I wrote my column of August 16 entitled “A Disease Nobody Understands” on a day I visited my longtime friend and brother, Mr Edmund Ugwu, at the NEPAD office in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja. I couldn’t think of anything else as tears were still swelling my eyes. As it has turned out, it was the last time I saw him alive: on August 14.

Eddy became the one comforting me, for I couldn’t stop the tears. He said he was on the road to recovery and planning a thanksgiving service. He was all bones then, yet he said he was far worse in March. Treatment of the ailment had taken him to Germany early in the year.

Another friend who was with Eddy at the time, an old classmate of his, assured me the disease was not cancerous. It was an ulcer, he and Eddy told me. But as soon as I got home and opened my computer and Google to look up diseases associated with the oesophagus, I was confronted with millions of references to “oesophagal cancer”. I called a doctor friend who gave me no hope.

Today, I received a phone call informing me that Eddy kissed the world goodye about 11am this September 5. The call came from another friend who, like Eddy, hails from Lejja in Nsukka LGA of Enugu State, Nigeria.

Eddy, a quantity surveyor, was an assistant director at the FCTA. He came tops at the last promotional interview he attended.

I write this in tears. But Eddy’s passage reminds all of the vanity of human life.

Once again, I have lost a childhood friend. I must now see a doctor: each time such happens, I get depressed.



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