A poor widow in Nigeria’s Plateau State, Rahila Ali is currently crushed by grief and confusion following the demise of her striving son admitted for spinal cord injury since January.
Authorities at the Jos University Teaching Hospital have insisted an accumulated bill of N503,110.00 must be paid in full before the corpse of Late Yusuf Ali would be released for funeral, Mrs. Ali told our correspondent in a phone interview.
Mr. Ali, a former labourer at a construction site in Ibadan broke his spinal cord in an auto crash in Oyo State in the third week of January, and had been bedridden ever since, said Mrs. Ali.
The 39year-old had traveled to gather finances to support her meat hawking business, she said. According to her, she had singlehandedly raised seven children from hawking chicken and beef in the streets of Jos. Her husband, Ali Gyang – a former employee of the defunct Nigerian Airways died in December 1997, she said.
Ali’s accident she explained caused her to empty all of her savings and as well borrow as much as N200,000 for his drugs, diagnoses and a series of blood transfusions.
This is exclusive of a N600,000 bill demanded for his surgery which she said she could not raise.
“Each time I tried to hawk and gather some money, one issue will come up,” she said.
“There was a day I was hawking and my daughter called to tell me of an urgent need for three pints of blood which forced me to scream in shock. It took a woman who was observing to help me out with some money to settle the bill which was about N30,000.
“So far we have transfused him with 15 pints of blood,” she added. The National Blood Transfusion Centre in Jos charges at least N10,000 for each pint.
Mr. Ali passed on Sunday night after taking his last pint of blood, said the weeping widow.
The outstanding N503,110.00 bill is for the treatment of bed sore and physical wounds during his admission, she noted, appealing for public donations.
An account number given for persons wishing to donate is given as 3072616630 at First Bank named Samson Ali.
She could be reached on +2347031056256.