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Stella Adadevoh’s Son Bankole Cardoso opens up about Her Last Moments in New Interview

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imageBankole Cardoso, son of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh is speaking out about his mom’s last moments following her courageous part in the Ebola Epidemic.

His interview is with Punch Newspaper’s Arukaino Umukoro. In it he talks about the impact of her death, her love, her likes and dislikes and so much more.

Read excerpts below:

His background: My name is Bankole Cardoso. I am the son of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh. I am an entrepreneur. I was born and raised in Nigeria. I went to Boston College in the US for my undergraduate degree, where I studied Business Management and Accounting. I worked with PriceWaterHouse Coopers in New York. After that, I worked in a private equity firm called the Carlyle Group, in the US. I’ve been back in Nigeria for about two years now and I launched a company called Easy Taxi in Nigeria.

On the last time he saw her and her last words: The last time I saw her face-to-face was the day I went to the centre to give her her footwear and her iPad. She was physically very weak. This was someone I had never seen fall sick in my life. But then, she was physically very weak. I took all the stuff to her and put it through the door, she had to go and collect it because I couldn’t go into the room. We spoke through the window, I was crying. But she was adamant, she said, “Don’t worry, son. This thing is not going to kill me, but I am very proud of you.” Those were the last words she told me. This was about 10 days before she died. The WHO doctor, Dr. David, told us that it was only a matter of time (before she died), that we should expect the call the next day or in the next week. We were waiting for the call. But he kept telling us that it was a matter of time— it was worse than receiving the actual call.

On her encounter with Patrick Sawyer: The actual story was that when this man (Sawyer) flew into Nigeria from Liberia to attend a conference, he fell ill on his arrival and was taken to First Consultants because the general hospitals were on strike. When he got there, he was first treated for malaria on a Sunday. That weekend was my dad’s 60th birthday and my mum wasn’t in the hospital. We were all at home celebrating. On that Monday, she went to the hospital and saw him. Immediately, these were her own words to me, she said she was very disturbed, because it looked as if blood was seeping through his skin. She said she knew it was not malaria. When she asked him where he had been and he said Liberia, she immediately suspected it could be Ebola.
Interestingly, three months or so before, we were just watching the news when she said, “Nigeria is not prepared for Ebola.” Back then, she immediately did her research on Ebola, noting that Nigeria needed to be prepared if there was an outbreak. She printed those papers long ago. So, when this man came, she immediately suspected; although at the time, she didn’t have any positive result that it was Ebola. The Liberian officials there were very furious and said she must release him, claiming that she was holding him against his will; and she had kidnapped him. But she said she could not let him leave the hospital for the public good, and he must stay there because she suspected he had a haemorrhagic disease which was infectious.

On how it affected their family: It was incredibly stressful. I hardly saw her at the time because she was always busy at the hospital, with government officials and the World Health Organisation officials, and also having to care for this sick patient. She got home at 3am every day, and was up by 7am. I couldn’t see her for about three days and with the Ebola disease, one couldn’t predict the outcome. My dad and I went to the centre at Yaba every day, but we were not allowed to come close to her. At first, we could come close to the window to see her, but eventually, we were not even allowed near the window. I didn’t see her for about 10 days while she was in there.

On what he has learned from his mother: I wrote down the five main lessons I learnt from her— how to be a good person, because she cared for everybody. There is a disabled man on our street who came around every Sunday. She bought him a wheelchair, and she always gave him money and showed him care. She also taught me how to be incredibly strong, and how to get things done. If she wanted to do something today, she got it done. She taught me how to enjoy life, she loved enjoying life, and she enjoyed it to the fullest. Also, she taught me the importance of faith because faith is the bedrock of life.

On feeling anger at Patrick Sawyer: I was angry at him, I was angry at God, I was angry at many things. But one had to channel it into something positive like the health trust. And that’s what I’m dedicated to and focused on now, full time. Like we would always say, if my mother was here now, she would have forgiven him (Sawyer). I can never forget what happened, it’s going to be a part of my life forever, but I forgive him. My dad also feels the same way.

