|Dame Patience and Goodluck Jonathan at portrait unveiling|
I am very happy for Dame Patience Jonathan. In a recent thanksgiving for her continued good health, she talked about her three months in the hospital, her near-death experience and how she survived thus:
“I remember when Chief Obasanjo was the President of the country, I was close to his late wife, Stella. We worshiped together in this chapel. It was a painful moment for me that time when she (Stella) died and her corpse was brought here. That was how my corpse would have been brought here. It was not an easy experience for me. I actually died, I passed out for more than a week. My intestine and tummy were opened.
“I am not Lazarus but my experience was similar to his. My doctors said all hope was lost. “A black doctor in London who is with us in this service was flown in when the situation became critical. It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I will return to Nigeria. God woke me up after seven days.
“I know that some people somehow leaked the information that I was dead. They are people that I trust and rely on; to them, I was dead and I would never return to the country alive. Some of them even sold my things off. I won’t say everything here. It is the Lord’s doing that I returned alive. When God says yes, nobody can say no.
“People are always afraid of operation (surgery) but in my own case, while my travail lasted, I was begging for it (surgery) after the third operation because I was going to the theatre everyday. It was God who saw me through. I did eight or nine operations within one month. It was not an easy one.
The day I came back, I said God I have nothing to say, I offer myself to you. I will be doing things that will touch the lives of the less privileged. God gave me second chance because I reached there. He knew I have not completed the assignments He gave me, that was why I was sent back”.
Again, let me say that I really thank God for Patience Jonathan's life. My parents and relatives have had extended hospital stay experiences and it is not a joking matter. Getting out of coma and having multiple surgeries like she did, it must have been quite grueling. God was really merciful to her, and it's great she set a day for thanksgiving and testified of His goodness.
I wish though that she's named her diagnosis and said what it's all about. These things are not voodoo, and when we cloak ill-health like she did here, it sounds like all magic and miracles. Sure, God granted her life and good health, but it came through doctors and scientific knowledge. Being sick or diagnosed is nothing to be ashamed of, but an opportunity to learn and teach others too if you're in a position to.
If she can't do that, she could simply state the diagnosis and let those who can ask Google carry on the work. Imagine if all the newspapers and websites running news of her thanksgiving equally had articles on how to avoid a certain sickness. I know for sure that Goldie's death and the speculation of DVT and Pulmonary Embolism has led to more awareness of that condition now than before.
Also, wouldn't it be a great if Patience Jonathan used the N500Million raised at her thanksgiving event to start an endowment for the research and cure of whatever had afflicted her? Or she could sponsor a wing at one of the teaching hospitals dedicated to treating the illness. We all know that not every Nigerian woman who is sick has the money or influence like the President's wife to get flown to Germany, Spain, or United Kingdom, and benefit from the excellent health-care there.