Toyosi Odenike: The rising World star from University of Ibadan
By Abraham Ariyo
This life is, indeed, what you make it. After our almighty 2nd MB examination in 1985, we celebrated briefly in UI and swiftly moved to UCH
One of the first places we visited on the UCH campus was the blood bank.
At the time, we, the future doctors, lined up to donate blood. Each will have blood taken, and some drops of it was deposited into a chemical liquid. If it sinks, you are eligible to donate blood but if it floats, you are excused from blood donation.
One by one, as the new UCH-JJCs, we filed through and went through the process.
However, when it came to the turn of Toyosi, we could not determine her eligibility for donation.
This was because, immediately the needle was inserted into her vein (venepuncture), she passed out.
At the time, we panicked and was not familiar with the concept of potential Vaso-vagal syncope.
Fast forward, Toyosi, Jide Babalakin (late) and I were the first group in our set to complete our residency in Medicine in the USA.
While Jide went into Nephrology and I went into Cardiology, we were shocked when Toyosi said Hematology and Oncology, specialty in blood disorder.
Our minds went back to our first encounter with blood at UCH as budding doctors at the blood bank.
Just like our extraordinarily brilliant teacher, who had distinction in every subject except pharmocology and decided to specialize in that field, Toyosi too, took the bull by the horn and plowed forward like a matador. Matador, indeed.
Instead of shying away from blood-related diseases, she decided, she is going to confront it head-on. Thirty-seven years later, Toyosi is now ranked among the world’s most distinguished and accomplished blood specialists in the world.
She is Professor of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Chicago and among ‘Chicago Top Doctors’. This week, we celebrate another great human being, from whom we can learn from the old adage that says ‘life is what you make it’.
Abraham Ariyo, M. D works at
HeartMasters, Dallas United States