their eyes puzzled me. Too many films and books…. I thought I was in a place years ahead. I had to ask the doctors over and over what month and year it was because I thought everyone else was lying to me. This was the first time in a long while I was seeing things vividly even though I couldn’t recognize where I was. It was all so strange. I was like a newborn baby, I had to learn to talk again, learn how to support my neck, how to move. I was a 20+ old new born baby. 

I still remember the first day I spoke, weeks after my admission.  The doctors were doing routine ward rounds. The norm for me was using my eyes to express myself as I couldn’t talk. My limbs barely moved.  The internal struggles were real! I had words but they were locked up. No way to come out. The doctors and nurses were attending to my bedside neighbour  as I looked on. Suddenly the dam broke. “Effiong!” I screamed. The lady in question literally jumped out of her skin. The medical team looked at me in joy and amazement. It was a touching scene. Everyone could hardly believe I had just blurted out a word. Personally,  it was like I had crossed a chasm of silence into sound. Effiong could hardly wait to inform my family in the waiting room who held daily vigil believing that I would survive. The joy, the thanksgiving to God, the smiles….. it was something never to be forgotten.  It was then I was allowed to have my first solid meal. For me no hesitation.  It was rice! The aroma of my bedside neighbour’s food had been torturing me for days. Suffice to say even the doctors laughed when they heard.

I still had a long way to go. I couldn’t sleep lying flat out . I was still attached to a life support machine but that wasn’t the issue. I could only sleep inclined. Immediately the bed was laid flat in a normal sleeping position, I started choking. There was a lot of mucus in my lungs that had to be drained periodically for me to breathe smoothly.  A really scary one was when I had to be wheeled to the laboratory for an MRI scan. It was bad! I was rushed back to the ICU and placed back on the life support and my lungs quickly drained. The doctor that attended to me was quick thinking. Truthfully,  I am forever grateful. This was someone who never knew me but became a friend, godsent to ensure throughout my stay in the hospital I was comfortable. A good lesson….your being there for someone, just your presence can be that one step to pull the person back from the brink of death to life.

True love! Never underestimate its power, its potency.  My husband proved it over and over. He rejected every medical opinion that my survival was low, that our child will not survive. He stood by me even when others stepped back. Mother and sisters….they were there. They literally placed their lives on hold to stand by me. In life, when you experience challenges,  those who stand by you can make a difference in whether you come out strong or die in the midst of your struggles. Till today, doctors who attended to me still speak of the strong presence of my husband, mother and sisters by my sick bed. I vividly remember one of the nurses questioning me about other family members and friends. Life!

There in the intensive care unit, we didn’t know ourselves facially. We just heard our names. We were wounded soldiers of life struggling to get up. Some of us didn’t make it. It was painful to know that out of the many that were brought in still breathing,  many went out to the morgue. Prof (Mrs) and Alhaji- two conspicuous people in my mind that battled but lost the battle. Alhaji’s was even more painful- already deemed better to move to the next ward progressing and then worsening.  I moved on gradually to outpatient,  never knowing his fate until I returned months later for routine tests. The other surviving co-patient Mr Afolabi was recuperating fine even when I left,  the last I heard of him. That season, he and I were practically the only ones that held on to life.

My journey to health was long. Medically,  no one could pinpoint what was wrong. I was put on different medications.  Many thought I had a kind of disease that made me swell not knowing I was pregnant. I underwent physiotherapy during pregnancy, learnt how to walk again,  to move, and went through potty training all over again. Life! I realized the hard and painful way that even adults had diapers. My bowels had to be trained again. 

Today, I am a mother of three children.  I gave birth all through caesarean sections and come out fine after every single one despite the complications that arose, I am walking without any walking aid, capable of taking care of my children without any assistance.  I still take medication; Sometimes the feelings of depression,  pain and reflection that I am not where I thought I would be when I was younger arises, but then I remember all I went through, how many like Alhaji and Prof(Mrs) didn’t make it, my family standing by me and I will say to myself  “I am grateful for another chance at life”

When I was in the hospital, one of the nurses told me one day that despite the pain and all I was going through, I always had a smile. I smiled at her. That was all I could do. I determined in my heart that I wouldn’t give up. To me, my family our mantra was “this too shall pass” and to all challenges now, the mantra is “this too shall pass!”

