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‘Her last words were I’m dying’ – Distraught husband alleges medical negligence in death of pregnant wife

It was the couple’s first pregnancy. The euphoria was high, mixed emotions of anxiety, nervousness and joy took over, as an expectant father awaited his first child.

But inside the labour ward at the Ga West Municipal Hospital, Amasaman, in the Greater Accra region, a fatal struggle ended those expectations.

“My wife’s last words to me were ‘I’m dying. Why can’t they just operate on me?’” Collins Tekolibe, an Insurance Broker recalled that day on May 2, 2019.

His wife was 34-years old, and the marriage was less than a year old.

Collins Tekolibe sat down with theghanareport.com reporter, Aba Asamoah, and revealed his listless attitude towards life since that day.

“I don’t see the essence of living. My baby is the only reason for keeping me alive.”

He believes his wife’s death was avoidable. She died because of medical negligence, he alleged.

“We got to the hospital at about 2 pm on Thursday, May 2, 2019, and the nurses directed us to the waiting room because, according to them, my wife’s cervix had opened to only two centimetres. It needed to open to 10 for her to deliver.

“We waited until 9 pm. It opened by one centimetre. So, I was with her till the following day, Friday and the pain had increased. It was as if I had just brought in an emergency.

He accused the nurses in the maternity ward on that day of being indifferent to the plight of his wife.

“…They gave me prescription upon prescription to buy and I was running helter-skelter all over the hospital in search of the drugs. On one of my trips to the pharmacy, the new pharmacist who replaced the old one [on the shift] demanded a folder and it confused me.

“He later explained to me that the drug I was about paying for is covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme.  So I went back to the nurses for the folder and they had affixed it to other folders while they sat and played on their phones.The pharmacist insisted they sign my folder for me before they did,” he recalled.

Collins’ reason for going to the hospital was to offer soothing words to his wife as she battles the pains of labour.

But public hospitals in Ghana bar husbands from the labour wards and theatres. So, he waited. He counted minutes into hours. He counted the number of windows in the hospital. He could have counted trees and their branches and chairs until 12.30 pm.

“I was standing, I didn’t know what was happening, so at about 12:30 a nurse came to me and whispered to me that my wife had delivered. I heaved a sigh of relief, but apparently, it was the beginning of my problems,” he said wiping tears.

After they delivered the news, Collins didn’t see the baby and mother until about an hour later. Out of curiosity, he said, he peeped through the window of the labour ward to have a glance at his new family.

“I wasn’t seeing the baby or my wife so I got nervous and went close to the transparent window and I saw my wife sitting on the bed. The next thing I saw was the nurse standing by her pushed her violently and I use violently instructively and she fell on the bed breathless….”

” I suspected my wife had died, so I panicked and went to the stationed nurses to question them why they were maltreating my wife ?”

The question tickled nerves. The nurse who allegedly pushed Mrs Tekolibe hurriedly came out of the ward to confront Collins.

“These were her words, ‘you sef you have been cooperating with us all this while, why are you now saying we are maltreating your wife? Come and see, your wife is even bleeding, and your baby is not even feeling fine…see because of what you have done we are going to refer you to Nsawam [Government Hospital]. We don’t want you to give us any trouble”‘ he recalled.

He would learn later that the prolonged labour had affected the brain of his son.

In a state of ambivalence, Collins was asked to send his son to the Nsawam Government Hospital. There was no ambulance—It was just him and less-than- a-day-old child.

His world came crashing, he said, as he was torn between sending his child to the referral hospital or being with his beloved wife.

He chose the baby over his wife since, according to him, she was already with professionals.

But before he could pick up his baby and head to Nsawam,  the hospital asked him to donate blood for his ‘dying’ wife.

” I bought the blood and sped off to the Nsawam [Government] Hospital with a friend, with no escort from the hospital. I left my wife in the hands of a lady who was also there to see a relative.

“A few minutes into the journey, the lady called to say they had rushed my wife to the theatre, and that heightened my nervousness, I was totally confused, but the hospital didn’t call me”

“Around 8:30 pm, we returned from Nsawam to Amasaman and I went straight to the nurses to enquire about of my wife, only to be told that my wife had died,” he said with clenched fists.

The widower, who is bent on getting justice for his late wife, said the hospital conducted no autopsy on his wife, rather the hospital (Ga West) gave him a coroner’s inquest to be delivered to the police.

But the police after asking of his mission told him that the hospital should be able to tell the cause of death, given the number of hours his wife spent at the facility.

Since then, the soft-spoken man has been on a mission to draw public attention to the issue and “ensure that my wife doesn’t die for nothing, and no woman dies in that hospital like that again.”

” After a week of my wife’s death, I went to the hospital to see the superintendent, Dr Ntiamoah Sarpong, but it appears he was the last person to have seen my wife at the theatre. That meeting did not yield any result. From his demeanor, I noticed he wasn’t ready to cooperate with me, I sensed a conflict of interest.

