Curious case of discharge gone awry
By Nanjinia Wamuswa
| October 6th 2018
Under normal circumstances, an arrival home after a long stay in hospital bed is undoubted call to celebration.
In a strange twist of irony, however, Kibibi Abdulla’s arrival at her Kileleshwa home from Aga Khan Hospital (AKUHN) in Nairobi, yesterday morning seethed of despair, lamentation and protest.
Despite six years of stay in hospital, neither she nor her mother Dr Christine Sadia could come to terms with the events of the day. And, it all had to do with the manner of arrival.
When the Saturday Standard visited the home, Ms Kibibi sat quietly in the couch, gently clutching onto her walking aid with her right hand, left hand paralyzed, and still in AKUHN uniform and sandals.
“They just dumped my daughter at the gate this morning. No one was aware she had been discharged and coming home. That was inhuman by the hospital,” said Sadia.
Declined to pick her up
The mother says she had woken up early and prepared to attend a high profile meeting in the city centre. However, at around 7.30am, she heard commotion outside her gate:
“My daughter had just been dumped there plus her belongings by security officers who were already leaving,” she says. Her daughter narrates that the discharge caught her by surprise. Usually, she said she would wake up at 5am, take a shower, tea and go for physiotherapy.
“Today was such a normal day to me. However, as l took a bath, a nurse came and informed me to hurry up as engineers wanted to fix something in the bathroom. I wondered how urgent the problem was,” she says. She says few minutes later, a quick succession of events and she was in a car being driven home. She was working as a hospital administrator in Johannesburg, South Africa and had come home for holiday when she fell ill in 2012.
“I was not prepared or told l was being discharged and taken home. I feel my rights as a patient have been violated,” says the first born in a family of three siblings.
Yesterday, the hospital confirmed the controversial discharge in a statement but faulted the family for refusing to pick her up despite being discharged on October 25, 2012.
“Ms Kibibi having been discharged from the hospital on October 25, 2012, has declined to leave the hospital. Her mother has declined to pick her up despite numerous interventions by the hospital including working with authorities to locate the family,” reads the hospital statement.
It turns out that a misunderstanding between the mother and the hospital on a surgery gone awry is at the centre of the dispute.
The mother says the surgery conducted on her daughter was wrongly done and resulted in other complications that finally landed her in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
She then reported the matter to the Medical Board but the hospital says the board dismissed the complaint. Not satisfied with the ruling, the mother sued the hospital and the doctor who performed the surgery.
The case too was dismissed on January 21, 2016 and decree thereof issued on August 15, 2015. Sadia cries foul: “I do not know how the case ended, but my lawyer, told me the case had been thrown out, a year later due to technicalities.”
The mother says at no time did the hospital call to inform her that her daughter was discharged.
She claims the hospital is afraid to compensate her daughter for the surgery gone wrong. “My daughter who was okay and in active employment will never be normal again. That is what the hospital is afraid of,” she says.
Meanwhile, the statement from hospital says Kibibi owes them Sh49,038,789.36 which has been accrued over the six years but her mother insists the bill is about Sh200,000.
“After the negligence, the bill stopped at where it was, not more than Sh 200,000. In fact, l need to go back for some money because l believe the bill is less than the money l paid,” she said.
By 2pm, some of Kibibi’s belongings which was carried in red polythene bags still lay strewn at the gate, among them drugs and a book titled, Steps to Christ, by F.G White.
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