From Battle Scars to Wedding Bells

From Battle Scars to Wedding Bells

On the 24th of March, 2012 my life changed forever. 
As the secretary of the History and International Studies 
student association at Babcock University (2012), 
I was part of the planning process for the annual 
departmental field trip. 
I woke up bright and early ready to face a wonderful 
impactful day planned for my fellow departmental members. 
We had organised buses to transport the students to 
Badagry Slave Port. 
This was an opportunity for us, History students, 
to learn more about slave history. It was a wonderful 
idea and in retrospect, a great experience for all of us.
After a long day of seeing the chains my ancestors 
were bound to as they were sold into the Atlantic slave 
trade as well as experiencing the journey to the slave boats, 
I was exhausted. 
On our way back to school, I got separated from 
my friends because I had to give up my seat to 
other students who had lost their seats. 
It was the right thing to do as a leader, 
an act that almost cost me my life. 
I went and joined a private car owned by the 
university support staff that had accompanied 
us on the trip. 
The ride back was slow because the private car 
kept having mechanical issues. 
After stopping a couple of times to either jumpstart 
the battery or do something else, 
we decided to ditch the car. 
Luckily for us, we were able to join one of the 
other buses that had a little room for us 
to squeeze into. 
After a long stressful day, I decided to take 
a nap as we journeyed back to school. 
I rested my head on the window and fell asleep. 
This was the end of a life I once knew.

The Accident
All I can remember is a very loud deafening 
sound and being unconscious.
The Accident according to witnesses
The driver of the bus I had joined had a good 
time during the field trip. 
He was seen gulping bottles of Alomo bitters 
(For the non-Nigerians, this is an alcoholic herbal drink). 
While under the influence, he decided it was a good idea 
to drive a bus full of students, one lecturer and 
one University support staff. 
During the drive back, he was driving like an 
insane person because he was intoxicated. 
The other bus drivers in our convoy tried to 
signal him to slow down but he refused. 
He kept playing fast and furious by over-taking 
vehicles in a reckless manner. 
We were on the expressway which had nothing 
but thick vegetation to the left and the right. 
The Lagos/Abeokuta expressway is a single lane 
road with no median for both sides of traffic. 
He decided to overtake a vehicle and miscalculated 
the speed of the oncoming vehicle. 
Realising that it was too late to avoid collision 
with the oncoming vehicle, he swerved into the thick forest. 
The bus somersaulted a couple of times 
till it landed on its side. 
It started burning. 

Thankfully, one of the other buses on our 
convoy watched as this happened and ran to 
our rescue. 
To note, Nigeria lacked and still lacks proper 
infrastructure for emergency services. 
The students from the other bus started rescuing 
people out of the bus while others attempted 
to put out the fire. 
Everyone was dragged out of the bus except me. 
I had fallen out and was under the burning bus. 
They decided to leave the bus to burn out 
while they rushed the victims to the Hospital.
I was on the cold ground literally getting roasted. 
This happened at about 10 pm. 
But something (I know it is the Holy Spirit) 
made someone suggest to the group that they 
should put out the fire. 
They went back to the site and lo and behold, 
I was under the burning bus. I was unconscious. 
Someone said that the bright coloured shirt 
I wore helped them spot me quickly. 
I was rescued and rushed to the on-campus Hospital. 
Babcock University Teaching Hospital was 
brand new at the time and could not manage 
that kind of trauma. 
The doctors swiftly referred me to Olabisi Onabanjo 
University Teaching Hospital. 
My classmate Amarachi held me in her arms 
as I was transported to the hospital. 
It was a 20 minutes drive but it seemed like hours. 

What I remember

The conversation between myself and Amarachi 
goes as thus:

