How doctor’s negligence made me impotent

How doctor’s negligence made me impotent

THIRTY nine-year-old Sodiq Momoh is not a happy man. The father of five is upset for two reasons. First, he is unable to urinate through his male sex organ like a normal male, rather, he is only able to pass water with the aid of a catheter (rubber tube) that he carries around.

Second, and perhaps more agonising for Sodiq is his inability to initiate or sustain an erection.

“I used to be quite virile, but now, my male sex organ is lifeless and unable to function. As a result, I cannot engage in sexual intercourse. What is really paining me is that my wife is also not happy and is even threatening to leave me because I can no longer satisfy her sexually,” he disclosed to Saturday Vanguard in an interview.

A butcher by profession, Sodiq, who hails from Oyo, in Oyo State, is blaming his woes on complications he suffered as a result of what he described as a medical doctor’s misconduct and professional negligence.

Appendectomy

Recounting his travails, Sodiq said it all began around February this year shortly after he approached the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho, in Oyo State, with a complaint of an inflamed appendix.

Following diagnosis of appendicitis, he recalled how he was promptly booked for an appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix) at the hospital and how the procedure was successfully carried out. In his narration, Sodiq . how he got more than he bargained for shortly after the surgical procedure.

“My appendix was removed without incident, the operation was successfully completed at about 6.30pm, and around 11pm that same night, I was already up and moving around. Shortly aftewards, the doctor (name withheld) who carried out the appendectomy approached me for payment.

“I was surprised because I had already settled my bills at the pay point of the hospital before the procedure, but the doctor insisted I had to give him ‘something’, so I asked if I would get a receipt. He answered in the negative and, in turn, I refused to give in and an argument ensued.”

Abandoned catheter

Sodiq noted that for several hours after he was taken to the ward to recuperate, the catheter that was affixed to his private part to aid passage of urine post surgery was yet to be removed.

“From information I gathered, the catheter ought to have been removed within 24-48 hours of the operation, but when I was in pains in my private part, I called the doctor’s attention to the development, but I was shocked when he told me point blank that I would only be attended to when I was ready to accede to his request.

“His unwillingness to attend to me resulted to the catheter remaining in my body for as long as 144 hours. It was only after my private part had become swollen, bleeding and fluid coming out that the catheter was removed. Now, I urinate with great discomfort. I am always feeling a peppery sensation in my urethra, worse still, I am unable to have an erection. These were not complications of the surgery, but consequences of negligence.

Sodiq told Saturday Vanguard that he immediately took up the matter officially with authorities of the hospital, but several complaints yielded nothing as the response was not encouraging because all effort to compel those in charge to take responsibility and make amends for the misdemeanour amounted to nought.

Petition

Left with no other option, Sadiq consulted his solicitors who petitioned the hospital authorities . Copies of the petition, addressed to the Chief Medical Director, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho, were sent to the institution’s Director of Administration, Chairman Medical Advisory Committee and President, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, Oyo State branch in Ibadan, as well as the President of the Association’s national body in Abuja.

In the letter, Sodiq’s lawyers pointed out the hospital’s responsibility to normalize his urethral stream and also to foot the cost of medical treatment that would regularise the damage.

The letter, dated 24 June, 2015, was also copied to the office of the Oyo State Commissioner of Health and office of the Oyo State Governor, Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi, demanding full investigation and appropriate sanctions meted out to those found culpable and indicating readiness of the aggrieved party to go to court to seek legal redress should the hospital fail to heed the request. However, none of those copied had so far responded and when Saturday Vanguard phoned the office of the Director of Administration, LAUTECH, there was no response.

No corrective surgery

Sodiq said he was told that if he really wanted to have an operation to correct the problem, he would have to pay from his own pocket. “Even after I made it clear that the doctor in question had admitted fault, an official advised me to forget the matter because, as he claimed, the hospital was not receiving subvention from the state government and was under instruction by the Governor to generate funds internally to run its own services.”

“I tried to seek the cooperation of all concerned at a roundtable, but to avail. I was informed that the hospital had nothing to answer for, but that is unacceptable to me. When I was told that there was no waiver to be offered me in this respect, I got really angry.

“I was angry because I have been short-changed. The doctor had earlier admitted fault and said he was ready to facilitate corrective surgery, but has been avoiding me.”

Marital strain

“I am 39, married with five children, but since this incident happened, it has caused a strain between me and my wife. I can neither urinate nor have sexual intercourse. My wife is complaining that I am not satisfying her sexually and she is threatening to leave me. My children are aged between 13 and a half and two years old. I wish to have more children if God wills it, and even if I cannot have more children, should I not be complete as a man? Should not have a completely healthy body as God created me?

“I am a sportsman. Before this problem, I used to be very active and played games such as table tennis as recreation. I used to jog every morning, but since the incident, I can hardly walk for 15-20 minutes without resting. I did not go to the hospital with these disabilities, so I am totally disillusioned and challenging the doctor and hospital to come out and talk about this matter.

Ruined business

As a butcher, Sodiq lamented his plight. “Now I beg to survive, I beg to feed my family. As a butcher, I know how much I used to make on the average weekly. My business has been completely paralysed since February because I am just at home unable to function normally. My health is now suboptimal. I just want the hospital do the right thing.”

When he consulted another health institution, he was given a huge bill for the corrective treatment. “ I went to Skyline Hospital, Ibadan, where I was examined by an urologist after which I was told that I would need to make a deposit of N190,000 before the corrective surgery. I went to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, and it was a similar story.

“Where am I going to get that kind of money? I paid a lot of money for the appendectomy, but I am not demanding a refund. I have lost confidence in the hospital. I am ready to go elsewhere. What I am demanding is to be compensated.”

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