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“… we considered Sawyer a danger to society … did not let him leave even when we were threatened by the ambassador” – Hospital that treated Nigeria’s Index EVD case

October 18, 2014

Health

My nurse died with two months pregnancy
[Nigeria’s] National Mirror
by FRANKA OSAKWE


–First Foundation hospital MD recounts Sawyer’s Ebola ordeal

Nigeria may have lost more than seven citizens to the deadly Ebola virus scourge imported to the country by Liberian diplomat, Patrick Sawyer.

Managing Director of the First Foundation Hospital, Dr. Benjamin Ohieri has disclosed that one of the four victims, Ejeleonu, a nurse, died with a two months pregnancy. Perhaps it could have been twins or triplet.

The late Liberian-American Sawyer apparently has a special place in Nigerian history.

He will always be remembered for his ignoble role as the harbinger of death and apostle of sorrow who brought the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVB) to Nigeria and wickedly ensured that he infected and brought down some innocent Nigerians with him.

Three months after his most unwelcome and sudden appearance in Nigeria, survivors of his deadly Ebola import have recounted how he cruelly laboured to spread the disease to health workers at the First Consultant Hospital whose only offence was to save his life and prevent him from introducing a disastrous epidemic to the country.

Sawyer’s evil adventure was brought to the fore again as the hospital welcomed its gallant doctors and nurses back to work at the weekend after their full recovery from EVD while also remembering the painful loss of other staff who had to pay the supreme price for saving the nation from his “bio terror”.

The hospital’s chief medical director, Dr. Benjamin Ohieri in a press conference at the hospital recalled that the hospital alone lost four of its key members of staff out of the total seven deaths recorded in the country. This is not to mention the huge loss of revenue by the hospital, a first class private medical centre with a high brow clientele.

His words; “We lost four of our key staff because we refused to let Mr. Patrick Sawyer go to Calabar. Dr Adedevoh died leaving behind her husband and her son. She had worked with us for 21 years.

“Dr Amos Abaniwu, our Chief Director of Clinical Services also died leaving behind his wife and three kids. He had been with us for 16 years.

“The third person we lost is nurse Ejeleonu. She just started work with us that month and we never knew she was two months pregnant. She and the baby died.

“The fourth person is Nurse Evelyn Ukwu who had worked with us for 31 years. She was one of the most loyal and trustworthy staff. She had been widowed, raising four children alone. The four children were kicked out of their home because of stigmatization.

“We have indeed experienced multiple tragedies and so much bereavement. Out of the seven deaths from EVD recorded nationwide, four were our staff. Today, we are happy to have our other staff back with us again; seven of them survived the EVD.”

Dr. Ohieri also blamed Sawyer for the large number of EVD cases at the hospital, insisting that he deliberately infected the staff.

“Because we refused to let him go, Mr. Sawyer unleashed his ‘bio terror’ on my people. Any reasonable man who is told that he would be tested for Ebola would panic but when Mr. Sawyer was told, he did not flinch. This proves that he was already aware that he had EVD. Again, when he was told he would not leave the hospital, he went violent.”

Also supporting his story, Dr. Ada Igonoh explains how Mr. Sawyer kept drawing everyone to his room at every opportunity.

“He, at a point, requested for four doctors and three nurses. On the night he called me, he said he wanted to use the bathroom. But he had already removed his IV stand so there was no reason to call me. He had already used the bathroom about four times so he could have gone by himself. Also, the fact that he called for four doctors and three nurses prove that he just wanted to have us in his room for whatever reason. He would call the nurses’ intercom several times”

While explaining how the hospital was able to handle the situation, Dr. Ohieri said they were ready to go to court to defend their decision to keep him at the hospital.

“We had high index suspicion based on recommendation of our consultant Dr. Ameyo Adedevoh. But one of the greatest challenges we had was when Mr. Sawyer said he wanted to be discharged. He said he was not going to wait for the test result to come out and started putting pressure on us that he wanted to exercise his human right. The Ambassador said if we did not release him, we will be subjecting ourselves to violation of human right.

“But we considered Mr. Patrick Sawyer a danger to the society so we did not let him leave even when we were threatened by the ambassador,” he recounted.

Now, the hospital’s heroic stance and the gallantry of its staff have earned commendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Speaking at the press conference, Dr. Samantha Bolton of the WHO’s Ebola Emergency Operating Centre commended the hospital for its prompt handling of the situation, saying it was a lesson for Texas Health Presbyterian hospital to learn from.

It would be recalled that in America, the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital where the late Thomas Eric Duncan, America’s EVD index case was treated had failed to promptly identify the EVD case when the patient first visited the hospital on September 26.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2014. 9:00 p.m. [GMT]

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2 Comments on ““… we considered Sawyer a danger to society … did not let him leave even when we were threatened by the ambassador” – Hospital that treated Nigeria’s Index EVD case”

  1. Falade A. G. Says:

    My sincere condolences to Dr.Benjamin Ohieri, Managing Director of the First Foundation Hospital, and the families of their four great health workers that lost their lives while protecting Nigerians from being infected by the EVD. THEY MIGHT HAVE FULFILLED THEIR MISSIONS IN THEIR PRESENT EARTH LIVES. I wish all of them joyful activities in the great beyond.

    Let’s examine in depth this quotation : “Because we refused to let him go, Mr. Sawyer unleashed his ‘bio terror’ on my people. Any reasonable man who is told that he would be tested for Ebola would panic but when Mr. Sawyer was told, he did not flinch. This proves that he was already aware that he had EVD. Again, when he was told he would not leave the hospital, he went violent.” Therein lies all the explanations to apparently devilish action of late Mr. Patrick Sawyer.

    The great Austrian psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud said : ALL behaviours are caused. I’ll like to state for the umpteenth time that Sawyer became violent terminally not only because he was delirious (a possible complication of EVD), but he was angry that he was ”forcibly” disallowed from making physical contact with a place he considered could heal him miraculously. I can imagine this running through his mind: IF YOU’RE TRYING TO KILL ME, THEN, I CAN AS WELL TAKE YOU ALONG.

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    • emotanglobal Says:

      Dear Prof.

      Thanks for this.

      The words from the Medical Director at the hospital confirmed what most regular Nigerians, including me, believed all along: that Patrick Sawyer was out to take many people along with him. What appears strange – perhaps sinister and unthinkable – is the conspiracy angle that I voiced out then now being confirmed with this new fact : that the Ambassador dangled “human rights denial” and threat on First Foundation Consultants if the medical staff would not release Patrick Sawyer.

      Earlier, Nigerians had learnt that Patrick Sawyer, who was already being “monitored” for ebola was approved by another government agency for the trip to Nigeria AND the silly comments – pardon me – by President Sirleaf that Sawyer was an “undisciplined man” when she purportedly learnt that the man had “jumped quarantine” to travel to Lagos.

      What followed all those information was my plaintive cry, “Who will explain to people like me how that sick man was allowed to travel to Lagos and die ON ALL Nigerians soon after arrival?”

      https://emotan.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/who-will-explain-to-people-like-me-how-that-sick-man-was-allowed-to-travel-to-lagos-and-die-on-all-nigerians-soon-after-arrival-tola-adenle/

      Your subsequent well-reasoned and calm professional write-up, nonetheless, I remained disturbed, a feeling that was strengthened with Thomas Eric Duncan’s exportation of EVD into the USA and showed in my wondering aloud if Liberia and its citizens really want to have as many people as possible infected:

      Thanks, as always.
      TOLA.

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