Amarachi: Bibi stay with me, we are almost there
Me: Wait, what are you talking about. I am fine
Amarachi: Please pinch my hands so I know 
you are conscious
Me: I am fine, stop freaking me out
Amarachi: Bibi please don't go, pinch my hands
I soon realised that Amarachi couldn't hear me 
and I got confused as to what was going on. 
I decided to pinch her hands in response to 
her panicky voice. 
(In summer 2012, I asked Amarachi about our 
conversation and she said I was not talking to her. 
She needed me to talk because she felt like 
I was slipping away. I asked if she felt my pinch 
and she responded by saying a barely scratch her. 
But my tiny scratch was enough for her to know 
I can hear her even though I couldn't talk.)
When I got to the Hospital, my clothes were 
torn in the middle with scissors. 
I remember feeling like I was in a scene 
from Grey's Anatomy emergency room.
I was butt naked and thoroughly cleaned with 
normal saline solution and was wrapped with 
a bandage, I felt like an Egyptian mummy. 
I got emergency stitches on my hand and 
on my face (A cut across my brows). 
I told the doctor that I was on my period so 
I won't bleed out on the bed and he said "okay". 
I was then pushed to the corner of the emergency 
room to wait until my people come to claim me. 
I'm thankful for the great emergency service 
I received. It gave me hope that maybe the 
worse was over since I was alive. 
LOL, it was only the beginning of a tornado.
This was the end of that day. March 21st, 2012.
March 22nd, 2012.
After receiving emergency treatment, I was 
put in a corner to be picked up by my family. 
My friends had reached out to my older sisters 
(they both lived in the UK at the time) about the accident. 
They were scared and did not know how to 
inform my parents, at last, they passed the information 
to my dad. 
My dad was out of town, so he reached out to 
his friend who lived around the Hospital to head 
down there to be with me. 
I was in and out of consciousness for the whole day, 
no matter how hard I tried to stay up, I went off easily. 
I remember my friend Tega coming to see me at the 
Hospital, the look on his face scared me. 
I remember my dad’s friend being there, 
he looked mortified as well but he prayed with me.
At about 12 pm, my dad showed up. 
I don’t remember the look on his face but I was
happy he was coming to take me away. 
I remember the look on my dad's drivers face, 
he was afraid and shaking. 
Transportation was arranged for me to be moved 
to my dad's friend private hospital in Lagos. 
Throughout the trip, I was in and out of consciousness. 
Finally, we arrived at the hospital and I was wheeled in. 
The number of tests I had to run was insane. 
I don’t remember a lot but I know it was difficult to 
get an x-ray because I could not stand.
Injuries and Losses
My legs, my belly, and my arms 
sustained third degree burns
My left arm was pierced with 
something sharp
My left eye was filled with blood
Close to my right eye had a very 
deep cut that ran above my eyebrow
My cranium sustained fractures
My lecturer that was in the accident 
had sustained spleen rupture that led 
to his death a few days after the accident
My departmental president almost lost his ears, 
I don’t remember the rest of his injuries
Other people on the bus had numerous 
injuries, I don’t remember in detail

