Two women sue following illegal removal of their uterus, ovaries

The main entrance to Pumwani Maternity Hospital closed after nurses went on strike. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Two women in court have said their uterus and ovaries were removed illegally. Three years ago, a woman codenamed LLN went to Pumwani Hospital hoping to leave after giving birth.

However, she lost her baby and the doctors removed her uterus.

In her case against the county hospital, LNN blames the doctors for the death of her child and the removal of her uterus without consent. She said their actions have left her with permanent scars of pain.

She said, in her court case filed before the High Court, that the personnel at the hospital left her in pain for 11 hours, despite being flagged for an emergency caesarean section.

When LLN was wheeled in for an operation, she further narrated that she woke up to find a uterus and a dead child in a basin next to her bed.

Nurses told her the baby died during delivery and the doctor had decided to remove her uterus.

LLN said she never consented to such. In her court papers before High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi, the woman says she lodged a complaint with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) on September 28, 2022.

The council, according to her, found the hospital failed in its duty to take care of her. The council also ruled that the hospital improperly delayed in intervening.

According to the council, the baby’s life would have been saved.

Court papers read that the council ordered the hospital to approach LLN for mediation within 120 days.

However, she says that Pumwani never got back.

“The respondent’s actions have caused the petitioner great suffering and trauma. The petitioner has been subjected to great pain and agony to date. The petitioner has been mentally tortured, socially embarrassed and treated with discord after the horrifying ordeal at the hands of the respondent,” LLN’s court papers read in part.

She said owing to Pumwani’s doctors’ acts, her hope to have a family have permanently crashed.

“The petitioner’s life has been brought to a standstill, courtesy of willful neglect and negligence on the part of the respondent,” court papers continue.

Kilometers away, another woman codenamed LNW was shuttling from one hospital to another seeking to end a fibroids problem.

The fibroids issue was discovered sometime in 2010 and she had been on treatment as an outpatient.

However, according to her case before the same judge, she said despite the fibroids being non-cancerous, they grew and caused her to bleed. A gynaecologist directed that they needed to be removed.

LNW says she could not be operated on at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital (MLKH) as there was no blood.

In addition, LNW says she then went to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on July 22, 2019, in the hope that the doctors there would operate on her urgently.

LNW went back to KNH nine days later. According to her, this time round she was attended to by Dr Lazarus Omondi. She says Omondi allegedly told her he could perform the surgery at Ladnan Hospital. LNW has sued Dr Omondi.

She says he performed the surgery and allegedly visited her with a bowl containing the organs he had removed.

“He indicated to me that he had removed the uterus and one ovary. I was deeply shocked as the previous tests and scans I had undergone indicated my ovaries were okay,” claims LNW.

According to LNW, the doctor directed her to pay Sh20,000 to facilitate the specimens removed from the body to be sent to South Africa for tests.

She says the condition was that she would only be discharged if she paid the same. “ I couldn’t understand why the tests had to be sent to South Africa as all my previous tests had been done at Lancet Laboratory,” LNW said, adding that she later learned from her sisters that her two ovaries had been removed instead of one.

LNW said she has never seen the results and her ovaries were not returned. According to her, Mama Lucy’s management and KMPDC know about the saga.

At KMPDC, she says the doctor was fined Sh350,000 and was ordered to mediate the issue with her. LNW says the doctor has allegedly not heeded the directions.

“My partner and I have undergone separation. Furthermore, I have also been grappling with a burden of depression, necessitating treatment,” she states. LLN’s case will be mentioned on October 24 before Justice Mugambi as LNW’s is slated for October 31, 2023.