” I further petitioned the Regional Health Directorate, but that did not also yield any result. The directorate instituted a committee to look into the matter they came up with a report justifying my wife’s death. They did not give me the findings of the committee, they just read it to me in a meeting” he said.

Having lost hope in the health system, Collins said, “I am saddened by the country we are living in. My wife deserves justice. She paid taxes that were used to pay her ‘murderers’.

When contacted, the Medical Superintendent at the Ga West Municipal Hospital, Dr Eric Sarpong-Ntiamoah, declined to comment on the issue but referred theghanareport.com to the Regional Health Directorate.

According to him, it was beyond him.

“The truth of the matter is that, yes I recognize the name of the deceased, I recognize the name of the complaint.

“The unfortunate thing is that this case has gone beyond me. He complained to me and he felt dissatisfied. So he petitioned the Regional Director of Health, who duly set up an investigative team so the team came here, listened to us and listened to him,” he said.

He continued, “So, the committee sat and presented their report to the Regional Director, the Regional Director duly called Collins and disseminated the information to him”

“It is the Regional Director who can give any details of whatever was found or whatever the outcome was, it is beyond me,” he said.

When theghanareport.com contacted the Regional Health Director, Dr Charity Sarpong, she also declined to speak with the same explanation that the matter was beyond her.


Photo: Dr. Charity Sarpong

She referred theghanareport.com to the Head of Legal Affairs, Dr Emmanuel Ankrah.

” This matter is beyond me because when Collins petitioned my office, we constituted a team, the committee’s findings were explained to him in the presence of his lawyer, So, I don’t know what else he is after….so you speak to the Head of Legal [Ghana Health Service], he can best speak to the matter,” she said.

An email sent to Dr Ankrah on Wednesday is yet to be responded to,  although he promised to do so in a phone call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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26 Comments
  1. Anonymous says

    This is pathetic, and justice needs to be metered.

  2. Anonymous says

    Why are these doctors and nurses behaving like devils.This is heartbreaking and government shouldn’t just watch this happen.What kind of a country is this
    All we care about is money and nothing else
    And to those doctors and nurses what happened to the oath you took?

  3. Anonymous says

    If only we had the likes of Drs. Brightson (Osudoku) and Amegbletor (New Crystal) in all Hospitals! Not forgetting the late Dr. Acheampong (Acheampong Memorial), formerly of 37 Military Hospital. These gallant ObGyns believe no woman should die in childbirth! I know the midwives are doing their best, but if a case is beyond them, they should be humble enough to admit and call in the Specialist. Indeed, no woman must die giving life to another being!

  4. Anonymous says

    What happened to Collin’s wife is not only condemnable but babaric, inhumane, appalling, criminal and extremely shameful.
    I believe the nursing profession Is a calling but what do we see today?
    Because of money, all kinds of people including that wicked woman who had no empathy for a dying fellow human being and a woman but allegedly pushed her to her grave. We have all these animals in our maternity wards and if thankfully she has been exposed; instead of the authorities doing a proper investigation, they also do a shody work in an attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet. For how long do u want such a person to remain in the profession? How many of our sisters, wives, mothers, etc. do u want her to kill before you act? My brother all I can say is vengeance is the Lords’ Let them continue to defend the perpetrators because of “hospitals reputation and their stomach”
    God will surely see to the well-being of the baby.

    1. Anonymous says

      Eiiii Ghanaian doctors and nurses whyyyy?This is inhumane and devilish, wait for the law of karma your wives, sisters, and your entire generations will suffer for these devilish acts of yours…it would have been better if you hadn’t sworn that OATH of yours…..God will punish you. Collins l pray that God sees you through with your baby

  5. Anonymous says

    Such a shame
    Very unfortunate

  6. Anonymous says

    What this man is saying is very true cause I almost lost my life giving birth at amass man government hospital on 13 August 2018.and have since vowed not to visit there. I reported at the hospital at 7cm dilated at 7 am and the nurses left me and went about chatting,at 11:30 I felt my baby coming out and called unto to the nurse to help as I was in so much pain.we were 3 in the delivery room that day with me in the middle.on my left was a lady who was bleeding heavily due to complications and and on my right was another who was then 5cm. This nurses did not pay any attention to us until I put myself on to the bed and began to push. I knew this was a life and death matter for me and I needed to do what ever it takes to save myself and the baby. Upon see my baby’s head the nurse now left only to yield and ask why I was pushing. And at exactly 12:30 I delivered my baby. Note had she not seen my baby’s head coming out she would have still been sorted chatting. After this awful delivery she still came to my husband to take a sum of Ghs 70 and that it was for detergent and iv used by me. I was discharged that very same day at 5 and since then I have never dreamt of going there for their service. Government should really take a second look at this particular hospital and caution some of the workers cause obviously they are tarnishing the ones with the good names. My condolences to the man and his family

  7. Anonymous says

    Me I will go to the Bank and a loan and hire a hitman to go and kill all the midwives and doctors who were responsible or I go to Kumasi to buy a gun to kill the them all!!!

