Victor Olaotan, the veteran Nigerian actor and former Tinsel’ star, who is popularly known as Big Daddy, turned 69 on Wednesday, February 17, but sadly, he is still in a Turkey hospital battling with the effects of a traumatic brain injury he suffered after a ghastly car accident in October 2016.
His wife, Julia, has been relentlessly seeking support for him and some actors have also solicited for support on Olaotan’s behalf. In 2019, billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Femi Otedola donated N30m to the actor.
In an interview with Sunday Scoop, Julia thanked Otedola and other well-meaning Nigerians that had lent their support, but stated that she still needed money to offset her husband’s hospital bills.
She said, “I need all the help I can get. I have been silent but now, I am drowning. Apart from Mr Otedola and a few other people who have supported me, I still need help. His monthly expenses are $7,500, excluding the caregiver’s salary and other things like feeding and toiletries. The money for his stem cell procedure is about $150,000. He has done the first procedure and he needs to undergo the second one.
“I want to bring my husband back home. The last time I paid hospital bills was in March 2019. He has been receiving treatment without payment but the agency that helped with his medical travelling, Radmed, has been doing so much for us. They have been very humane because most of the hospital bills have been paid by them. However, my fear is that if another Nigerian needs the agency’s services, they might be reluctant because of their experience with us. I am just hoping that somebody out there would have compassion. But, I don’t want to appear like an ingrate because Nigerians have given support and everyone has their cross to carry.”
Julia, who hasn’t seen her husband physically since May 2019, said that she often spoke with him via video calls, and whenever they spoke, she could see that he was ‘fighting for his life.
She said, “He is improving, especially when it comes to recognizing people. Also, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have not been able to visit him. I owe the hospital so much money that my travelling to see him without paying outstanding bills would not be good. Because of the debt, the hospital has cut down on some of his treatments such as physiotherapy, although they still give him basic treatments. They managed him very well and he has even received the COVID-19 vaccine. They have called me several times about my debt and even threatened to dump him at the Nigerian Embassy and report me there too. They feel I have absconded because they have not seen me. We have not been able to start the second treatment after the one that Otedola graciously paid for. I have not been able to raise the $70,000 that is needed.”