Grateful to those who helped following accident

Dear Editor,

Have you ever met an angel? Think a moment, you might be surprised. I personally believe you may have. If you doubt the existence of angels, give my story some thought.

At approximately 7.30 one bright Sunday morning in May 2009, I was onboard the last minibus to depart from the Kurupukari crossing, some 20 minutes after all the other buses had already left for the city. This was not only the last bus, but we were also in the centre of miles of dense pristine forest, populated by non-domesticated fauna.

About 8-10 minutes after departure, I suddenly felt gravel pitching on contact with the tyres, followed by a loud bizarre screeching sound and a smell of burning. I suddenly realized that I was being hoisted in a summersault as the bus turned turtle. I heard screams then complete quiet. After what seemed like forever, I opened my eyes and realized that I was the only one left in the bus.

Pain shot through my eardrums, down the nape of my neck along my spine and down to my toes. I tried moving forward but to no avail. My neck could not support my head. For a second I thought that this is what death felt like – dreadful. I tried to utter a few words of prayer but couldn’t; I had no words in my mind, only pain. Moments later, life for my 10 year old son without me flashed through my mind, my loved ones, the things I considered important, then there was nothing, absolutely nothing. After a while and moaning in excruciating pain, I was slowly dragged out of the bus and placed on a tarpaulin along the roadside. A Brazilian man constantly gave me water to sip and frequently sapped my head with water.

Although I did not want to be touched, I could not communicate this to the Brazilian man due to the language barrier. Every time he touched me, I felt shock waves to the core of my being, but the other passengers escaped with minor injuries; they sat alongside the road minding their own business. But this Brazilian man, whom I have never met before, sapped my head, gave me water and held my hands. I think he was probably telling me that all will be well. Was this Brazilian man my angel?

Subsequently, the driver returned to the crossing to seek help and I lost track of time. All of a sudden, another driver and a man and a woman, none of whom I’ve ever met before, came to offer help. I later learnt that the driver emptied his passengers at the Kurupukuri crossing and came to my aid without hesitation. Since I could not walk, I was hoisted into the bus and placed in a lying position. The driver then proceeded to take me to the nearest medical centre/police outpost in Mabura, some four hours drive away. The two passengers followed, one sat on my right and the other on my left; they held my hands and prayed and sang until I arrived at Mabura. Were these my other angels?

After I arrived at Mabura, the medic explained that there was absolutely nothing she could do; nevertheless, she administered an injection to assuage my pain which at this point was beyond what words could describe. She further explained that she didn’t expect any transportation, at least, not for the next 2-3 days. At this point I thought that this was it. I would certainly die. Unexpectedly and out of nowhere, a double cab pickup was passing on its way to the city, and I was hoisted again and placed in a lying position and escorted to Linden hospital. One passenger gave up his seat and sat in the tray, and although it rained at intervals I never heard him complain. Are these my other angels?

At The Linden Public Hospital the nurses and doctor demonstrated such care and concern, for a moment I thought I was somewhere else and not in Guyana. Dr Mahadeo, Nurse King and Nurse Cornelius were excellent. The following day I was discharged with a referral to the Georgetown Public Hospital; eight days after I was diagnosed with a fracture and dislocation to my neck by a specialist, Dr Samaroo, I was fitted in a cast which extended from my head to about two inches above my navel. I looked and felt like a spacewoman. The cast generated immense heat accompanied by total discomfort. Sitting upright as well as lying down was uncomfortable and unbearable. I suffered many tearful and sleepless nights.

Although the accident occurred while I was on official duty, the ministry where I’ve worked since 1997 practically abandoned me. When I arrived home my neighbours pitched in and helped me comb my hair, etc. My husband became the chief chef, among other things.

Sometimes the problems we face daily seem colossal and too much to bear, but be encouraged and note that if you focus and chronologically map out the positives in you life, you will be surprised to learn, if not for God’s intervention, you would not be alive to reminisce on the negatives.

This is a classic example of divine intervention. I felt the burning need to share my story with all Guyanese especially since every story these days hinges on wars, crimes and death. If you believe in God he will come through for you. Keeping this experience to my self would be too great a sin. Do you believe in angels? I certainly do.

Although I am unable to mention everyone who has helped me in whatever form during my illness, I wish to extend sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the following:

Pastor and Reverend Rock; Mfon and Mucan Akpan; Alexis McChurchin and family; Negla Ford and family; Onyeka Chinidu and family; Clementi Stella and family; Saskia and Clare Wilson; Catherine Michael; Ms Sonia Smith; Ms Denise Campbell; Ms Beverly Summner;

Ms Mitzie Smith; Ms Simone Taylor; Ms Selena Lepps; Ms Roxanne; Sister Mayline; Sister Marlyn Henry; Mr Weswel Burnett.

To the driver who transported me from the Kurupukari accident site to Mabura and his two companions, and the driver who picked me up from Mabura and dropped off me at Linden Hospital, please call me at 6154159. I never stop thinking about your good deed. May the Lord Jesus keep you and bless you always.

Yours faithfully,
Mildred Michael-Akpan

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