Man recounted how his younger sister, Deborah Doofan an undergraduate of University of Port Harcourt died outside the Emergency Ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Surulere, due to a lack of bed space.
Speaking with the Punch on Monday, Doofan’s elder brother, Prince, said his sister was receiving treatment in the hospital and was later diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in January 2022.
He said: “So, she left Port Harcourt and came to Lagos on December 24, 2022. We called LUTH to know if their specialists were on the ground but we were told that the machine that will be used for the hyperthyroidism treatment was not working.
“The LUTH referred her to the University College Hospital, Ibadan. When we got there, a doctor said she would go through lots of treatments to bring the swollen heart down because her heart was beating very fast.
“She needed to see specialists including an endocrinologist, neurologist, and cardiologist, among others, but the doctor said UCH has the machine for the treatment but the specialists were not on the ground and that she needed to see a cardiologist to certify that her heart was in a good position for them to put her on a machine for the treatment.
Prince said “they were advised to see specialists in LUTH and take the results to the UCH for treatment, adding that that was what they were doing all through January till February 2023, when the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new naira design started causing issues in the country.
“To see a specialist was very expensive and because my funds were trapped in banks, it became very difficult for her to continue seeing the specialists and continuing the treatments. So, she was just taking oral drugs but the tablets were not effective, so her condition started getting worse.
“Before that, the swollen stomach and legs were going down, and she was getting better. She woke up one day and became restless; we tried to sort out funds to go to the cardiologist in LUTH, but when we got there, we were told to go to the UCH to get her admitted for doctors and specialists to treat her and monitor her condition.”
Speaking further, the brother said “Doofan was given an appointment to resume her treatment on Monday (today), adding that she was making plans to resume the treatment when she suffered a crisis and was rushed to the Epe General Hospital from where she was referred to the LUTH.
“We got to LUTH around 2am, called the emergency number, and the security officials at the Emergency Ward started asking what the emergency was. A doctor later came out and I showed him the referral letter. He brought out his thermometer, checked her pulse and temperature, and returned inside.
“After a few minutes, he returned and told us that their beds were occupied and there was no bed space to treat her. I pleaded with him to give her first aid or something to stabilise her pending the time that there would be a bed space for proper treatment to commence.
“But he said their policy does not allow them to give treatment outside the hospital. I then begged him that he should allow me to take her inside the emergency ward and that I would sit on the floor, and carry her on my lap so he can give her first aid treatment but he still said no. She died at the front of the emergency ward while I was looking for a bench or table to place her on.
He added that the family members had commenced preparations for her sister’s burial at their home town in Benue”.