My dad did not know how to break the news 
of what had happened to my mum. 
He called and informed her that one of the 
children was sick and had been moved to 
the hospital. My mum being the super mom, 
left work early to make some comfort food and 
rushed to the hospital. 
I had been put in a private ward for privacy and 
the door was shut. 
As soon as my mum arrived, she was pulled into 
a corner to prep her for what she was about to see. 
The doctors told her, your daughter had been 
involved in an accident. 
She started screaming “I want to see my daughter! 
Is she okay? Where is my child? 
I want to see my daughter now!” 
As soon as they opened the door to my room, 
she saw me and fainted. 
She could not believe her eyes.
I was wrapped in bandages and was so 
swollen and black. 
She could not believe it was her sweet child BB.
The following days
I was referred to MeCure in Oshodi for an MRI scan. 
This revealed that I had sustained some fractures 
in my cranium. 
This scared my parents because they did not want 
me to undergo any brain-related surgeries. 
Thankfully, the neurologist consultant said 
I don’t need surgery because I was a young girl. 
It will heal on its own. Hallelujah!
Because my face had shifted to the left from
the impact of the accident, 
the Physiotherapist came and started minor 
therapy to help adjust the shape of my face. 
The optometrist came to check on me because 
my left eye was filled with blood and my right 
eye was smaller than usual for some reason 
I don’t remember. 
Thankfully, he said I don’t need any eye surgery. 
The orthopaedic surgeon came to inspect my 
burns to determine a cause of action. 
He took a scalpel and started inspecting the 
degree of the burns. 
My skin felt tight! 
I don’t know why but burned skin feels really 
tight and looks weird. It was yellowish in colour and 
I could't feel any sensation. 
He tugged at the burned skin and cut a piece off! 
Ouch, that hurt badly. 
He instructed the nurses to apply some kind of 
creams on my burns daily to help the burns 
soften or something. 
I don't quite remember the purpose of the cream, 
it may have been an antibiotic ointment or thereabout. 
A week after the accident, I was beginning to feel better. 
I had hope that I was going to be out of the hospital
in a maximum of 2 weeks, LOL.
The cream application went one for about 
a month and a half (Mid May), 
I was stuck in bed for this whole period. 
I didn’t have a full body shower in this month.
My mother took a break from work to stay 
in the hospital with me. 
(God bless her so much for me) 
The orthopedic and cosmetic surgeon came back 
to inspect the burns regularly until they decided 
it was good enough for surgery. 
This was great news to me, surgery meant 
I will go home soon. 
Right? Boy was I wrong. 
I went into surgery expecting to be better 
but I got worse. 
They had taken off all my burnt skin to remove 
all the dead and unhealthy tissue. 
Basically, all I had was my flesh wrapped 
in a bandage. My flesh, not my skin was all 
I had on my legs.
Myself and Olumide (former president of history DPT) 
when I was in the hospital
The nurses were instructed to scrub my flesh 
with normal saline every 2 days, 
place some fresh gauze and wrap me up in bandages. 
Those cleaning days were my worst days. 
The removal of the bandages from my bloody 
flesh was so painful. I would cry, scream, bury 
my head in a pillow and be a very mean person 
to everyone around me. I was especially mean 
to my mum, she did not deserve my transferred anger. 
With the cleaning, I lost a lot of blood. 
I was transfused like 4 times. 
My dad had to donate blood twice for me. 
I was depressed and uninterested in everything
around me. I just wanted it to be over.
I did not have access to a psychologist but 
my physiotherapist was amazing! 
She would always check in on my mental state 
during our physio sessions. 
I hated that all my friends were back in school 
moving on with their lives while I was stuck in 
a God-forsaken bed. 
I hated the fact that a young man died 
as a result of the accident, he had a wife 
and a little baby. 
I hated the fact that my life was paused and 
everyone had their life on "play". 
All I did was watched TV all day in the same bed 
and look forward to my friends visit. 
I just wanted it to all end.
My happiest days were when my friends came to visit, 
didn’t like the sad look they had on their faces when 
they looked at me. 
Howbeit, I was glad they were able to visit. 
I made so many promises to God that period. 
I just wanted the pain to go away. I wanted the 
sadness to go away. I wanted the boredom to 
go away. I just wanted to go back to my life.
As I waited for my flesh to "build up" or whatever, 
the orthopaedic surgeon always came to check 
on the process to determine if I was ready for 
the skin graft surgery.
The painful process of cleaning took a month 
and the half, I can not imagine anything more 
physically painful and strenuous that this. 
Basically, I had not showered for 3 months, 
my mum cleaned my body every day. 
I was confined to a hospital room for 3 months. 
The sun did not touch my skin neither did I 
know that the outside of my hospital room looked like.
After a month and half of having my flesh 
cleaned every two days, the surgeons finally
said I was ready for skin reconstructive surgery. 
They explained that I will be undergoing skin 
graft surgery. Basically, they were going to copy 
skin from my thigh and paste and all my burned 
areas. I had two options, mesh graft or sheet graft. 
Because the burns on my legs were extensive, 
they used mesh to reduce the chances of infections. 
The burn on my stomach and arm were covered 
with sheet graft. 
The surgery was successful, my legs took my thigh 
skin very well. The countdown to leaving the 
hospital started, thankfully the doctors said 
I should be home in a month. 
I was so happy to return my life. 
I had bandages on both legs, my right thigh
and my arm. 
I looked like an original Egyptian mummy, LOL.
The day I was discharged was amazing! 
It turns out my legs had forgotten how to walk. 
5 months of being “bed-ridden” I had 
developed muscle atrophy. 
They brought a wheelchair and wheeled 
me to the car. 
I felt the sun in my face after a long time. 
I was so happy, the whole hospital celebrated 
my exit. For an eighteen-year-old,
I had seen life according to what everyone said. 
The weeks after that, I studied so I could write my exams 
that will enable me to enter my final year in college. 
I moved from a wheelchair to crutches,
walking still felt foreign to me. 
My body tingled really badly for each step I took. 
I felt like giving up many times, 
it would have been easier to be confined to a wheelchair. 
However, I just knew I had to keep preserving. 
I walked for 18 years problem free, 
I will continue to walk effortlessly. I just needed 
to train my legs to do what it already knows how to do.
To the glory of God, I was able to resume 
school without crutches in September 2012. 
I added a lot of weight from no physical activity, 
I was covered with scars and my face was different. 
Low self-esteem came in like a flood because 
I didn't recognize myself anymore. 
I felt like I made people uncomfortable by exposing 
my scars. 
Mind you, these scars were not bloody or irritating. 
They were just skin graft. 
I only wore long skirts, I did not have the audacity 
to show the world my scars. 
I asked for all sorts of creams and herbal ointment 
to try to fade away the scars, nothing worked 
as fast as I desired.
My sisters tried to encourage me that it 
was nothing but scars, I should not feel 
ashamed of my body. 
They encouraged me to strut it and own it but 
I could not come around to doing all of that. 
The stares, the side comments, the pity look;
I was not interested in all of that. 
I asked my friend to make me long flowing skirts 
and also asked my sisters to send me long skirts 
and pantyhose from the UK.
I was determined to cover up my scars for the 
rest of my life. 
Thankfully, the dress code requirements at 
Babcock University made this easy. 
I blended in so effortlessly like I had nothing to hide.
But I was hiding, even though I would have 
never admitted it to myself.
After 2 years, I started to grow into the woman 
I was destined to be and the scars started
to become a part of me. 
One thing that really helped with me 
getting so comfortable in my skin was moving to the US. 
Nobody cared about my scars, nobody dared to stare. 
Everyone I spoke to about my self-esteem issues 
because of the scar were super supportive.
I am not my scars but my scars are a part of me. 
This opportunity helped me develop the courage 
to be myself. 
Slowly, I started wearing clothes I had not worn in years.
In 2015, my parents asked if I wanted to travel to 
India to get rid of my scars, I boldly told them no, 
I love my scars. 
I had grown to accept it as a part of me. 
My low self-esteem got me into a toxic relationship 
but God delivered me. 
He helped me to see myself for how he sees me, 
extremely beautiful and deserving of true love. 
People have said this to me, “If I were you, I’d cover it up”.
I just laugh because they don’t know my story 
or where I am coming from. 
My response is always “I love every part of me 
especially my scars, I think they make me very interesting”.
2015, when I gained the confidence to show off my scars
We don’t know what people are going through. 
Their experiences can be physical or emotional, 
let us be gracious to one another. 
For God’s sake, I dare you to be kind. 
Unnecessary comments on the internet about 
people’s looks are very damaging. 
You don’t need to comment on everything 
(Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in 
understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.) 
If you must say anything, let it be seasoned with 
encouragement and love.

