Nollywood actor, Charles Okocha is about the luckiest person on earth, and very grateful to James Louis Okoye, an event manager and chief executive of Jalou Events Limited, who twice helped to save his life.
Okocha’s incredible run of good luck began on December 27, when a drunken policeman pumped a fusillade of bullets from an AK47 rifle into his stomach at a traditional wedding ceremony, held in Uruagu, Nnewi, Anambra State. The hail of bullets also hit another person, Sam Belonwu Dim, a Lagos-based businessman, who died on the spot.
Doctors at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State performed surgery on him, but the stomach later burst, allegedly because the wrong surgical material was used.
But the prompt and cool-headed reaction of Okoye in the hospital once again saved the actor’s life.
The twice lucky actor is now recuperating following the corrective surgery that was still done at NAUTH, though the tertiary hospital debunked the allegation of improper handling of the case.
Okoye, who mobilized other people to save the actor’s life, recounted to Sunday Sun reporter what transpired on the fateful day: �I am not just worried but I’m mad about what happened as we tried to save Okocha’s life. I was at Danduko’s house on December 27, 2015 for the traditional wedding of his daughter. What really happened was that the trigger-happy police officer saw an actor he recognized and in excitement he said, ‘Look at this my guy, let me throw one in air for him (meaning to give him gun salute).’ As some people said, he was drunk and apparently forgot that he had previously set the gun on rapid fire. His intention was to fire one shot into the air. He pulled the trigger, but could not control the gun again because up to eight or nine bullets flew out. The bullets hit two people, Sam Belonwu Dim and Charles Okocha. But I didn’t see the other guy (Sam) and there was a noise at the other end.
�When I rushed out of Danduko’s compound, I saw Charles Okocha lying helplessly on the ground. People started shouting, ‘Hey, ewoo, it is that actor oo.’ Some people even brought out their camera phones and started taking pictures of him without doing anything to save his life. Here was somebody who was dying and needed help. I shouted at them. So many cars that were parked outside blocked the way. My own car was parked at a primary school some metres away from the scene of the incident. Okocha’s intestines were already coming out, but he was strong enough to hold them.”
Okoye immediately got some people to help him carry the actor to the primary school where his car was parked. Continuing the tale, he said: �With two other guys accompanying me, we sped to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi. But what we experienced was a nightmare. Okocha was crying, ‘Please help me, I don’t want to die, Jesus help me.’
At the hospital, the conduct of the nurses and doctors was so annoying. The other people who helped to bring the actor to the hospital were angry and started shouting at the medical personnel. I told my friends that making trouble or even shouting at them could make our friend Charles to die unattended to. I had to beg the nurses and all that. They were just telling us, go here, go there, sign for this, sign for that. I was obediently doing all that even faster than they expected.
�It was over two hours and thirty minutes before the doctor that was to conduct the surgery came. Then I was told to go and sign approval for transfusion of blood. I told them to check if my blood could match his, and said that I was willing to donate blood to save his life. They said it would take longer time, that they already had blood in their bank. But they said what they had in their blood bank would have to pass through test one, two and three for HIV/AIDS. They said they were waiting to do the last one. For the fact that the case was urgent, they said that if I had no objections, I could
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