His hopes of becoming an entertainer on the pitch and send smiles into the homes of many evaporated on a day many were rejoicing at the birth of a giver of hope – Jesus.
The sight of people playing football reminds him of how his dream was shattered by the bullet of a careless Policeman.
The sad story of Stephen Arthur, 27, happened on 25th December 2011, when as a passenger on board a commercial vehicle (trotro) from Bawjiase to Kasoa, he became the victim of a sad and meaningless episode involving two policemen and a driver.
The man who has been confined to a wheelchair bought with donations from well-wishers narrated his ordeal on Adom FM’s Evening News on Thursday about how a driver, upon reaching Bawjiase barrier handed a GHȻ10.00 (about $2.00 note, to a police officer who begged for a Christmas gift.
Another police officer upon seeing the driver handing over the currency note to the first officer then approached the driver and asked him how much he gave to the first officer.
“When he was told his brother (police) was given GHȻ 10.00, he insisted the amount was too small and demanded that the driver adds more money…,” Arthur narrated.
However, the first officer who received the currency said he was satisfied with the amount, thus, insisting that the driver continues the journey.
“Our driver heeded the command from the first officer and drove away. Some few meters from the spot, we heard a cry for the police officer not to do that [probably asking him not to shoot] only for us to hear the sound of a gunshot…,” he recalled with tears in his eyes.
The shot from the Police officer which was targeted at their vehicle caught Stephen, an otherwise promising orphan who is now paralysed as was confirmed by medical reports.
“The bullet ran through the vehicle, hit my spine and then through my abdomen; all my intestines gushed out. They forced them inside and I was then rushed to the hospital by the driver and some passengers,” he narrated.
A medical officer at the Police Hospital where he was transferred after treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, told him that he can’t walk again.
“A careless bullet of a police officer ended my dreams and now I can’t even watch football again because it makes me cry…,” he said.
During his eight-year stay at the Police Hospital, Mr Arthur has been promised a better life by each Inspector General of Police (IGP) who visited the facility and saw him.
“The current IGP saw me and promised that he will acquire a new wheelchair for me but that has not happened and I had to purchase a new wheelchair with donations I received from friends…,” Arthur said.
Surprisingly, Arthur who now wears catheter has also been denied his compensation package of GHȻ800.00, causing him to be a permanent resident at the Police Hospital.