Today, I strut with my killer legs and amazing 
scars because I know that my scars are a 
symbol of victory. 
I strut them because I need to remind the devil 
that he is powerless and all he has is tricks.
I strut because what the devil wanted to use 
to cause me pain (the accident), 
I overcame through the power of Jesus. 
The devil did not stop there, he wanted me 
to wallow in self-pity and become a shadow of myself. 
He wanted to stop me from falling into purpose 
but he has failed miserably and will continue to fail. 
I am in Christ therefore, the devil and his schemes 
are no match for me. Because of the finished works 
of Christ, I am an overcomer.
I am not afraid of the devil because all he 
has is schemes, no power. 
I am victorious always in Christ! 
I am a chosen generation and a royal priesthood, 
a royal priesthood, a holy nation and God's 
very own person called to show forth God's glory. 
Na scars I get, I no kill person. 

John 10:10 (GNT) The thief comes only in 
order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come 
in order that you might have life—life 
in all its fullness.

This is my testimony. I have the fullness of life, 
I have life in abundance, I have enjoyment of life!

I don't know what you are going through 
but I want to encourage you to cheer up. 
Our Redeemer has won all our battles for us. 
He fixed it all spiritually hence it manifests in 
all aspects of our life positively. 
We must remember that whenever the devil 
tries to attack, his aim is to take our gaze 
off of Jesus. 
He wants us to be so focused on our situation '
and forget that we have a great and loving father. 
The devil wins when we begin to change our minds 
about how much God loves us through thick and thin. 
Fix your gaze on Jesus at all times, 
don't let the devil take your attention away. 
You are loved by God unconditionally,
it's not by what you do or don't do. 
His love is constant. 
If God can love you when we were dead in sin, 
there's nothing that can change his mind about you.
- Bibi Ikotun (Nee Babatunde) 
Her story was culled from her website 

GSW's Notes: Today is Bibi's wedding!
She is getting married to Busayo Ikotun
(There is no B without BB!)
The two of them and April, an
American lady friend of theirs who came to Nigeria
to attend the wedding were with me
on Wednesday, 20th November 2019!
We had a good time praying together in the Holy Ghost!

What are you going through at
this moment? What is it? 
There is one who keeps calling
you into His rest!
If you see yourself through His eyes, 
you will flying without wings!

Congratulations to Bibi and Busayo,
Pastor and Pastor (MRS) Joseph O. Babatunde 
(The General Overseer of Peculiar Gospel 
Outreach Ministry), The Ikotun Family, 
PSSBCNigeria and the body of Christ!

The Holy Spirit is birthing wonders,
I am so glad to be a witness and 
a partaker of His Glory!