Friday, 8 March 2013

Governor Suntai Suffers Loss of Speech After Plane Crash

Source: Daily Trust
Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai is suffering from loss of speech and inability to comprehend what people say to him because of brain injuries that could take years to fully cure, one of his personal physicians .
Dr. Zakari Yusuf Aliyu, a professor of Medicine and Public Health, and Chief Medical Director of Taraba State Specialist Hospital Jalingo, said he recently visited the governor in Germany where he has been receiving medication since October last year, following the crash of a plane he was piloting near Yola, Adamawa State.

 Aliyu said: “The basic problem that I saw with Governor Danbaba when I was with him included things like expressive aphasia (characterized by the loss of the ability to produce language—spoken or written), some degree of receptive aphasia (a patient’s inability to comprehend language or speak with appropriately meaningful words), and spinal cord persistent.
“Spinal cord injuries occur when blunt physical force damages the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks of the spinal column, causing bruising, crushing, or tearing of spinal cord tissue, and when the spinal cord is penetrated, e.g. by a gunshot or a knife wound….
“All these are things that will occur or improve gradually with time. But there are some aspects of procedure head injury in him that only time will tell and I believe we should be patient enough to give him another minimum of three months before we can start talking about anything else.With substantial assistance he was able to undergo shower, brush his teeth, to feed himself; so he has made tremendous progress but there is still a substantial amount of rehabilitation that has to occur. People should understand that he has what is called head injury. However I must also emphasize the fact that there are setbacks in this kind of situation as pendulum moving up and down. A moment the patient may look sound well and there are moments same patient will actually go down.”
Asked if it is possible for Suntai to return to Nigeria soon as claimed by his aides, Prof. Aliyu said: “Well, you never say impossible in medicine, but that is very unlikely. I think the concern should be less about when will Governor Danbaba return, it should be more on when he recovers. As a human being, he needs time to have full recovery,
but for anyone to think that Governor Danbaba Suntai will be back in next couple of days, I think that is blatant misrepresentation of facts or trying to conceal facts. The truth about the matter is that the degree of head injury that he has, he needs substantial rehabilitation and that’s why I am advocating he should be transferred to the United States of America to the best centre in the world, so that he and his family will be settled in one place in US, where there is intensive experience when it comes to rehabilitation of persons with head injury".
Prof. Aliyu said he was with Suntai soon after the crash on October 25, 2012, and had been visiting him in Germany since then.

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