We had spent five days in the hospital and it seemed like we would be there for at least two days more. As I sat and watched my son sleep after being given some injections for the pain, I kept thinking about the bill that we would have to pay when he is finally discharged. The money that my husband and I had was barely enough to pay for the first four days of treatment. It was his first time in this hospital so we had barely built any rapport with the management. I was certain that they would not trust us enough to allow us make a deposit with the promise to pay up the balance at a later date.
When my husband was done at the office, he came to visit as he’d done in the past five days. When the doctor came for his ward round, we asked to know what the probable medical bill will be when our son is discharged. Just as we figured, it was going to be huge (In Trump’s voice). We looked into each other’s eyes as the doctor left the room. I’m sure we were thinking the exact same thing. We had never been in this type of situation before, but our son’s life was more important than any supposed ego we thought we had.
We got right to calling family, friends and colleagues to lend us some money. Surely we had many turn-downs as was expected. Much more surprising and in fact humbling was the out-pour of concern, love and prayers we got. As soon as we got commitment from three persons who promised to send us the sum we needed, we stopped contacting anyone else. Within half an hour or so, we had credit alerts from our banks from five people! Besides the three persons who had assured us of their help, two of those that had previously said they couldn’t help had also sent us some money. We received almost five times the amount we had intended to raise! Believe me, I have had persons come through for me in the past, but this topped them all. As we immediately returned the extra monies, we called to express our gratitude to those who had given.
Our son was discharged the very next day as he surprisingly got better within a few hours. We paid the medical bill in full and left for home with smiles so broad and hearts filled with thanksgiving.
The days and weeks that followed were characterized with calls, messages and visits from loved ones. One of those who sent us money confessed to borrowing it when he recognized how much we needed it. We realized that we may not always have as much money as we would want but we sure had rich relationships. There is a saying in western Nigeria, specifically a yoruba adage: ‘eyan laso ibora mi’, which literally means that “In our times of nakedness, we are clothed by human beings”. This was our truth; it still is!