Celebrity stylist and TV host, Karen Kane, on Monday, 4 June 2018 saved a woman who had been knocked down by a vehicle around East Legon in Accra, and left for dead.
Narrating the incident to sit-in host of the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS), Benjamin Akakpo on Class91.3Fm on Tuesday, 12 June, Karen Kane said she was driving to work on Monday morning from East Legon towards the tunnel on the newly-constructed road when she realised there was traffic due to an accident.
Karen said she saw ahead of her a blood-stained woman lying on the road with people surrounding her but all attempts by eyewitnesses and passers-by to get a vehicle to transport the injured woman to the hospital failed, as no driver was willing to be a Good Samaritan that day.
Two men, she said, approached her car and begged her to transport the victim to the hospital, and, so, she did though she was petrified.
She recounted: “I was like stunned, shocked, afraid and at that moment I couldn’t say no, trust me, I don’t know what would have happened to me if I had just driven past and said no.”
After forcing the victim into the backseat of her Hyundai i10 car, another Good Samaritan got into her car and asked her to drive to a private hospital nearby called Health Link where she started screaming for help.
Karen said she was so disappointed at the lethargic attitude of doctor after doctor who came out just to satisfy their curiosity rather than administer emergency first aid or some form of treatment to the victim. The health workers there, she said, later informed them that the hospital was incapable of handling such a case and advised her to go to a bigger hospital. The hospital, however, revealed they could help treat her wounds to stop her from losing any more blood.
The celebrity stylist said in the process, she spotted an ambulance so she requested that it be used to ferry the victim to the 37 Military Hospital while she is given first aid but was told that there was a procedure to follow before the ambulance could be used.
She recounted: “You know what, there’s an ambulance at your entrance, we see the driver sitting in the ambulance, looks like an ambulance that’s ready to be called, can you help put her in this ambulance and take her because it will be faster and maybe even first aid could be administered in the ambulance and it was a bit like, someone said it’s not in my power to do so, another doctor said there’s a procedure to follow.”
After twenty minutes without receiving any proper help, they had no choice but to transport the victim again in her car to the Military Hospital with her hazard lights but other drivers on the road could not care less. The drivers seemed unperturbed, Karen said, “Obviously because people had abused the use of car horns” and would not allow her car to pass till the other Good Samaritan got down to knock on the windows of other cars just to plead with the drivers to allow them to squeeze through the traffic.
She bemoaned the use of car horns by drivers for the wrong reasons to the point that the use of the horns has virtually lost its essence as drivers turn to see it as normal and not make way for vehicles in serious circumstances.
“People don’t care anymore as to whether it’s an emergency or not because this thing’s been happening so much that people can’t be bothered anymore, when an ordinary car has its hazard on and it’s honking people don’t want to move anymore and I figured out that this thing has become so normal that people think it’s just another person who doesn’t want to stay in traffic, so, they turn their hazards on, so let’s not budge.”
Karen said at the 37 Military hospital, the health workers did not attach any sense of urgency to the accident victim as they perceived it as a normal situation even though she had told them the victim had a fracture. She said they brought a wheelchair to fetch the victim inside but went back to get a stretcher after realising she could not be wheel-chaired and it took about five to ten minutes to get the victim out of her car.
“They’ve probably seen this over and over again, so there wasn’t any expression of emergency on their faces.”
The hospital also demanded for a deposit to be paid in order to admit the victim, a situation Karen said she found outrageous because there was no way a helpless woman would run away in that condition.
She stated: “This is probably a woman who will not even be able to run away.”
The other Good Samaritan, she continued, had to use his ATM card to cash out some money to make the deposit before the victim was given further treatment.
An obviously frustrated Karen lamented the lapses in Ghana’s health system such as lack of ambulances to transport accident victims and patients and the seeming lackadaisical attitude of health workers.
She also said drivers are usually petrified to help such accident victims for fear of ending up in court or in prison and called on stakeholders in the healthcare system to provide ambulances.
She reckoned the victim had crossed the road earlier with her 2-year-old son only to realise her son had dropped his slippers. She left her son on the side of the road to go get the slippers from the middle of the road when she was knocked down by a van that sped off after the accident.