Yesterday, I saw a little child lying in a pool of his own blood. His carer wailing helplessly, and the van that had hit him, parked abruptly on the road. It was not a hit and run. Local residents came out of their apartments to find out what all the noise was about, there was a lot of screaming, and noise...the sirens from police cars, and then ambulances. It was a very, very, sad experience.
I held my hands to my head as I saw the helplessness of the situation, even as the paramedics tried to resuscitate him. A little child, perhaps, a sibling or a close friend was crying and shouting his name. I imagine, from the shock that such a thing could happen, and that in a short space of time, you are transported from happy children returning home from school, to an accident zone. From my view on the second floor, it did not appear that he would make it through. There was too much blood. Many more people came out to their balconies to look, and we held a vigil, praying beyond hope that the child would be okay.
The paramedics kept on trying. They never gave up, more back-up arrived, and the road resembled an emergency ward, with drips, beds, doctors, and the like. We all watched them try their best for him, there was silence, and there was hope.
A woman came running down, bare-foot, without a coat, even though it was about 4 degrees yesterday. I assume she was his mother. She was crying and she looked confused and in shock. I couldn't bring myself to look at the child anymore, but the paramedics continued to work on him, until it was okay to take him to the hospital in an ambulance .
I felt proud of the UK emergency services. They had arrived quickly and had the necessary equipment to enable them give their best for the child. I know that there would be more investigations into what had happened, even as I saw police asking witnesses for an account of what had happened. The police remained at the scene for several hours. I also know that the safety of the road will be assessed to determine if a zebra crossing or traffic signals or speed bumps should be installed near the scene of the accident.
Sadly, it was reported on BBC News that the child passed away. My heart goes out to his family, my heart also goes to the van driver, who must be going through a horrible time. I thank the emergency services for trying their very best. Then I thought to myself. If this had happened in Lagos what would have been the child's chances? Would there even have been an ambulance service at the scene of the accident? And even if there was one, how long would it have taken it to weave through the traffic to get there? Undoubtedly, the chances of survival are much slimmer. because our health system is very poor, with even private hospitals lacking the basic amenities. I hope beyond hope that someday soon, in Nigeria, we will have an efficient and equipped ambulance and emergency services.
I dare, to hope.