Photo Credit: Punch

Adesola is the BellaNaija Head of Content and Digital Ventures. She is a BN stan.. Yes, things are that serious for her when it comes to BellaNaija.com. She's a lover of gist, novels, music, and food. She's constantly trying not to take life for granted. She spends most of her time either keeping up with the world on the Internet or sharing some acquired knowledge about digital media. She is passionate about using her voice to speak against injustice, especially towards women. To communicate with her directly, you can hit her up on: Instagram - @adesola.au Twitter - @Adesola_AU

30 Comments

  1. papermoon

    May 24, 2015 at 9:01 am

    The world is short by one good person, but we press on. May she rest in peace. May God give you peace ni the midst of this sacrifice. MAY GOD WIPE YOUR TEARS.

  2. Kadara

    May 24, 2015 at 9:23 am

    What a wonderful woman, imagine if she caved in an released the man. I’ll really sorry for your loss and your Dad’s. May God continue to comfort you as for her she’s in a better place where there’s no more pain and sorrow.

  3. chukwukadibia

    May 24, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I am sure the poor boy is tired of answering the same question over and over again.they should allow him mourn and let her RIP. she will always be our hero.

  4. le coco

    May 24, 2015 at 10:03 am

    your mother was a hero… a true nigerian patriot… sacrificing her life for the well being of others… may God stregthen you and your father…. nd may God stregthen the families of the other brave nurses hu risked their lives….

  5. Tijani kofoworola

    May 24, 2015 at 11:35 am

    May Almighty Allah grant her Aljana!may she b among d saints Amen.i feel ur pain,may God comfort u n d whole family.

  6. Friday's Other Child

    May 24, 2015 at 11:36 am

    What an incredibly wonderful woman. There are many lessons for everyone in this woman’s story, chief among these for me is really reflecting on what it means to live a life of integrity. I wonder whether I would be willing to give my life for something that I truly believed in, if i have it in me to be as courageous as Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh was, if ever such a sacrifice was required of me. Lots to reflect on, and that is one gift that Dr Adadevoh has given to me.

    May God continue to bless her soul and bless the family that is left behind. May God always walk with them through the journey to healing and beyond.

    • Vortex

      May 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      True words. Amen.

  7. janeth

    May 24, 2015 at 11:41 am

    May her Soul rest in peace, be strongbrother God almighty will be with you

  8. itunu

    May 24, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I recently spoke at an international conference on Ebola. I spoke about how Nigeria combated and won the fight .I however realized during my preparations and shared during my speech that truly Dr Adedavoh is the main reason we beat the disease. She truly deserves being called not just a national hero but an international one! If she had let Sawyer go, Nigerian would have spreads Ebola across the world…Thank you very much Doc! You are truly Nigeria’s hero….Thank you to her family as well for the sacrifice you made for us

  9. Deedara

    May 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    An inspirational woman who lived and died with integrity and honour. May her soul continue to rest in peace. Such a painful loss but I pray God continues to strengthen and comfort her loved ones.

  10. Ba

    May 24, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    The sacrifice this woman made can’t be fathom. You just have to appreciate her and with her team when compared to how this deadly virus was manage in other west coast. May her soul and other rest in peace.

  11. Author Unknown

    May 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I always imagined how difficult it must have been to helplessly watch your loved one degenerate and die so quickly, and in a circumstance where they likely couldn’t give her a regular burial either. Hard as it might be to accept, just know that your mom did not die in vain. RIP Dr. Ameyo. Your memory lives on.

  12. Ehiwarior

    May 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    She was our own avatar.
    She shut the door to mortuaries and held it strongly.
    When she died, the sky became dimmer,
    for the brightest of stars is gone and never to return.
    Find peace Doc.

  13. Felinda

    May 24, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    oh my goodness that taxi business entrepreneur is her son? Whao ,. i didnt know. Very smart intelligent guy just like his mom.

    Uhmm Bellanaija – abeg dont be angry ohh cos i know am known for always asking (happy Sunday by the way, your blog is popping), Uhmm uhmm, uhmmm

    IS HE SINGLE ????

    • tunmi

      May 26, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      See ehn, I am a bad person for thinking it. I wasn’t hexpectin him to be that handsome. But he is. So…Felinda thanks for being the brave one.

      Dr. Adadevoh is my role model. My entire family is in Lagos and the fear that gripped me when this man was in Eko was something else. I was truly terrified and she saved us. She really did, and for her I will endeavor to live a life of integrity in my personal and professional life.

