CHENNAI: When she saw hundreds, including small children suffering in the aftermath of the devastating floods that hit Chennai, Tetsoma Eoukugho, a 34-year-old woman from Nigeria, did not allow the pain and discomfort in her recently-operated upon spinal cord to stop her from extending a helping hand.
Eoukugho from Warri city in Delta State in South Nigeria had come to Chennai two weeks ago for a surgery to remove a tumor in her spine. She was admitted to a private hospital at Kilpauk for the surgery. Though her surgery was completed successfully, she was stuck in the city after all flights, including those to her country, were cancelled due to the incessant rains that led to the closure of the city airport.
Meanwhile, doctors and paramedical staff from the hospital were involved in distributing relief materials to the people affected by the flood. Seeing this, Eoukugho and her sister Roli Noloma who had accompanied her to Chennai, volunteered to join the rescue team.
This was the first time she got out from the bed after the surgery.
“I saw countless children suffering without food, and many people who have lost their houses standing on the streets. We felt it would be inhumane to remain as a silent spectator in such situation,” Eoukugho told Express.
The sisters brought food, medicines, blankets and footwear for flood victims who were temporarily accommodated in a relief camp set up by the Corporation near Pachaiyappa’s College for the past three days. Dr A Simon Hercules of the New Hope Hospital said, “Considering the fact that she is a mother of three children and has undergone a major spinal surgery just days back, it was astonishing to see how she managed to overcome her pain and help the Chennai people.”
The siblings told Express that they were planning to postpone their trip and visit more camps in Chennai during this week to help more people.