Popular Nollywood actor, Victor Olaotan, is still battling for his life in a Turkish hospital, four years after he was involved in a ghastly accident.
He currently requires $250,000, about N91m, to pay for his medical expenses.
The hospital has placed his medical treatments on hold until the money is paid.
His wife, Julia, revealed this in a recent interview with The Punch.
Olaotan, 66, who is best known for his role as Fred Ade-Williams in the long-running television drama ‘Tinsel’ was driving to a movie set when the accident took place around Apple Junction, in Festac, Lagos.
Two years ago, PREMIUM TIMES reported that the actor required financial assistance to receive medical treatment outside Nigeria in a bid to avert the amputation of his legs.
He was at home in a vegetative state for about two years because he suffered a traumatic brain injury before respite came.
Shortly after he went public with his illness, his colleague, Richard Mofe-Damijo, announced that billionaire Femi Otedola had agreed to settle his medical bills.
His wife said the hospital sent a bill of 96,000 Euros, about N39m, and that included having to airlift him out of the country. Mr Otedola transferred the money directly to the hospital in Turkey.
After the money Mr Otedola paid the hospital expired, his family began paying $7,500, about N2.7m every month. The amount covers physiotherapy and other necessary treatments. If everything goes as planned, he ought to be home by March 2020.
In a recent interview with The Punch, his wife said, “Since August, I haven’t paid any money. Right now, the hospital has stopped treatment and providing any kind of care for him. For his treatment to be continued, I have to pay a minimum of about $250,000 N91m”.
Some cast members of Tinsel have also renewed calls for financial assistance for the actor in a video that has been shared on social media.
In the video, Ireti Doyle, Ike Okechukwu, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, and others could be seen pleading with fans to help to raise the required funds to complete Olaotan’s treatment. They said he currently requires N91m to complete his medical treatment abroad.
The actor looked pale and unrecognisable in the video.
They said Olaotan’s treatment has been halted because his family has run out of funds.
Some of them have also taken to their respective Instagram pages to solicit for support.
A new GoFundMe account tagged ‘Victor Olaotan Recovery Fund’ was opened on the actor’s behalf on Wednesday with a 227500 Euros goal.
The initiator, identified as Heerlen NL, explained why another GoFundMe is being created on his behalf.
“Well the thing is, even though Mr. Femi Otedola, a businessman and a popular philanthropist, and well-meaning Nigerians, with some beautiful people in others countries came to our rescue by fulfilling their commitment at the time, and we are so grateful to him and for all your immense help, we are still in need of more funds”.
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According to her, the actor has been discharged from the hospital pending when they can raise more money for the outstanding bill $250,000 and to continue the treatment.
She said, “The treatment, which is experimental, (Stem cell treatment) and is effective, needs to be continued. The hospital decided to put him through it two more times, with this decision, coupled with the fact that he has been there more than intended initially, the cost of feeding, physiotherapy, daily care, has been accruing since August 2019”.
As at press time, only 145 pounds has been raised.
Olaotan became an actor at 15 through a teacher who was a member of the Ori Olokun Theatre group in the early ’70s. This was prior to his father’s death.
After his father died, he travelled to the U.S. in 1978 but returned to Nigeria in 2002 to continue his career in acting.
He became famous in 2013 for his leading role in Tinsel that began airing in August 2008.
Olaotan has featured in movies like ‘Lovestruck’ as well as ‘Three Wise Men’, alongside Richard Mofe-Damijo and Zack Orji.