  14. Felinda

    May 24, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    May Dr Stella Adedevoh rest in perfect perfect peace. I know she is definitely in heaven right now, she saved many people.

  15. Felinda

    May 24, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I knew that name “Adedevoh” was from Volta Region and “Ameyo is also a Volta name. I just wanted to clarify. Very prestigious family she came from .

  16. Felinda

    May 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I am not Nigerian, I am Ghanaian but I highly suggest Nigeria builds a Statue of Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh. Has anyone started a petition for that on Change.or g if not i could start. What do you guys think, dotn you think she deserves some kind of honourable statue. I mean imagine if she had not stop IDIOT sawyer from exiting or checking out of the hospital, This ebola woulda spread like wildfire in Lagos. I mean this thought is scary. Thank God She saved millions of people and thus this is why i believe she needs a statue somewhere in lagos.

    • Author Unknown

      May 24, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Dr. Adadevoh was a Nigerian of at least partly Ghanaian origin, as are many Lagosians. Your suggestion is a good one, but there is no need to bring up Sawyerr, especially in such manner. When many people rained curses on him during the outbreak, I cautioned that was not the right thing to do, and would not solve a thing . The man must have been scared and confused, though that is no reason to not disclose his Ebola contact history. If we had proper systems in place, he would never have even gotten on the plane in the first place. If anything, and based on her son’s interview, he did admit to having been in Liberia, which helped the doctor connect the dots. If Ameyo’s family has forgiven him, so can we.

    • Shandi

      May 24, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      I agree!

    • Shandi

      May 25, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Author Unknnown,
      There’s EVERY reason to bring up Sawyerr in any manner. It doesn’t help but he’s forever going to be brought up, please let’s be realistic.
      And when I said “I agree!”, I was referring to Felinda.

  17. Lively

    May 24, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Please can anyone tell me if Dr Ameyo Adadevoh is Ghanaian. Precisely an Ewe from the Volta Region. I have distant cousins with that last name and I’ve always been wondering. Ameyo too is a common Ewe female name….Thank you.

  18. Lively

    May 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Togolese Ewes also have those two names………… Still wondering…

  19. Anita

    May 25, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I feel your pain, i tell you the pain this guy is feeling is not only that he lost his mum. The greatest pain here is the pain that his mum died alone, without any loved one around. Assuming he was with his mum till the last moment holding her hands, yes the pain will be there becos he lost a loved one but not as much as it is now. The mere thought of his mum being inside a room and he or his dad can’t have access to her except looking through the window and at a point that was no longer possible, the pain is very traumatizing. Is only God that that console you, indeed your mum is a world Hero!

  20. Chikalaka

    May 25, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Dear Bankole, if you don’t know your mother is a Saint. Yes she is. God put her there for this sole purpose of protecting the world from this deadly disease. She did His will which saved all of us and many more that we could never imagine. Trust that she is now interceding for you and others in Heaven. For you, Bankole, now you are to thank God for such a wonderful soul and continue praying, grow nearer to God because in the same way Mary felt pain when her son Jesus died for us all, it is the same pain you and your family must feel and the same sacrifice your mother made. Therefore my friend you are lucky because you have a personal saint in Heaven and indeed we all as Nigerians are called to do the same, give up our lives for one another as Christ gave up for us. We should pray and thank God for her soul and pray for us to be like her in our everyday lives. God bless you and your family

  21. Mrs. DJ

    May 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    May God bless her soul as she continues to rest in peace. God be with her son and the family too… So touching…

  22. chibuzor

    May 25, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    I worked with her briefly at first consultants , very pleasant and hardworking lady. And she was so bubbly and full of life. rest in peace ma.

    • Ada Nnewi

      May 26, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      MyAunt worked in First Consultant as well in the 90’s and said the same thing about her…God bless her soul..

  23. Fali Latu

    August 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    RIP Doc. U saved Nigeria, U saved Africa and the you saved the World.

  24. Ibekwelu Chukwuebuka

    October 27, 2018 at 12:42 am

    So sorry dear ,,,,such is life . Although I heard such story like this before but I don’t believe it till now.
    Your mom’s truly a heroine and I pray God will surely remember her in his kingdom.
    Please send me message on my E-mail I want to chat with you privately on some important issues please. .

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