It’s been a little over a decade but daily, I am grateful for the second chance at life, to make an impact in the lives of people I come across. This is one of the reasons for this blog: to express myself and help others in my own little way. My near death experience is a reminder daily that with God, the impossible can still be made possible. Your situation may be written off by men but God can make a way even when to the human eye, there is no way. So my word to you is: hold on, trust God. All things work together for good to those who love God.(Romans 8:28 paraphrased). Tell yourself….this too shall pass!

Story and Images by Oruare Ojimadu

64 Comments Add yours

  1. Akinde Wilson says:

    To God be the glory.
    With God all things are possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. God is the way maker, the healer and restorer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Evbusogie Ezekiel says:

        Dear Oruare,
        I thank God for your life and thank you for sharing this testimony. Indeed, God is good. I can totally relate to your story… God bless you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen. Thank you. God bless you too

        Like

  2. Igbinosa Jolly says:

    With God all things are possible. Congratulations and remain blessed

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed God makes the impossible, possible. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Grace says:

    Miracle working God! I thank God for your life Mrs. Your testimony shall be permanent and you shall see your children’s children. Thanks for sharing… God is merciful and gracious! Thank you Lord!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen and Amen. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BLESSING GANKON says:

    Almighty God be praised. You are indeed a bundle of testimonies ma. Your testimony has ministered to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Ma. My prayer is that my testimony continues to tell people of God’s goodness and reassure them of His presence even in the midst of the storm.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Benny Orobator says:

    Oruare, God indeed have proven himself over and over again in your life. I am forever in awe of what God has done in your life
    He is not done with you yet . He still has a whole script for you to act.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. Daily is another chance to serve Him.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. David Motuanya says:

    I am so touched by this testimony and this is sure the raw hand of God at work to restore life to His daughter. I regoice with you

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. God remains Faithful

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Osarugue says:

    Oruare, thank you for sharing your story, indeed you went through a lot, we thank God for fighting your battles and bringing you back victorious.
    God bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen.Thank you for reading. God bless you too

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Emmanuel Odogu says:

    The Miracle worker at Work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed, He is the Unchangeable Changer

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! God is good. His mercies and love abides forever. God has a plan for you my dear sister. The experiences we have in life are for our own spiritual growth. I’m happy you won. Keep your focus on God, and continue winning. Thanks for sharing your story – it’ is a source of encouragement and reassurance to world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much. God bless you

      Like

  10. Airaoje Isoken says:

    Congratulations dearie, God is big.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes o. He is a big God!

      Like

  11. Omamuzo Ebeleju says:

    Thank you Lord Jesus for your mercy and Grace. God be praise. πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ebeleju Onoriode says:

    Indeed,what God cannot do does not exist. Glory to God for strength.
    Have always stood on that word “He will never give you a challenge that is bigger than you”. He always gives strength through every difficulties in life

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! God is Great. He is bigger than every situation.

      Like

  13. kennethojimadu says:

    What a mighty God we serve! We bless the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for standing by me.
      😘😘😘😘

      Like

  14. Philip says:

    I thank God for your life and the victory He gave you. Your testimony will go a long way in strengthening others. God bless

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He has given victory! Amen and Amen

      Like

  15. Simeon Areoye says:

    I remember when I came to hospital to visit and was told I couldn’t see you. “Immediate family only, she’s in the ICU” someone told me. I went back to the waiting room hoping I would see a family member.. Suddenly, mummy came out and as soon as she saw me she tried to mask her feelings, she smiled and said “it’s well” then she went on to explain why they wouldn’t want me to see you because you were on a life support machine. I just had to brace myself from showing my fear. How can mummy say “it’s well” when apparently everything didn’t seem well, I asked myself? That’s just simply faith in whom you know has all under control.. He’s name is Jesus! I went back home confident that you will make it… I continued praying for you…the news of your recovery filled me with so much joy… I can’t even explain it. God is indeed faithful to deliver! God bless you and yours

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Bro. I remember when I finally got to know you came around. Thank you for your support and prayers. God bless you too

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Suzzie says:

    Dear Oruare, I am inspired by your story and I thank God for his mercy upon your life. Truly we must appreciate good health and supportive family and friends.
    Regards.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed. Supportive family and friends go a long way in life. Good health is something we shouldn’t take for granted.Thank you so much for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Gibson Ejakpovi says:

    May the Lord perfect that which he has started. You story will surely bring life to many. I was really touched reading but happier that you are now very well and fine.

