Vanguard’s report saved us from shame —Detained mother of triplets



LAGOS—Mrs Gloria Okore, the woman detained for seven weeks by Bessylva Hospital and Maternity Home, Agege, following her inability to settle a debt of N35,000 after being delivered of triplets, has thanked Nigerians for coming to her rescue by paying the outstanding bills. baby Mother (left) and the surviving babies. She said after harassing her, the hospital authorities said she was foolish to tell Vanguard that her debt was N35,000; that she should have said it was N200,000.


However, contacted, the hopsital’s Medical Director, Ngozi Nwachukwu, said Mrs Okore was being ungrateful. She said as soon as the balance of their bill was off set, every other donation was given to the couple, including the N500,000 donated by Mutilinks Computer Services. Meanwhile, speaking with Vanguard yesterday, in their one-room apartment at Aluminum village, Dopemu, Lagos, Gloria said: “I am happy that Nigerians came to our rescue after the publication of my story by Vanguard. My prayer is that every one that contributed will never be put to shame.

 Narrating how God used the publication in Vanguard to bring respite to her family, Gloria said: “Early on Wednesday morning, while we were still cleaning the babies, the Medical Director of the hospital came into the ward and said we should move to another ward that had a small bed because she had a new patient. “I pleaded with her but she refused and dragged us out. People gathered and began to beg her; I was crying, unknown to me that God was sending help.

She said we do not have helper and that we will pay every dime before she would allow us leave the hospital. That was before she found out that Vanguard had written a story about our plight. She became furious that Vanguard published the story, saying that we rubbished the hospital in the media. Donors arrive
She said I am a foolish illiterate for telling Vanguard that the bill was N35,000 instead of increasing it to N200,000 so that people would contribute more. “Immediately after, as God would have it, a man who read the story in Vanguard came to the hospital and went to the Medical Director’s office to verify and paid N32,000 cash. I thanked him.

The next set of people were from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, in Alausa, who went to the Medical Director’s office to discuss with her before coming to the ward to see me. “They said they were sent to verify the situation and that they would get back to us. Later a woman and three others came. I suspected they were from an NGO.

After speaking with the Medical Director, they presented a cheque of N35,000 to her in respect of the bill. They took pictures with the babies and I before leaving. “Another man came to the hospital, claiming that his elder brother, who lives in Abuja, read our story in Vanguard and sent a cheque to us. I explained everything to him. He collected my husband’s details before going to see the Medical Director, who also gave him her bank details.

Eventually, he paid N32,000 to the Medical Director’s bank account and N25,000 to our account.” Controversies over monies Mrs. Gloria Okore said later in the evening, the Medical Director, Ngozi Nwachukwu, came to the ward and said the cheque the NGO gave to her was invalid as she could not cash the cheque. She added: “Before we left the hospital, a woman came to the hospital and transferred N10,000 to the hospital’s bank account before discovering that the outstanding bill had been cleared. “When she discovered that she asked the Medical Director to give me the money for the upkeep of the babies. Yet she denied that she received any payment. Even when the lady in question sent transaction details.” A donor’s experience Speaking to Vanguard yesterday, Merit Oloruntobi, who transferred the said N10,000 to Blessylva’s Access Bank account, said:

I do not know these people from anywhere. I read the story and it touched me. “On my way back from work at about 6p.m., I went to the hospital. After discussing with the Medical Director, I transferred N10,000 via POS at about 7:12p.m. I later discovered through the mother of the babies that other people had paid the outstanding balance. So I told the Director to withdraw the money and give it to them. “Surprisingly, when I called them to find out if they had collected the money, they said the Director said the money did not reflect in her account.

Even when I called her, she said the same thing.” Hospital reacts Reacting to the allegations, Ngozi Nwachukwu, the Medical Director, said: “Gloria and her husband never gave me any money; it was people, who read the story, that came to the hospital. “I never detained them. Immediately the outstanding balance of N67,000 was completed, I discharged them and gave them the receipt. “Some people from Mutilinks Computer Services came to the hospital and paid N500,000 for her. I took the person to her and they gave her the money. “As for Merit’s donation, it is in my account.

 I told them that it is part of the bills, but if they want I can refund the N10,000. “Concerning the cheque that some people gave to me, it is still here with me. I have not even cleared it. When I got to the bank, they said I have to pay it into my account and that after three days I can withdraw it.

When I came back from the bank, I told Gloria. “The money from everybody that came to assist them in the hospital, I gave them. Why does this lady want to spoil my name after all I did for them?” Vanguard then called Gloria, who confirmed that some people came and gave her N500,000.

She claimed it escaped her while she was telling Vanguard about the donations earlier. Equally, when Vanguard got back to Merit later, she said the Medical Director had confirmed that she finally received alert for the N10,000 transaction. Meanwhile, WAPA’s Director, Mrs Fadiro, said plans were on to take the surviving babies to a government hospital for adequate medical care and treatment.

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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