    1. Shooter says

      It’s annoying to know these stuff occur in our healthcare centres but you don’t solve a problem by creating another one. Imagine the chaos if we all resorted to the law of the jungle.

  8. Anonymous says

    I have also been through the same which led to the death of my mum. A senior doctor left my mum in the hands of a junior doctor only because he has received a call to come home and take his kids to saturday classes. This junior doctor also lacked respect and was talking and treating my mum anyhow since he had a little idea about her sickness.

  9. Anonymous says

    Only God can save Ghana……..Mr Collins take heart and keep in mind that karma is a bitch…they will surely pay for what they did

  10. Samuel Appiah-Saint says

    The same thing keep on occurring in time unnumbered and if care is not taken to curb this sinister menace,we’ll continue to take a simplistic view of a complex life.Without hiding behind euphemism,i can boldly say that Felicia from above debacle was murdered in cold blood.Let all and sundry rise up else one day,it might be me or you.Let me end this with a quote from samurai “When crime go unpunished the world is unbalance and when evil is avenged,the heaven looks down unashame”.

    1. Aba says

      You see sometimes the devil uses this nurses to take innocent souls, we need to be very prayerful in all. The devil is really at work. This is inhumane.

  11. AJ says

    they killed her and are covering up for the witch nurse who the husband claims pushed his wife. May the vengeance of God visit everyone covering up for the nurse anyone who has a hand in the death of the woman. why on earth did they ask the fathee to carry a newborn to another hospital by himself. this is the shithole that Ghana is. a committee of witches and wizards with no regard for human life will definitely not judge right. shame shame shame on Dr Ntiamoah Sarpong. he was the last person to see her and yet the hospital could not give an autopsy report. shame on Charity Sarpong. karma is a bitch. they should kill people and maltreat their family. judgement will soon knock on their door. why push a vulnerable woman if the intention is not to kill her. they isolated the husband so they can finish the wife. demons.

  12. Anonymous says

    This is sad. This story made me cry because it mad me recall my own ordeal. Hmmm…God is our only hope in this world.

    1. Anonymous says

      May the Lord comfort you, Dear and come through with help to restore you speedily in the name of Jesus Christ

  13. Anonymous says

    I think the problem we have with most of our health professionals, especially nurses is that, they only go in for the job to make ends meet. They don’t have any passion whatsoever for the profession. Others also after several attempts to go to the university proves futile, then their next stop is a training institution. Most of them don’t even pass their WASSCE well or rewrite several times of even get admitted because of Connections, so how will they have the right attitude towards this noble profession. This is so sickening. The negligence of these nurses are too much and I think it’s about time authorities take a critical look at these issues in other to avert most of these needles deaths. My greatest sympathy man, for going through this wicked and awful experience.

  14. Hidden says

    Some colleagues are preventing the good people to work as I nearly lost my wife and chill after lossing my son in a facility I have served for mor than a decade. An attempt to tackle the root cause from the training school and complaines made me a victim of hatred and enemy to my own colleagues.Currently I’m in’exile’ because my life was also threatened

  15. Anonymous says

    Hmmm

  16. Anonymous says

    They have been doing this for years. No consequences !???

  17. Anonymous says

    Dr. Emmanuel Ankrah will do nothing but play hide & seek. Very wicked. He chairs all such committees and ensures he wrecks the case. I challenge Emmanuel Ankrah to dare sue me. Hod is watching. You shall equally reap your actions when you finally retire to enjoy life. Very callous team who appear to be investigating only to smoothly clear officials. Giftarl Foundation

  18. Anonymous says

    I remember my sister in law fought the midwife who delivered my twins because of her negligence.I could have died so I share in your pain.Those nurses and midwives behave like they are recruited by the devil.It is about time top officials stopped covering them up so that all this nonsense will stop.

  19. Anonymous says

    Am very sad and speechless reading this. Rest In Peace dear one, I pray justice will be served.

  20. Anonymous says

    It is sad that this evil dowers are still at it, they allow witches at the labor ward to drink peoples blood all in the name of what, a nurse. I went through the same odeal but with mine i beat the nurse, held her to take me to the theatre and shouted infact took my phone that i was calling the radio station before they attended to me. Since then i have said no to government hospital. God have mercy on those nurses, It is only God who saves and still saves and still in the business of saving . God be praised.

  21. Anonymous says

    Justice must be served. Doctors or medical practitioners must be held accountable when they are found to be negligent in rendering their services. A lot of deaths can or could be prevented. It is about time the president and health minister addressed this issue. May God console the ladies husband and family.

  22. Anonymous says

    I think some of the nurses in the are those causing people to die. Why can’t we ban the use of mobile phones in all hospitals and clinics. They should be provided with places to keep theirs phones, so that after work, they can take them.
    Also there should be intensive supervision of health workers because they are handling lives. Some nurses do gossiping, unnecessarily chatting whilst someone is dying and needs their help. Nurses or health workers should be sacked if caught not attending to a patient when he or she has to do so. So supervision and setting of cameras can really help.

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