Excellence

“My Name is Ngozi, and this is the story of how the most precious thing in life to me was made possible.

When I was pregnant with my baby ‘Excellence’ there existed no medical facility within 600 miles. I worried every day about complications because there was nothing; no pharmacy, no maternity, just nothing. Back then a simple fever could kill you. Paracetamol (Tylenol) was not even available, and people who have brought it back from big cities like Lagos would never share it. They need to keep it for their families for when they inevitably get sick.

My brother died from malaria not so long ago. A year back I lost my own mother when she was giving birth to what would have been my youngest sibling, if that baby had lived. So I worried – I was afraid that what happened to my mother would happen to me when the day came to deliver my baby. I also worried for my husband. He’s a good man and I love him very much, but he can’t take care of himself… he can’t cook. Who will feed him? How would he cope without me? All these worries were not good for the baby.

My water broke prematurely and I entered delivery. Since there was no clinic in my town I was taken to a clinic in Ogume that an American man had opened. If not for that clinic, neither I nor my child would be alive today. Before getting there I had lost a lot of blood and was getting weak. The nurses there performed an operation. I thought I was going to die, and I prayed that at least let my child be saved. I prayed to the Christian God, I prayed to the Adofi – our own God, and I even prayed to the Muslim God.

I don’t really remember what happened as I drifted off into nothingness, but when I awakened I saw a lady in white smiling down at me. I was alive. I made it.

My mind immediately went to my baby, but before I could start worrying the nurse assured me she was OK. I saw her and my life changed forever. This clinic, these people saved my life, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t remember the gift that they gave me.

Did you know the clinic, ‘Excellence Medical,’ is now named after my daughter ‘Excellence’? And that she will get free medical care for life? This clinic is the best thing that has happened to people around here for a very, very long time. If it was here before, maybe my mother, her baby, and my brother would all still be with me. Excellence would grow up to know them. My mother and brother were really good people and my baby would have learned so much from them. What a tragedy that this was not here before… but at least it’s here now, so there’s hope for other families. Hope that they would never have to lose the people they love like I did because of lack of access to life saving medicine and care.”

Ngozi Onah
Delta State, Nigeria

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