First Lady Patience Jonathan yesterday recounted, for the first time, her experience in a German hospital last year. She declared herself “dead for one week”, but God gave her a second chance. Speaking at a special church thanksgiving service at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Mrs. Jonathan said she underwent eight to nine surgeries within one month.
The First Lady left for Germany on September 3, last year and returned on October 19. She also travelled in January for a medical check-up. Her state of health generated a huge controversy as the Presidency kept denying that she was ill.
She said: “I remember when Chief Obasanjo was the President of the country, I was close to his late wife, Stella. We worshipped together in this chapel. It was a painful moment for me at that time when she died and her corpse was brought here. “That was how my corpse would have been brought here. It was not an easy experience for me. I actually died. I passed out for more than a week. My intestine and tummy were opened.
“I am not Lazarus, but my experience was similar to his. My doctors said all hope was lost. A black doctor in London, who is with us in this service, was flown in when the situation became critical. It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I will return to Nigeria. God woke me up after seven days.” She added: “I know that some people somehow leaked the information that I was dead. They are people that I trust and rely on. To them, I was dead and I would never return to the country alive. Some of them even sold my things off.” –
“I won’t say everything here. It is the Lord’s doing that I returned alive. When God says yes, nobody can say no.” “People are always afraid of operation (surgery) but in my own case, while my travail lasted, I was begging for it (surgery) after the third operation because I was going to the theatre everyday.”
“It was God who saw me through. I did eight or nine surgeries within one month. It was not an easy one. The day I came back, I said God I have nothing to say, I offer myself to you. I will be doing things that will touch the lives of the less privilege.” “God gave me second chance because I reached there. He knew I have not completed the assignments He gave me, that was why I was sent back.” She stated.
Mrs. Jonathan returned to the country on October 17, last year to the warm embrace of the President, her son, the President’s mother Eunice, family members, friends, staff and other well wishers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.