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18-31 March 2010

African mother's Mysterious death

Image of the late Bimbo Onanuga

By Toms Emeka Ugwu

When Bimbo Onanuga a 32 year old Nigerian mother of one decided to visit her personal physician on Monday, March 1st, 2010, little did she know that death was lurking around her. The young Nigerian at her 30th week of pregnancy decided to visit the general practioner at Ballymum Civic Centre on that fateful Monday for routine medical checks. After routine checks were carried out on Bimbo and her unborn baby, the doctor told Bimbo that there was a problem with her unborn baby`s heart beat and that it requires further urgent medical attention at Rotunda Hospital where she also attends her pre natal visits. Instantly Bimbo was given a letter to proceed to Rotunda Hospital in the heart of Dublin for urgent medical care. Without wasting time, Bimbo moved straight to the hospital as directed by the GP.

At Rotunda Hospital, a series of scans was conducted on her that lasted for hours to determine the health condition of her unborn child. As Bimbo was still in a state of uncertainty concerning the health of her unborn baby, the result came and she was told that her unborn baby had died in utero. Totally devastated by the sad news, Bimbo called her partner for support as he was on a brief visit to Dublin from London where he resides. Barely an hour after the bad news, Bimbo was discharged from the hospital to come back again at Rotunda on Thursday 4th March 2010. Before departing from the hospital, some tablets were prescribed to her to alleviate her pregnancy hormones.

On Wednesday 3rd of March when Bimbo started to complain of pains around her abdomen she was taken by an ambulance to Rotunda Hospital where she was assigned a bed for medical observation until Thursday when labour could be induced to remove her child that died in utero. Barely an hour after administering the drugs to induce labour, Bimbo started complaining of severe pains in her abdomen. Unlike her first complaint of pains around the abdomen, Bimbo was terribly writhing in pains this time around, as she rolled uncontrollably on the hospital bed. The painkillers that were administered were not enough to subdue the suffocating pains she was experiencing.

A source who pleaded anonymity from the hospital, informed The African Voice newspaper that during this difficult time when Bimbo was suffocating to death, some of the medical personnel at Rotunda, were completely indifferent as they claimed to be anxiously waiting for Bimbo to go into labour. Bimbo` s partner simply identified as Mr Biola was the only person beside the late Bimbo at that terrible stage in her life time. Mr Biola is still agonising with post traumatic disorder, as a result of the horrendous experience which he witnessed at the Rotunda Hospital, was unable to say a word when The African Voice newspaper first visited their residence. The African Voice newspaper was informed by another source in the hospital who doesn’t want to be named, that it was at this stage when Bimbo`s partner was frantically yelling for help, as Bimbo was gasping, that a nurse emerged and raised an alarm which alerted other medical personnel to the scene. At this stage, the partner was sent outside as the medical team was frantically battling to resuscitate Bimbo who was already in a coma.

While efforts to save Bimbo`s life intensified, another medical team was battling to conduct an instant caesarean operation to remove her deceased child. According to our source, it was while Bimbo`s partner was still waiting and praying for the life of his partner, that the chief medical officer in Rotunda Hospital, Dr. Sam Coulter Smith accompanied by other doctors, approached him to inform him that the hospital is trying their best to save Bimbo but to no avail. The partner was still shivering in despair at the sad medical report, when Dr Smith returned a few minutes later only to assure Mr Biola that Bimbo appeared to be in stable condition but will be transferred to Mater Hospital (ICU) less than a kilometre away. It was at the Mater Hospital a half an hour after Bimbo was taken there, that she was confirmed dead on 4th March 2010 at 23h00. On Friday 5th March, the bereaved family contacted Rotunda Hospital and was told that Dr. Smith requested a meeting with the bereaved family which was arranged for Monday 8th March barely a few days after Bimbo`s death. At the meeting which was attended by almost twelve members of the bereaved family, Dr. Smith openly admitted that a mistake had been made by Rotunda Hospital. A source at the meeting revealed to The African Voice newspaper Dr. Smith admitted to this mistake. One of the bereaved family members at the meeting demanded to know whether if Rotunda was admitting responsibility for the death of Ms. Bimbo which Dr. Smith answered in the affirmative. Our source also confirmed that Dr. Smith told the delegates at the meeting that an internal investigation has already been instituted at the hospital pending the outcome of the autopsy report and final Coroner inquest.

All efforts by The African Voice newspaper’s reporter to speak to Dr. Smith or any high level medical officer at Rotunda proved unsuccessful as none of the hospital personnel were willing to shade more light on this mysterious death that took the life of the young mum and this threw the African community in Dublin into mourning. When The African Voice newspaper reporter visited the late Bimbo’s former north Dublin residence, the partner was unable to talk to our reporter again as he was said to be undergoing terrible psychological trauma since the sad event took place. The late Bimbo has left behind a 7 year old daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy and attends a special needs school in Dublin. Her partner may be contemplating taking their daughter to his London base in the near future. At press time, most Africans in Dublin are still asking many questions that only Rotunda Hospital can answer.

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