The wife of the late Vice President of Ghana, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has debunked rumours that her late husband was transported in the bucket of a pickup truck to 37 Military Hospital when he collapsed at the Airforce Gym sometime last year.
According to Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, her late husband was about finishing his regular training at the gym when he collapsed on the cross-trainer.
“On Friday 29th June, 2018, we got to the Airforce gym at 4.30 am, he did his exercises… we were almost through, he went on the cross-trainer being the last exercise that he [was to] do and then he collapsed,” she narrated to David Ampofo on ‘Time With David’.
She said one Dr Naa Tagoe who is a member of the gym and works at Ridge Hospital rushed and resuscitated him, checked his pulse everything and said: “We should go to 37 Military Hospital.”
She added that a Senior Military Officer who was also at the gym advised that transporting the late Vice President in his Mercedes Benz wasn’t advisable, so he offered his double cabin pickup.
“We went in a Benz, so the doctor and this officer said if we put him at the back of the Benz its so short that we have to cramp him so I have a pickup; a double cabin pickup, let’s put him on the second seat of the double cabin and let the doctor sit with him and I go with somebody else,” she said.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur noted that on their way from the Airforce gym to the hospital, the late Vice President had been resuscitated. When they got to the hospital, she indicated that he was first admitted at the emergency ward where his vital signs were checked before being moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Mrs Amissah-Arthur stated that when the doctors broke the news of her husband's death to her, she quickly requested for a post-mortem report because they first told her everything was alright with the late Vice President, “so I was very surprised at what had happened”.
“My husband was a stickler for health… he does six months check-up, he didn’t have diabetes or pressure so I wanted to know… but really he wasn’t put in a bucket of a pickup,” she stressed.
The Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, the king of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, had said earlier that the late Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur was thrown at the back of a pickup to 37-Military Hospital when he collapsed during a workout session at the Airforce gym because there was no ambulance.
He said, "As it's been for 14 years, any time I go there [gym], I meet my friend and we'll talk, shake hands and then go to our different machines…I heard 'bang'! Three women in the gym were screaming, I left my machine and went and there lay my friend trying to find some air to breathe. We gathered around him and pumped his heart as hard as we could, yelled out his name; his wife was calling out: 'Jesus, save him!' I just said: 'Call the ambulance, let's take him to the hospital'".
He added, "...There were about seven, eight of us, and something dawned on me… when we took him out, there was no ambulance, there was no car, we threw the former Vice President in the back of a pickup and drove off to 37. At this moment, I went back to the gym and everybody had departed. The place was empty. I just went and got my towel and my phone, called my driver to take me home”.
"I was waiting so anxiously on the phone to hear if somebody would call and say that he's alright. The call came, and Boakye, the trainer in the gym said Osagyefo, he didn't make it. The vice-president is dead," the Okyenhene narrated.
From these two accounts, it is clear that someone must have confused "back of a pickup" truck with "bucket of a pickup" track. And the public furore that arose was not necessary.
Still, an ambulance service and a trauma centre has eluded Ghanaians more than one year after this tragic event.