Stroke 101: What May Have Killed My Father


In the year 2000 A.D around mid October , I woke up like any other day . I did my house chore and got prepared for school and had my breakfast . I did what I was asked to do by my mother before she left to the market . I did all except one.I intentionally did not do it because it was a collective decision. We had agreed not to say hello to my father .

A night before he had caused a commotion in the house threatening to throw my mother out . We stood behind the poor woman and we all decided to let him be for some days. We knew he loved us so much that he couldn’t do without talking to us . Despite his occasional threats of punishment and abandonment, my father has never raised his hands against us.He was the most liberal man I had ever known. He was born a Muslim, found his way into the heart of a daughter of a deacon, and still allowed her to take us to church when we were still very young and vulnerable to any indoctrination. He was a man’s man.

I left for school , left the door ajar in order not to interrupt my father sleep .I observed he was still deeply in sleep , which was unusual of him . He used to wake up every 5 am . Well maybe the exhaustion of the verbal argument between him and my mother has got to him and he needed the sleep . So I thought . As I walked to school , I was notvhappy . I loved my father . I have taken after him in everything especially in mental ability and his sense of humour . He was my refugee especially from my mother who never hesitated to punish at any slight provocation . I trudged on to school and it all showed in my face,demeanour and attitude in class .


Life is a mix of events. The good, the bad and the ugly are always in a continuum with one rolling onto the other. You can’t stop it or alter it. You can only enjoy the roller coaster.

What I did in the morning was ugly , what happened next was good .I was deeply in thought in the class when I was told that 7 UP , the maker of Mirinda soft drink has recognised my school work and academic achievement. I was crowned the new king of academics. I got a prized Walkman , a cooler and wads of cash . Within minutes , my despondency has turned to excitement and fulfillment . I was jubilant and couldn’t wait to take my prizes home , show it to my parents , maybe it will be a source of reconciliation and family reunion.

That wish never realized . All my glory and source of pride turned to ashes in my mouth when I got home . I was always first to get home and I met my father still sleeping . I guessed he was having a nap or probably he was inebriated from his occasional drunkenness. I inched closer to him to smell his breath .No, he was not drunk . I tapped him , he could only grunt . I shook him violently , more grunting!! . I quickly dropped my bag and ran out of the room straight into the street and off to the market to inform my mother . We came back with crowd. We shook him , called him , nothing happened.We noticed his distorted face and saliva drooling from his mouth . Family and relatives were summoned and we decided to take him to the hospital nearby the house . A hospital that would totally dashed my hope.

The gate of the hospital was as high as that of the entrance to an ancient city in Old Rome. It was padlocked like a chest of treasures. After 10 mins banging and throwing stones inside , an old man peeped out, asked questions and called a nurse . The nurse didn’t observed my father before she banged the door at our face .We couldn’t even see the doctor . I looked at my father and I knew he was gone . And truly he was gone .

Retrospectively, my father might have suffered a stroke from the bouts of shouting he had with my mother the night before. According to the American Stroke Association, Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the world. A study done in the Southwest Nigeria concluded that undetected hypertension couple with poor lifestyle are the major causes of stroke in Nigeria.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die. Out of the four predisposing factors to stroke, my father has probably two: hypertension, high cholesterol. Diabetes and genetic predisposition are the other two. If there was a genetic predisposition in his family, I wouldnt know but the fact that his own father died early might be a pointer to such possibility. An acquired lifestyle of smoking was a chief culprit.

The stroke has worsened by treatment delayed by the collective act of malice and bitterness . And the very tiny of hope that could be found in the hospital has been walled off and barricaded with closed hearts bacause of one single reason: We didn’t look rich.

The next day , I gave out my prized walkman for its presence gave me nostalgic feelings….

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Hello friend , how many walls do you have around your house ? Is your gate high enough ? What about that stern looking security man and the ferocious Rottweiler?

What about that bitterness and act of revenge that encapsulated your beautiful soul and heart ?

Are strangers welcome in your house , madam ?

The CEO , how about your closed door policy?

My dear damsel , has breakup sealed off your heart that you have denied many of loving you again ?

How many walls do you have in your life ?

Will you be vulnerable enough to let the guard down , maybe , just maybe you will save a life and bring joy to the world?

Will you give it a trial ?

Will you give a trial to live a salutary life and avoid story that tells like this?

2 comments

  1. I remember when my dad had stroke and my family asked me to go for tradomedical,you are the one that told me stroke is pure science and that put my mind at rest for not running after a shadow. My father is late now but I learnt some lessons from Ur counsel then . Thanks bro for the information

    1. I can relate that experience to you because I have been there before. The good thing is that we can decide not to end like that since we are more educated and informed. Thanks for stopping by.

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