Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 18 December 2018 | 1,791 times
A sickle cell patient who was held hostage by a mission hospital in Anambra State for more than a year over unpaid hospital bills, on Monday lost her life while still waiting for her freedom.
Information gathered by News Express has it that the deceased, Onyinye Ezeanyika, was prevented from leaving the hospital by the management following the inability of her family to settle her bills which amounted to N1.2 million.
Disclosing this in a telephone interview, the Coordinator of People Living With Sickle Cell Disorder (PLWSCD), Mrs. Aisha Edward, regretted the passing of Onyinye.
She recalled advising her to abscond from the hospital at a time she sneaked out from the hospital about a month ago to see her and show her the hospital bill.
Her words: “I had given her money then, and even advised her to escape from the hospital. But when the hospital found out she had visited me, they threatened her and instilled fear in her, and since then, my daughter has not been herself.
“She even told me that the hospital intended to keep her until Christmas, when philanthropists usually came to redeem the bills of indigent patients. So you can see the motive behind her being detained by the hospital.”
While expressing disappointment that a missionary hospital was involved in such action, Mrs. Edward noted that hospitals were now using sickle cell patients to make money by charging them exorbitant amounts of money and counting on philanthropists and other organisations to visit and offset the bills. She said that she had called the deceased the previous day, asking her to join them in Onitsha where an NGO donated some food items but she declined, saying she was in pains.
She added: “I even brought some foodstuff back, which I hoped to share among those members who could not make it to Onitsha, but to my shock this morning, I received a call that she had died.
“Now that she has died, the hospital can sell her corpse to be able to get the money she was owing them.”
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