Monday 9 February 2015

How My Wife Was Killed At Saint Georges Memorial Hospital Lekki!

The family of Onome, from Agbarho, Ughelli North local government - Delta State is still trying to get over the tragedy that shook them on September 19, 2014, when their wife, Onajite Otiotio Onome, died at Saint Georges Memorial Hospital, located at Number 6 Rasheed Alaba WilliamsLekki phase 1 - Lagos; under what they described as avoidable and questionable circumstances. 

They alleged negligence on the part of the hospital management. 

The late Onojite Otiotio Onome
The story:
The joy in the home of Samuel and Onojite Onome knew no bound when after eight years of marriage, their greatest dream of being blessed with the fruits of the womb was to become a reality, it was a set of twins. Having confirmed her pregnancy, elated Onajite Onome, spared nothing to make sure she received the best possible anti -natal care they could afford. 

It was in anticipation for the best, that she registered at Saint George Memorial Hospital in Lekki phase 1, a private clinic she held in very high esteem, and religiously followed every single advise she received from the medical expert therein, of course, she had waited eight years for that moment. 

Things however, took a different turn, when in the fourth/ fifth month of the pregnancy, she noticed some abnormalities and went to the hospital with her husband to make complains, she was observed for about 1/2hrs, the heart beats of the children was examined, no scan was however carried out to ascertain if any thing was wrong. 

Again, six months into the pregnancy, towards August ending to be precise, she noticed another abnormality, and again went to the hospital to make complains, she was subjected to the same routine of 'checking for heart beats', given some medications and sent home, without scanning to know if all was indeed well with the babies.

Then on September 19, 2014, it was gathered that Onojite experienced contractions, which prompted her being rushed to the clinic, on getting there at about 8:45pm, no doctor was on ground to attend to her. she was placed on bed, a supposed female medical practitioner who attended to her reportedly conducted checks on parts of her body, including her stomach, and continuously asked if she felt any pains.  She said she did not , but that her legs felt lifeless, her breath was ceasing, she was restless, "Jesus where are you"...she reportedly cried.
All these while, it was alleged that no experienced medical proffessional attended to her. Going by the account of incidents that preceded her death, there was no prove the lady who earlier attended to Onojite is an experienced doctor, as it was alleged that while attending to the deceased, she will go to the computer to check up something, then get back to attend to the deceased.

The doctor reportedly arrived at the hospital at about 11:16pm (local time), and her husband, Mr. samuel Onome, was asked to go purchase blood some where in Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere at about 11:22pm.

That was the last he saw his wife alive, as she reportedly gave up the ghost around 11:50pm, September 19, 2014.

Collaborating this story, a friend and neighbor of the Onomes, at their Abraham Adesanya resident, around Ajah - Lekki area, simply identified as Tony, who witnessed the incident, as it was himself and his wife that drove Onojite to the hospital that night had this to say: 
"That Friday night, I was at home when Onojite called my wife, that she was not comfortable at all, that she wanted us to take her to the hospital, as her husband was not home yet. I called her husband to let him know what was going on, he said he was on his way. I thought Jite was in labour, we were getting ready to go over to her place when she knocked at our gate, that was when it dawned on us that it must have been something more serious, for her to risk the discomfort of walking over to our resident. I had wanted us to wait for the husband, but then he called and told us that he was close to the house, but his car broke down, that instead of wasting time, I should drive his wife to the hospital, that he would be on the phone to direct us to the place, then join us there. 
"I hurriedly wore a singlet and drove off, my wife came along; I was even happy, I thought it was just labour pain, I and my wife were telling her to be strong, that very soon, she will be delivered of the babies. That was when she told me that it was not labour pain, that her delivery date was supposed to be in December - 2014. All the while, Jita was being strong, despite the pain, she even directed me when I took a wrong turn in Lekki phase 1". 
"When we got to the hospital gate, they delayed us, asking for her identity and if she was registered with them, to the extent that the husband, whose car broke down on the way, came to meet us there. It was when we were about driving in, that he got there". 
"At the reception, the people we met showed no sign of interest. They took their time to get her file, and all that. when it was time to take her up stairs to be examined, I thought they would at that point get a stretcher or something, but they didn't care, I over heard one of the nurses say "I no fit do that kain thingooo" was myself, my wife and her husband that assisted her up the stairs to the labour room, by this time, her eyes were turning white, and she was wriggling in pain. I also noticed that the people we met at the hospital at the time were inexperienced, as they called the doctor on phone for anything Onojite requested for, even when she said she wanted to drink water". She was also having internal bleeding.

"When the doctor got there very much late in the night, he said Onojite was short of blood, and asked us to go and purchase blood somewhere in Surulere. We were on our way there, when Mr. Onome's phone rang, the person at the other end of the phone asked us not to bother anymore about the blood, that we should turn back. Mr. Onome told me that something bad has happened. On getting back to the hospital, the husband went inside, not long after that, I heard him crying". 

Tony at this point paused....over the phone, I could hear his breath, as he tried not to betray his emotions.
He continued... "I never realized that incident would take her life, I thought at most she would loose the babies. It was just total negligence on the side of the hospital, going by the time this lady was brought to the hospital, her life would have been saved, if they had an experienced doctor on ground, and who knows, perhaps even the babies would have been saved and incubated...a hospital that charges that much should have qualified nurses and doctors on ground, and a blood bank". he said.  

As at the time of writing this story, five months on, it was alleged that nothing was heard from the management of Saint George Memorial Hospital - Lekki, nor any explanation on the turn of events, and apology rendered to the deceased husband Mr. Samuel Onome. 

In respect to the Concept of Justice "audi alterem patem", which this platform stands for, R/I contacted the doctor who reportedly attended to the deceased before she passed, to hear his side of the story.

When R/I placed a called across to Dr. Faye Iketunbosin, owner of Saint Georges Memorial Hospital Lekki phase 1.

Dr Faye confirm the story, stressing that contrary to the allegation that no doctor was on ground when the late Onojite was brought in, "there is a doctor here 24hrs, it is sad, that incident was a tragic and unfortunate case" he said. 

Adding that contrary to the notion that the hospital showed no sign of remorse concerning the incident, he spoke with the deceased father, Dr. Otiotio, who is a pharmacists, a couple of times over the phone, concerning the incident. 

Dr. Faye also stated that a post moterm was conducted on the deceased, and the result revealed she died as result of complications which had a low survival chance. The doctor however added that with respect to "doctor/ patient" confidentiality, he will not be able to discuss further on the incident.

Having heard from both sides, and with ever increasing reports of deaths recorded as a result of negligence and other avoidable circumstances in Nigerian hospitals.....the following questions becloud my mind:

1: Is there no iota of regard for human life especially as it concerns medical practice?

2: What do you make of this case?

I leave you 'readers' to be the judge, as we hope something good comes out of this case.

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