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Couple demands N1bn damages from Elizade varsity over daughter’s death

By Esther Kalu

A couple, Gbenga and Oluwabukola Owodolu, have demanded N1 billion compensation as damages from the management of the Elizade University, Ondo State, over the death of their daughter, Temitope Owodulu, at the institution’s medical facility.

Temitope, a 300-level nursing student was said to have died owing to the alleged negligence of medical workers in the varsity’s medical facility.

The parents, through a letter written by their lawyer, Femi Emodamori, stated that their late daughter suffered an asthmatic attack in the early hours of November 16th, 2021 and was admitted to the University Medical Centre facility for treatment.

The bereaved parent alleged in the letter that there was no electricity at the Medical Centre at the time Temitope was admitted in for treatment.

The letter read: “Medical personnel at the Medical Centre reportedly attended to the deceased during the blackout and reportedly lamented that they would be unable to treat the patient using the necessary electrically powered equipment, including the Nebuliser, which is essential for the treatment of acute exacerbation of severe asthma.

“Consequently, according to our brief, the medical personnel asked the deceased to continue using the same Ventolin inhaler she had been applying before her presentation in the Medical Centre.

“Although the deceased was reportedly placed on a drip upon her admission, the nurse attendant thereafter abandoned her for one and half hours during which there was a backflow of blood into the drip from her body. Within the same period, she was coughing consistently, indicating that her respiratory tract was infected. She also vomited and it was her sister who cleaned up the vomit and alerted the doctor in the absence of the nurse attendant.

“Strangely, the doctor was said to be sleeping. Eventually, the same patient that was still healthy enough to engage her sister in humorous and intelligent conversation after the commencement of treatment at the Medical Centre, died in the hand of your medical personnel. If the University medical personnel could not effectively treat or manage the deceased patient, why was she not referred to another facility?

“The University medical personnel never referred the deceased for proper treatment, apparently because they were not even on the ground to observe her properly, to know the point at which ongoing treatment was no longer producing the desired clinical improvements.

“The University medical personnel never referred the deceased for proper treatment, apparently because they were not even on the ground to observe her properly, to know the point at which ongoing treatment was no longer producing the desired clinical improvements.

“It is a notorious fact that asthma is a preventable, treatable and reversible medical condition. You would therefore agree with us that it is quite unusual in medical practice for an asthmatic patient who walked into the hospital herself to die in the hands of a medical doctor.”

Besides the demand for N1bn compensation, the parents were said to have asked for a formal acceptance and apology for the negligence that caused the death of their daughter, adding that an immortalization should be done by properly equipping the University Medical Centre and naming it after the deceased as well as an undertaking to not intimidate peyemi Owodolu, a sister of the deceased in the school.

They further threatened to institute legal actions against the institution if their demands are not complied with within seven days from the receipt of the letter.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the institution, Seyi Ogugbenro, said he was not aware of the letter.

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