By Anifowoshe George
The movie industry in Nigeria is still morning the passing, yesterday, of actress Caroline Johnson.
The late actresses’ first and second child-Omolayo and Bisioluwa aged 12 and 7 were playing in the living room when NET visited their home in Ijaiye Ogba. Thursday. The last child Oluwatise a toddler under the care of a relative coincidentally clocked one today and the couple were already making plans for his birthday before death struck.
‘‘She had to go and rest unfortunately. We did everything humanly possible to save her but God Knows best’’, her husband Tony Johnson told NET
It will be recalled that the story of her ailment came to light in August 2008 when her husband Tony Johnson came out in the media to solicit for funds summing to a total cost of $50, 000 (fifty thousand dollars). (N8.5M) to enable the ailing-actress undergo bone marrow transplant in India. She was five months pregnant when she was first diagnosed.
‘‘Initially the cancer was diagnosed at a Private Hospital at Surulere in Lagos, but we were referred to the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja where she was underwent a series of chemotherapy and blood transfusion hoping it would help contain the cancer cells’’ Mr Johnson told NET.
She was eventually flown to India for bone marrow transplant after the assistance church member at the The Potters House Christian Fellowship and well-meaning Nigerians from all over the world.
‘‘When the ailment first started, we thought she had an acute anaemia, but four weeks after delivery of our last child, my wife’s immune system and blood level dropped to 9% PCV and fell almost into a shock, then further investigations were carried out including bone marrow test (aspiration and biopsy) and she also had multiple transfusions. It was then the doctors gave us the news that my wife has Acute Lymphobiastic Leukemia Type 1 also known as (Cancer of the Blood).’’ The widower recounted to NET.
Caroline returned to Nigeria in October, after a ‘successful’ surgical operation to remove the Leukemic cells. She was billed to go back to India in a couple of months for further check up but death was already lurking in the corner.
‘‘She stayed fine until last Saturday, the 12th when she suddenly took ill. By Sunday she was unconscious. We took her to the hospital (St Mary’s hospital in Omole, Lagos) where she was transfused and revived. She was placed on artificial Oxygen. By Tuesday, her condition improved and the Doctors were planning to discharge her before she broke then again on Wednesday morning. She never recovered.’’
Unfortunately, their two older children Omolayo 7 and Imisioluwa 4 do not seem to understand what has suddenly happened to their very loving mother. ‘‘Daddy when is mummy coming back?’’ they asked When will she wake up, where has she gone too? They bombarded their Father with questions. Mr Johnson replied she had gone to see Jesus and will be back soon to answer their probing.
‘‘I’ll miss every thing about her; she was a complete woman. We made every decision together and stood by each other through the good and the bad times. It’s like there’s big vacuum in my life right now.’’ he concluded cutting the figure of a man whose world has been shattered.
Although their home was already wearing a Christmas look, an air of gloom hung over the house with families and friends trooping in to offer their condolences
Quick Caroline facts
. The late actress was 32 years old when she died. She was born on the 3rd of August 1977
. She was the mother of three kids-Omolayo 4 , Bisioluwa 7 and Oluwatishe 1
.While she was battling with the ailment which eventually claimed her life, the Actor’s guild allegedly did little or nothing to assist her.
. She gave up the ghost on December 16 at Saint Mary’s Hospital Omole, Ikeja.
. She suffered a relapse on the morning of Saturday the 12th of December after an earlier operation in India to remove the Leukaemia cells.
.She acted ‘‘UJU’’ in popular Christian soap Heaven’s gate.
. She studied Mass Communication at Moshood Abiola Polythecnic Ogun State.
.She was married to her Archirtect husband for seven years