When 10-year-old, Mukhtar Adamu attempted to step out of a train he had boarded, while it was still in motion, he did not know that the act was a terrible mistake which he would regret for the rest of his life. He lost both legs in the process.
Neither Mukhtar Adamu nor his Islamic tutor envisaged the impending danger which led to the amputation of the limbs of the teenager who was brought to Kano from Bichi local government area of the state for Almajiranci (Islamic schooling). The head teacher of Adamu’s school, however, decided that the pupils of the school needed a more conducive learning environment and suggested that the pupils moved to Kaugama, in Jigawa state, in search of more knowledge.
This informed the journey by train with Adamu’s teacher and other pupils they boarded the locomotive going to Nguru in Yobe State through Kaugama.
On arrival at Kaugama, Adamu attempt to step out of the train while it was still in motion. Suddenly Adamu was swept under the train and dragged on the rail line while his limbs were also crushed. By the time the train came to a halt, Adamu was lifeless.
The young boy, who was boarding a train for the first time in his life, recounted his experience to Pyramid Trust. “I don’t know exactly what happened.
That was why I attempted to come down. That was the first time I was travelling by rail so I did not know the implication of what I was doing. I can only remember that I made an attempt to step out of the train when it began to slow down, the next thing I knew was that I found myself on this hospital bed.”
Adamu’s father, Malam Adamu Danjuma, explained to Pyramid Trust how the train crushed his son’s two legs.
“The boy has told you what happened; the train pulled his shirt and dragged him on the rail line and since the train was in motion, it crushed his two legs. Because of the devastating nature of the accident nobody thought Mukhtar would survive as both legs were completely damaged. He was lifeless so we quickly rushed him to National Orthopaedic Hospital in Dala,” Malam Danjuma, said.
Dr Salihu Muhammad is the consultant orthopaedic surgeon who handled Adamu ‘s case at the hospital. Dr Muhammad who spoke on behalf of the hospital’s Chief Medical Director (CMD), said that Mukhtar was brought to the hospital sometime last week, after the train trapped his cloth and crushed his legs. “By the time he was rushed here, the legs were already gangrenous, that is to say, they were already dead. He was also at that time quite toxic as bacteria were already in his system. We had to quickly resuscitate him and amputate the limbs to save his life because once anything is dead in the human body, the best thing to do is to take off that part.
On the chances of Adamu’s survival, Dr Muhammad said; “as at now, the chance of survival is very high and we are hopeful that he is going to make it. The train had crushed his two legs and the wound has extended to his scrutum, but his testes are still normal,” Dr Muhammad said.
Dr Muhammad said that the hospital decided to waive Adamu’s bills, saying that, “There is no way the hospital would demand for payment as both the boy’s father and the Islamic tutor are poor. Right now, the boy is getting better, though he is still on drugs and dressing of the two lower limps is also ongoing”, the doctor disclosed.
The hospital is, however, worried that the boy may later take to begging on the streets due to his condition, thus the suggestion it made for Muhktar to be assisted to live a useful and productive life, to prevent him from becoming a beggar.
Muhammad, therefore said that one of the things that Adamu would need when fully recovered, to enable him walk around, is artificial limbs. The various artificial limbs are available at the hospital and cost between N150, 000 to N200, 000.
The hospital would only take care of the treatment, but well meaning Nigerians should help him purchase the artificial limbs.
Dr Muhammad explains further; “because he is about 10 now, whatever artificial limb is given to him in 2009 may be required to be changed by 2011 because by that time he would have outgrown that limb. This means, he would require series of artificial limbs until he becomes about 18 years of age when whatever limb is given to him might become permanent.
“He also needs a plan for his education because, the fact that he lost his legs is not the end of his life. He needs to be encouraged to go to school and become useful in life.”
“It is important for Kano State government, especially, to come to the aid of this boy because, as I said earlier the hospital has waved his bills on humanitarian grounds. Therefore, if we leave the issue of his education to his teacher and father, the boy may not be adequately provided for in that regard. There is, therefore, the need for governments, organisations and individuals to come to his aid,” Dr Muhammad remarked.
According to Dr Muhammad, what Adamu’s treatment had cost the hospital, for now, is in the region of N150,000 and the treatment would continue for the next two to three months. At the time Adamu would recover fully, the hospital, according to Dr Muhammad, might have incurred about N500,000 for the treatment.
Despite his condition, Adamu still nurses an ambition; “I still want to go back to my Islamic school because I want to be able to memorise the Holy Qur’an and master Islamic jurisprudence to become an Islamic scholar,” Adamu told Pyramid Trust, smiling with enthusiasm.
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