In the heat of the crash, amidst the maze on the asphalt road; in thick darkness with rays of light, beaming heavily from oncoming vehicles, with screams and groans from injured victims, and blood painfully oozing, their presence was mostly felt.
In fact, their presence was opportune, right in the mangled bus, down to the Nkawkaw Holy Family Hospital, and further on the speed lane in the ambulance to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi; officers of the Kotoko medical team really helped.
Interestingly however (and because they probably they’ve little or no prominence compared to the players; Team Manager, Godwin Ablordey and Head Coach Steven Polack; their story hasn’t been told.
It’s been almost as if none of them was on the bus from the El Wak Stadium, Accra to Kumasi that fateful night.
They were actually at the match and performed their duty to expectation, before, during and after the game.
When the agonising misfortune struck on the Nkawkaw double carriageway, they were again called to duty and just like they’ve always done to their professional ability and by the grace God gives them, they once more delivered to expectation.
All may not have settled yet on the tragic incident July 12, 2017.
However, as we sorrowfully reflect on what happened and pray for the soul of our departed brother, Thomas Obeng Asare while praying for healing mercies for the injured; we just can’t gloss over the roles Team Nurses, Emmanuel Osei Owusu and Gabriel Ofori Antwi played that critical night.
Their constant dedication, along with that which has been shown and continuous to come from the Head of the Medical Team, Dr. Michael Leat, is worthy of commendation. Gabriel and Emmanuel were on the team bus together with the 18 players and other officials when the accident occurred.
Accounts Asantekotokosc.com has listened to from them, indicate that, although they were equally traumatised after the crash, their immediate response wasn’t to attend to the often natural and inevitable inclination to seek attention for themselves as humans; they, as medical professionals instinctively rushed to the players and technical team members – helping to convey them to the hospital.
“In such emergencies, the handling of victims at the spot is as important as the sort of care they are given at the hospital” Emmanuel Osei Owusu told me in a chat. “We were destabilised emotionally because of the shock but as medical professionals, the inclining was to see to the other victims and without taking any undue credit, I’m convinced that, our presence was so helpful” he said.
Knowing their way around the hospital environment, identifying the right people to get a good hold of the cases brought in late, was so critical.
''We give credit to God for everything because it could’ve been worse. We saw the situation at the Holy Family Hospital; and looking back, we can only thank God” said Emmanuel, who, just like Gabriel works at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
With Dr. Leat in the background, providing the best of professional advices and handling some of the cases himself; the competence of Kotoko’s medical team has already been put to a good test this season, considering the injuries recorded counting from days before the 2016/17 season started.
The unfortunate event of last Wednesday, regardless of how unneeded it was, again, establishes the point about their sense of professionalism and commitment of these medics.