Jerry Amilo, the veteran Nigerian actor, has recalled how he survived a fatal road accident in 1998.
In an interview with BBC Igbo, the Nollywood star narrated how he reawakened after three days in the morgue.
Amilo said he had travelled to Ibadan for a business meeting with his brother and was returning to Lagos alongside late Dịlo, his lawyer, to attend a movie award event when the front tire of his vehicle suddenly spun off its wheel.
He said a road user at the scene of the accident reported to the police who confirmed everyone in the vehicle dead.
Amilo said he was told that his body had suddenly started twitching after three days in the morgue, causing panic.
“It’s a testimony. It’s true that I was no more and returned after three nights in the mortuary. I was involved in a terrible accident. We all died. That same day the accident happened was 30th of May, 1998,” the actor narrated.
“It was the day I had won the ‘Best Action Actor’ category of an award on its debut. I had gone to see my brother in Ibadan for business. I was returning with my lawyer. I was driving and suddenly saw my front tire ahead of me.
“The front tire removed. I turned to Dịlo, my lawyer, to ask if he was seeing what I was seeing. I couldn’t finish the words. We all died. That was all I could remember. The vehicle somersaulted, over 16 times, as I was later told.
“From accounts, I was told that a trailer driver was returning to Lagos from an offload point in Ibadan. He was returning to Lagos when he witnessed the accident. He got to the toll gate to report to the police. It was at 7 pm.
“The police got there and found us all dead. They took our corpses to the police station. They took inventory. Those who resumed the next morning took us to the morgue where there hadn’t been a power supply for three weeks.
“It’s a hospital morgue for accident victims. It was full. Most bodies start decaying before being claimed. Three days later, it seemed as though my body was twitching. The attendant had been with my body but it didn’t decay a bit.”
I woke up blind with my jaw broken into three, says Amilo
Amilo, who started acting in 1986 at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), said he woke up blind with a broken jaw.
He said it took surgeries, four months off the grid, and 14 months of eating only liquid food to restore his health.
“The attendant raised the alarm. The morgue is far from the hospital’s main building. Those along the way broke out running in panic. Student doctors dismissed the ghost scare and entered the morgue,” Amilo further narrated.
“They noticed I was still alive and took me to the emergency section. Three days after, I reawakened. Touched by the development, my IPO was with me throughout the coma. He was narrating the story to his colleagues.
“You’d weep if you saw my face at the time. I was injured in the face. If you watch my past movies, you’d see them.
“I couldn’t see with my eyes. My IPO was with me until the sixth day. He explained to me. They saw my diary as I always kept one then. For four months, the world thought I was dead. I went through surgeries to restore my face.
“The jaw broke into three. I couldn’t eat through my mouth for 14 months. I was taking liquid food through straws. My face was sewed so the bones could heal. I act with younger talents but they don’t know what I went through.”
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