As the nation marks the fourth anniversary of the June 3, 2015 flood and fire disaster at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra that claimed more than 150 lives and left scores of others injured, some victims are still nursing injuries.
At the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, a 40-year-old commercial bus driver and father of four has, in the last 1,460 days, undergone eight surgeries and bought drugs the cost of which has now left him broke.
With his face totally disfigured, Mr Kassim Suraj, who also sustained head injuries, said he was motivated to live because of the memory of his wife who, unknown to him at the time, had died with their seven-year-old child in the horrific incident.
“As we speak, I feel a lot of pain from the treatment I’m currently receiving for my head injuries, making me struggle to sleep sometimes,” he told the Daily Graphic as he wiped tears of agony from his face.
According to Mr Suraj’s medical records, he suffered about 60 per cent total surface burns, with inhalation injury. His burns were described as mixed thick burns. The eight surgeries he underwent covered skin grafts and various corrective and reconstructive surgeries.
He is yet to undergo more surgeries.
Mr Suraj’s bills amounted to GH¢27,000 and covered surgical procedures and post-operative management.
He still requires some scar revisions, as well as surgeries to correct the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body.
The surgeries include hair transplant, which is best performed in Europe and North America.
Mr Suraj expressed appreciation to the management and staff of the hospital for their care over the years.
“I am really grateful to the hospital administration and the staff of my ward for their services and support for me.
But for their care, I do not know what would have happened to me.
I am deeply grateful to them. Sometimes they even contribute money to pay for my drugs,” he added.
According to him, he received GH¢10,000 from the government as compensation during the first anniversary of the tragedy and said the amount was spent on transportation from Kasoa to the 37 Military Hospital where he went three times a week to dress his wounds.
After the initial treatment and discharge from the hospital in 2016, he decided to drive a taxi.
“It was not easy. I had to wear a hat that covered my head.
Sometimes a passenger would sit in the car and the moment he or she saw my face, he or she would get down out of fear.
But there were others who sympathised with me and did not bother about my appearance.
“The car was my only source of income that was helping to pay the bills.
But, unfortunately, it broke down.
It was at that point in March 2017 that I had to return to the hospital because of discharges from my head,” Mr Suraj said.
He later sold the taxi and added the money he had from selling it to GH¢3,000 he received from the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, to use as deposit when he was re-admitted to the hospital.
He, however, said apart from the medications used for the dressing, he did not pay for the other consumables.
He said the accident had also affected his eyesight.
Source: Daily Graphic
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|