    The lord will perfect your healing in Jesus Name. Amen!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen and Amen. Thank you so much

      Like

  18. Ayinde kayode says:

    The devil made attempt to terminate your life but God says its not yet time,The scripture must be fulfilled.
    “You shall not die but live ” what a miracle working God we serve.
    You shall fulfill your days ma.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen. He is a great God. Thank you so much Sir

      Like

  19. Abiodun Idowu says:

    To God be the glory Oruare, thank God for supportive family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Forever and ever He deserves all the glory. Indeed thank God for supportive family

      Like

  20. Timadi Nkanga says:

    Thank God for his great deliverance and thank you for sharing. God bless and keep you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen and Amen. Thank you

      Like

  21. Christian James says:

    Your testimony just increased the faith of so many of us that feel the lord has abandoned us.
    God bless you for sharing your story to inspire us to keep up our faith .

    Stay bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen. Thank you Bro. God bless you

      Like

  22. Jabar says:

    HIS grace is always sufficient… you are never alone sis, never.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed He is ever present. Thanks Bro

      Like

  23. Pastor Wilson Okaka says:

    Glory be to God.
    This is an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness in your life.
    I pray that the glory of the Lord will always be manifested in your life and in your home in Jesus name.
    No evil shall come near you.
    You shall fulfil Gods will and purpose everyday of your life.
    Congratulations Oruare

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen and Amen!!! Thank you

      Like

  24. Enaholo says:

    I couldn’t read to the end, but appreciate the most I could read. All I can say is God has kept you and only He knows what happened to you. Your healing is permanent, your testimony gives hope and your life has a meaning because of Jesus. I rejoice with you and celebrate your victory over death….

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Femi says:

    It can only be God. For HIS love is everlasting

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Damilola Oyebadejo says:

    Dear Oruare, I am grateful to God that it ended in praise. God bless you for sharing ur testimony and reminding us of Gods faithfulness. May Gods goodness and mercy always be upon you and yours. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen and Amen. Thank you so much. God bless you

      Like

  27. Wow this touched me really deep. Thank God for your life dear Oruare what a great testimony indeed! May God continue to bless and keep you and your lovely family. Thank you for sharing β™₯️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen and Amen. Thank you so much. God bless you too

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Enahoro says:

    @Oruare Ojimadu: Wow! It is indeed a mighty deliverance and with an outstretched arm that GOD in his mercies rescued you from the clutches of death. GOD be praised and glorified! Reading your testimonial gave a dimension to it that even though others and even yourself have shared it…I guess words do it no justice what you went through…but GOD! So, I join you and all your family in thanking β€œGOD of a Second Chance”

    Like

    1. Thanks. God be praised forever. He alone is God

      Like

  29. Edose says:

    Dear Oruare wow what a testimony! What a God. I cant thank God enough for your life, for His mercies, pulling you from the clutches of death. Congratulations dear. My faith is rekindled. Thank God for your amazing husband and family members. God bless everyone of them. Stay blessed

    Like

    1. Indeed God is God! He is ever there! Thank you so much. God bless you too

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Grace Ejemai says:

    To God be the Glory. Thank God for keeping you and giving you the Victory. Hallelujah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Forever and ever He deserves all the praise. God bless you.

      Like

  31. Pope says:

    Rary my sister my friend…
    Nov 2009 will be a year to remember and thank God daily.
    I remember calling and calling and calling… From mum to Ken to Ur sisters daily..
    I remember our video chat in the hospital. What I remember most was you calling my name when you woke up! I cried because I knew the war was over…
    I remember laughing over your learning to walk and me telling you you can now sway well…
    Rary you be God pikin… Your book is still opened…
    Know I am still waiting for awesome things from your end..
    You still owe me a dance at my wedding so continue practicing….
    Shei I danced at yours…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sister from another mother😘😘😘😘😘. Thank you for all your support. If I start to say everything…… thank you for being a friend, a sister😘😘😘. My dancing shoes are ever ready. God bless you real good

      Like

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