28 year old widower narrates his wife’s painful ordeal in the hands of negligent health workers at Mama Lucy Hospital during childbirth.
The 28 year old, Robert Omondi yesterday on November 1, narrated before the Senate Health Committee the painful ordeal her wife went through at Mama Lucy Hospital, where his wife bleed for more than 6 hours before her death with the medical personnel at the Level Five Hospital deliberately being negligent in their practice.
“Babe buy nan-baby milk powder for the children.” This were the last words Omondi heard from his wife before she succumbed to death.
On September 7, around 9 am Omondi got the news from a nurse that her wife didn’t make it from the ICU room after she bled too much.
“We lost your wife at 7am in the morning. We tried our best,” said the 28-year-old Mr Omondi, recalling the words of the one nurse who agreed to talk to him after hours of incessantly but unsuccessfully trying to inquire about his wife’s condition.
Maureen had been referred to Kiambu from Mama Lucy, arriving at the referral destination at 1.10am, whereupon she was admitted to the ICU.
The referral, Mr Omondi told the Senate health team, was preceded by more than 26 hours of a harrowing ordeal at the hands of medics at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.
Around 10.45pm, Mr Omondi and his wife arrived at the gates of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital carrying two bags in readiness for delivery of their first-born twins.
But, at the gate, the guards refused to let Mr Omondi accompany his wife into the institution, insisting that Maureen should carry the two “heavy bags” alone.
“I stood there watching her struggle with the heavy bags as her birth water dripped with each step she made towards the hospital’s reception,”
“Little did I know that the painful walk from the gate would be her last,” he added.
While at Mama Lucy when her blood pressure was still very high, she was told to wait for 20 minutes before the treatment could start by the nurse. After waiting for so long, at this point Mr Omondi forced his way into the hospital but he was forced to leave after.
He grudgingly left the hospital, arriving home at midnight. The following day, September 7 at 6.45am, he left for the hospital and found out that his wife was about to be taken from Ward Five, where she had spent the night, to the theatre for a Caesarean section.
“I was told to relax, as the delivery process would not take long. I rushed back home to put the house in order as I waited for my wife to give birth,” he said. Around 8am, a doctor he identified as Dr Kipsang would call him to deliver the good news that his wife had delivered two healthy boys.
The boys weighed 3.8kg and 3.9kg. However, the doctor did not mention anything about his wife’s condition.
“I immediately left the house for the hospital to see my bundles of joy. I found the twins in the same tiny bed with their mother, who was on a drip,” he said. Maureen, who lay on her back, asked her husband to help her with the babies, particularly one who was crying, as she was not in a position to attend to him.
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“On closer look, I realised she was bleeding and that no medicine was flowing from the drip, only a backflow of blood. I notified the nurse about the bleeding and backflow but she did not attend to her,” he said.
Mr Omondi said he alerted the same nurse a second and a third time, but he was waved away and told to handle it himself.
“I struggled and removed the drip. More blood kept flowing and so I decided to use a piece of cotton wool to stop the backflow [to no avail]. I did not know what to do next. It was almost noon,” said Mr Omondi, struggling to hold back tears.
At 12.45pm, he was joined by Maureen’s elder sister, Ms Rose Otieno.
They started seeking help from the nurses and doctors while complaining to attend to the new mother, but they reportedly got no response. Fellow patients and their relatives joined in, heating up the complaints about the medics, who nonchalantly went on with whatever they were doing as Margaret continued losing blood on the sickbed.
The uproar later, drew the attention of a group of doctors, who asked everyone to leave the room and sit on the bench outside as they attended to Maureen the new mother who laid there helplessly.
“We could hear Maureen scream as we sat outside, not sure what was happening. After 10 minutes, she was wheeled back to the theatre,” he said. At 4pm, Mr Omondi said he was called and informed that his wife’s condition was worsening and that she needed three packets of blood.
“I was promised that, by 8pm, my wife would be stable and back in the general ward, but that was not to be,” he added. At 7pm, he told the Senate Health team, the doctors came back and told him that Maureen had been put on oxygen and had to be referred to another hospital.
Meanwhile Omondi has two options on the table that included Machakos Level Five Hospital and Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital, but he had to pay Sh200,000 upfront to have his wife admitted to either hospital.
“When I said that I could not raise such a high amount of money, I was told to make calls and try to raise it. I called friends and relatives but nothing came out of the effort. After a few minutes, a nurse called me and told me they could look for a third option if there was no money,” he recalled.
Kiambu Level Five Hospital, Mr Omondi was informed, had agreed to admit the patient without a deposit. It was 8pm, but they had to wait for an ambulance, which became available towards midnight. All this time, Mr Omondi said, he was not allowed to see his wife.
“They blatantly told me to stop too much inquiry as they were on top of things. The ambulance had apparently taken another emergency patient to Kenyatta National Hospital,” he recounted. They lost their way to Kiambu but eventually arrived there at 1.10am on September 8.
“At the ICU, I saw and overheard the nurses arguing about the size of the oxygen pipe that had been used and how the patient had been handled.
The Kiambu hospital nurses were showing the two young nurses from Mama Lucy who had accompanied me what they should have done. At that point I realised it might be over for her,” said Mr Omondi amid tears.
Mr Omondi told the House team that he was in constant communication with Maureen’s elder sister, who had remained with the twins at Mama Lucy. His wife was declared dead less than six hours later.
“It was not easy. I had sensed that something was not right as Robert kept on updating me. I told him to say a prayer to God,” said Ms Otieno.
“Maureen was not supposed to die. She should have been saved as she was in good health. She had been updating us before and after the operation and was very upbeat. I have been forced to drop everything and take care of the twins,” she added.
Mr Omondi’s lawyer, Bonaventure Otieno, called for the closure of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, claiming it had turned into a death chamber.
“We lost a woman who should not have died.”
“We are now left with two children who did not even have a chance to see their mother,” said Mr Otieno.
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