Abiodun Deborah, a distressed mother, has reached out to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwoolu, urging an inquiry into the perplexing vanishing of her 12-year-old son’s small intestine while he was undergoing treatment at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
Abiodun’s world was shattered when surgeons at LASUTH informed her about her son’s intestine going missing following a corrective surgery conducted on July 14, 2023.
The predicament began when her son was referred to LASUTH from a private facility, Obitoks Medical Centre, located in Ileepo within the Alimosho Local Government of Lagos State, on June 17. This referral followed complications arising from a surgery aimed at addressing intestinal obstruction.
Recounting her ordeal, Abiodun shared, “In February of this year, my son began experiencing vomiting and diarrhoea: the initial hospital suspected typhoid and administered treatment. However, when his condition didn’t improve after five days, we transferred him to Obitoks Medical Centre. There, it was discovered he had a ruptured appendix requiring surgery.
After nearly two weeks, he left the hospital looking healthy and resumed school. Everything was going well until June when he complained of stomach pain. Upon returning to the hospital, it was revealed he had intestinal obstruction, leading to another surgery.”
“A complication emerged when the boy continued to drain bilious fluid more than a week after the surgery. Dr Abayomi Baiyewu, the CMD at Obitoks, mentioned the need for another surgery, even bringing in a Professor from a teaching hospital. However, we declined and chose to be referred to LASUTH, where we believed more comprehensive care could be provided.”
Abiodun detailed how, after a series of tests at LASUTH, doctors indicated her son might not require another surgery, as conservative measures could close the site where the fluid drained from. However, surgery was deemed necessary when a rupture appeared on the site.
Following the surgery, Abiodun revealed that the Consultant managing her son’s case informed her that they couldn’t find his small intestine during the operation. They also expressed uncertainty about his survival beyond five days.
This revelation meant her son might be unable to absorb nutrients from food and would rely on total parenteral nutrition (TPN) administered intravenously for life.
“I was speechless; it felt like my entire life had been shattered. It’s a story one might hear in a Nollywood movie. How could a 26-foot-long small intestine vanish? We contacted the surgeon who conducted the initial surgeries, and he expressed disbelief that LASUTH couldn’t find the bowel after 27 days.
He vehemently stated he would never have referred us to a government hospital under such conditions,” she stated.
“The test results from our LASUTH admission never suggested such an occurrence, yet they insist they couldn’t locate my son’s intestine. We are bewildered and implore the Lagos State government to uncover this mystery. Since the incident, I’ve been purchasing TPN, costing around N65,000, and he requires two bags every three days. How can we afford N110,000 every two days?
According to what we’ve heard, unless my son undergoes an intestinal transplant, he’ll depend on TPN for life, which could also harm his liver. Aside from being excessive, intestinal transplant isn’t performed anywhere in Africa, as per our information.
I appeal to the Governor to save my son and unveil the truth behind his intestine’s disappearance for justice,” she pleaded.