My story is strange.
Even though I am not your regular church person, I believe in a higher power.
This story I am about to tell you happened a few years back.
I got a call from my son’s school that he had taken ill and that the school’s clinic couldn’t handle his ailment anymore.
He was in a boarding school on the outskirts of Lagos at that time. Usually, what happens is, when a child is sick, the school would administer first aid. I mean for instance, if it is malaria which is prevalent in our part of the world, they would start by giving analgesics, then if the feverish condition continues, they graduate to testing for malaria. 8 out of 10 times, there would be some form of malarial parasite in the blood, especially with kids, so they began to treat my son for malaria.
Three days later, nothing happened, as in the boy wasn’t getting any better. Then they called me to come take him to the hospital for better treatment.
When I got to my son’s school, he was in a bad shape I couldn’t tell the kind of drugs they had pumped into him but the boy was almost comatose. I was scared I would lose my son, I mean, what did they give him?
I quickly picked him and headed straight for LASUTH but before I got to the hospital, I had made calls to a few of my friends who had connections at the hospital to help me get the best doctors on standby.
My friends made calls and before I got to the hospital, a team of doctors were already waiting to receive him.
Thankfully, one of the doctors, a very senior Resident, took a look at my son and said he would not administer any drugs on the boy because his liver had become overloaded with several other drugs they had given him at school. He said I had to go find a particular drug that would help his liver function well before he would even treat the boy. He told me the drug was scarce and that he hoped I would be able to get it before my son’s organs began to shut down.
I took off immediately on a hunt for the drug, I went to the popular Alpha pharmacy, no show. I went down all the pharmacies along Allen, down Opebi, all the big and small pharmacies around the area and none of them had the drug, they all said the drug had to be ordered that it normally wasn’t the type of drugs they sold over the counter.
At this time, I had been going from pharmacy to pharmacy for almost three hours and the clock was ticking, my son’s life was on the brink. Someone advised I head to the island; I did, no drug, at several pharmacies, they called their other branches to find out if they had it, this drug couldn’t be found.
At one or two pharmacies, I was directed to certain little known pharmacies and I would rush there, only to be told the drug was not available. I called the doctor and he said, that was the only drug that could help my son.
I drove back to Ikeja, around that Ipodo side and sat in my car wondering what next to do. I didn’t know when I burst into tears. I cried like a baby because I was afraid I would lose my son. I don’t know how long I cried, you know, I didn’t care that people were looking at me and wondering but suddenly, I heard loud knocking on my passenger side window. I looked up and a mad man was standing there. Mad as in shaggy hair, dirty torn clothes, crazy eyes.
You know when you are looking at something and it isn’t really registering in your head? Yes, I was staring at the mad man and my mind was…,no I wasn’t afraid.
He was speaking to me, the mad man was saying something, I heard ‘drugs’, I heard ‘son’…then I wound the glass down a bit, he repeated himself, ‘You are looking for a drug for your son, come let me take you to where to get it.’
I kid you not!
As in, I jumped right out of my car, I didn’t think twice that this was a lunatic, a mad man, I followed him. We walked and walked and walked, for like 15 minutes, I didn’t ask him if he knew what he was doing or where he was taking me to, did I know what I was doing following a mad man round Ikeja?
Finally, we got to one small pharmacy, he stood outside and asked me to go inside and ask for the drug. I went in and met a girl inside, I asked for the drug and she said they didn’t have it.
Oh my God! I almost fainted, I asked her to check, that they had to have the drug, but the girl insisted they didn’t have the drug. I felt so defeated, I went outside and told the mad man they didn’t have it; he asked me to go back, that they had it.
The way he said it, it was with so much conviction, I followed his advisc and began to shout at the girl to check the store for the medicine, I told her my son was dying, that I had been looking for this drug for some time and I needed it urgently and that I won’t leave the pharmacy until she sold me the drug!
As I was shouting at her, a man arrived, she greeted him and he asked me what I wanted. I told the man, he said he was the owner of the pharmacy and that the drug I wanted was not something they stocked but that it was ordered. He said he just got the order another customer had asked for and that he would sell it to me and re-order for the customer!
That was how I got the drug!
That was how I bought it that day, that was how my son was saved!
As for the mad man, I couldn’t thank him enough, I knew he was no ordinary mad man. How did he know I needed that drug so badly for my son?
How did he know what pharmacy had the drug at that time?
He could only have been an angel.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)