I first met Pearl on June 30th 2013, which was the 5th anniversary of Sharecare Ghana. Dr. Akpalu introduced her to me as my ‘new patient’ because he knew I would tell her when not to listen to him – he calls me his most stubborn patient.
Pearl and I hit it off and started talking on a regular basis about our challenges with multiple sclerosis and options that could make us feel better.
She was a very determined person; determined to complete her university education even though she had practically lost her sight and had frequent relapses.
She called me one day last year to tell me she had graduated. She was so happy; her smile came through the phone. And I was really happy for her. She told me she wanted wider experience with the disability community and so would not do her national service at Sharecare, but with Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations, which I absolutely understood. But I told her she would still have to do some work with Sharecare even if she was somewhere else. She started going for physiotherapy, she started her diaper business, she started her national service and she was about to start her diet on the day she passed…
I don’t know if some people know when they are about to die. Pearl Ama Otoo was so full of life; and she insisted on the Ama in her name. When she called me perhaps two days before she passed, her voice was very small. Nana Yaa what can I take for the pain? I had no answer… You have to tell doctor.
This cruel disease has robbed us of such a gentle yet determined person. Pearl Ama Otoo, you have taken the lead and we are told to give thanks to God in all things. It is so hard, but we give Him thanks for lending you to us. Rest in peace, Pearl, till we meet again.