* Death attributed to alleged rejection by hospital, infection
By Ebere Aham
LAGOS—Eight-year-old Chidinma Onoja, the only survivor in the fire that claimed seven other members of her family Tuesday night at Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos, died yesterday.
Efforts by doctors at Gbagada General Hospital to save her life from the severe burns sustained on her face and other parts of her body proved abortive, as she reportedly died early yesterday.
Sources at the hospital attributed her death to her rejection by two hospitals and lack of immediate treatment at Gbagada General Hospital over payment.
[covertplayersinglevideo trvideoid=”5WaBpfgY1gA” trdisplaytype=”5″ trnumbervideosdisplay=”” trvideoperpage=”36″ trthumbnailwidth=”155″ trthumbnailheight=”100″ trpopupwidth=”500″ trpopupheight=”350″ trvideoalign=”left” trytautohide=”0″ trytautoplay=”1″ trytcontrols=”0″ trytrelvideo=”0″ trytshowlogo=”1″ trytshowtitle=”0″ tryttheme=”dark” trythighquality=”hd720″]It was reliably gathered that aside the severe burns on her face and arms, other affected parts of her body were reportedly also infected before she was eventfully admitted in the hospital.
When Vanguard arrived the Gbagada General Hospital at noon, extended members of Onoja’s family, sympathisers as well as some members of staff of the hospital wore an expression of gloom on their faces.
A woman who could not control her emotion was seen rolling on the floor, wailing.
A nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity at the hospital, said: “The doctors tried all they could to save her life. At the time she was brought here and examined, doctors said she had a fifty-fifty chance of survival. Unfortunately, she could to make it. May her soul rest in peace.”
Dispute over where to deposit the body
Dispute over where to deposit the body arose between some of the relatives and members of the hospital staff.
While the relatives begged to deposit the body in the hospital’s morgue, the hospital said there was no space.
At a point, the staff called a private guard attached to the hospital to walk the relatives out of the premises if they tried to cause any uproar. The staff with an undisclosed identity, insisted that the body be taken to another morgue.
At about 1.27pm, the body of Chidinma was removed from the hospital to Myhoung Barracks Hospital morgue at Yaba, where those of other members of her family were deposited.
[covertplayersinglevideo trvideoid=”5F9BEqkIt-Q” trdisplaytype=”5″ trnumbervideosdisplay=”” trvideoperpage=”36″ trthumbnailwidth=”155″ trthumbnailheight=”100″ trpopupwidth=”500″ trpopupheight=”350″ trvideoalign=”left” trytautohide=”0″ trytautoplay=”1″ trytcontrols=”0″ trytrelvideo=”0″ trytshowlogo=”1″ trytshowtitle=”0″ tryttheme=”dark” trythighquality=”hd720″]One of the relatives, Jude Ali, said in disbelief: “I cannot believe that Chidinma is dead. We thought she was going to survive in order to tell the world the story.
“Members of that family have been wiped out completely. Whoever is behind this will know no peace. All we want is for a thorough investigation to be carried out to unravel the cause of the fire.”
Rejected by hospitals
A resident of Michael Ogun street, Mrs. Christina Faleti, disclosed that the late Chidinma could have survived had she received swift medical attention.
She alleged that the deceased was first taken to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, but was rejected on grounds that there was no police report.
According to her, the deceased was, thereafter, taken to a private hospital around the area from where she was referred to Gbagada General Hospital, after about an hour without treatment.
She said: “Everything involves money in this land. They could not treat the girl until we brought the money contributed by the community.
They did not place her on oxygen until we paid. The chairman of Surulere contributed more than N50,000. I was the one that raised the alarm on the fire, I woke up the entire community and collected money from members.
“At the hospital, I noticed that Chidinma’s head was swollen and when I asked the doctor why it was so, he disclosed that water had gathered in that area. He also warned that the drip must not detach from her body in any way. I spoke with her by giving her soothing words. When I said sorry, she responded by looking at me calmly. She was a strong girl who was determined to live, even in the face of death. But treatment was not administered on her on time, else, she would have survived.”
The bodies of Mr and Mrs Onoja and those of his mother-in-law, three children and two other relatives, Vanguard gathered yesterday, would be taken to their village at Enugu Ezike, Nsukka, in Enugu State.