I Died Six Times


This is a testimony from Fat Belly Foodie on Twitter.

She was operated on for appendicitis. Mistakenly the doctor punctured and sutured her intestines and she developed fistula. Hear her story:

“It began on the fifth month of my service year.

I got sick with a very severe abdominal pain and had to visit the hospital. The scan results showed I had inflamed appendix and had to operate. I called my mum and she said I should come back home.

I came back home ( I am from Cross River State.) Sowe could do the surgery in the hospital where she was working. My mum is a retired nurse. My PPA(Gboko Benue State) is just 4 hours from my mother’s work place, so it was easy to travel with the pain. We saw a doctor at her workplace and a date was fixed for the surgery.

On the 30th of May 2017, I had the surgery and everything seemed fine. I sang that night with my cousins( I love singing). I even walked to my mother’s office to greet her colleagues. Everything was jiggy until I was asked to drink water on the third day. As I drank the water, I could feel it was moving in my tummy like in a pipe to the operation site(OP site), that is the place that was opened on the right side of my abdomen to remove the appendix.

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I told my mum but she thought I was playing as usual, I play a lot. And I just decided maybe it was all in my head or maybe I was paying too much attention. The same thing happened when I took Lipton, Pap and then a very soft rice.The rice just went straight through the pipe and formed a very small ball. This was when the whole problem started. Everyone could see the ball. So it was clear I wasn’t playing. The doctors kept going back and forth, not telling us what exactly the problem was. I stayed in the hospital for a week and by this time, the ball got bigger and I could barely retain food. My mum being a nurse wanted to follow the whole procedure but when I had stayed there for two weeks, and no one was saying anything tangible, she had to take me to another hospital. There they had to carry out an exploratory laparatomy, a surgery in my tummy to find out what the problem was. It was then he found out that my intestines had been punctured and sutured by the first doctor, hence the swelling and the inability to retain food. Some parts of my intestines were already rottening. My mum saw all these in that hospital and knew the doctor was accurate. The doctor did his best to fix it but the damage has been done already. An abdominal obstruction has been caused to my intestines. I threw up everything I ate. I threw up even bile from my tummy. After weeks of not knowing what else to do, I was discharged. At home the situation got worse, I was dying. Someone suggested we should go to the teaching hospital at Markurdi. We went there. They were hesistant to go in for another surgery. However, they used conventional methods. A nasogastric tube, NG tube, was put in my nose to help remove the dirt’s from my tummy. The dirt’s were presumed to cause the obstruction. The NG tube was extremely uncomfortable and the dirt’s from my tummy nasty. I was not allowed to eat food for one week. My food was dextrose saline and drips, steady. A urinary catheter was inserted through my vagina to my bladder to help remove my urine. After few days, my tummy reduced drastically, no longer bloated. The NG tube and catheter were removed and I was asked to eat. I felt better, my mum was happy. After some days I was discharged. I went back to my PPA and got my discharge letter. I had lost so much weight, so I had to give out some of my clothes that were no longer my size. After few days, the bloating and pains returned. When I went for checkup and complained, the doctor said I was fine; it was just the healing process. After my POP(passing out parade), I went back to Calabar. My life was a living hell, but the doctors kept saying, healing process. My tummy looked pregnant. I couldn’t feed properly. In December, 2018 my situation got worse and my mum took me to the teaching hospital at Calabar. Another found of NG tubes, catheters and drip. I was told I would go in for a third surgery. They kept postponing the surgery due to light issues. Finally on the day of the surgery, there was electricity outage. It was embarrassing that as big as that hospital is they couldn’t provide alternative source of light. They said there was no diesel in the generator.

My mother offered to provide money for diesel and the next thing they said was the generator couldn’t be fixed anytime soon. I was like, this people must be crazy! Someone’s dying here! My mum got angry mum had to sign against the medical advice and took me to another hospital, a state hospital. Here they were more organised and the doctor was lovely. He really did his best to make me better. I went in for a third surgery, then the fourth and fifth. At this point everyone was scared. The doctors, nurses, my mum, everyone.

We had already put in millions for drugs and bills. After the fifth surgery, something happened and I developed abdominal fistula. This is when poo comes out from your tummy. Poo came out from the scars on my tummy and another 13 wholes developed, poo came out from these wholes too. The holes were bursting out, causing me much pain. This was when the horror started. I became a walking sewage system. I stung like hell on the first day it started. My mum was sad, the doctor was sad, I was sad. I tried not to show my feelings because of my mum. I had to be strong for my mum. I had to be a big girl. I bore all the pains within. My mum swore never to see me smell; never to allow people walk pass me with their noses scruched or with Hans on their nose. She stayed by my bedside and cleaned every poo that came out from my tumm every second. All the bandages got soaked so fast, but my SUPERWOMAN was there to clean me up. Till date nobody around me in that hospital knew I had fistula, only my nuclear family. My mum kept to her word of not letting me smell and I can never repay her for that. I did not smell, but the psychological trauma was there!

The fistula continued for months, I requested to go home. After some hesitating for some time, my doctor discharged us.

On the first of March 2019, another worse development, I went blind for hours. My eyes were open but I couldn’t see anything. I was like’ wetin concern fistula with blindness?’ – I sighed heavily!

After convincing my mum to let me sleep, I did sleep. My sister and my mum prayed to God to restore my sight. And the next morning, I saw my ear old niece by my bed. And she said to me,

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‘Aunty, my mum said you couldn’t see, but you’re looking at me’ she said in a baby voice. I laughed, and told her I could see her. She started shouting, grandma, mummy aunty can see me!’

We thank God for the miracle! After staying in my sister’s place for some time, I needed a change of environment, so my brother took my mum and I to his place at Uyo, still with the fistula. My family is the best.

At Uyo, the fistula worsened and we visited three more hospitals. Uyo teaching hospital services were nothing to write home about, I don’t want of delve into that now. Just know that my brother nearly beat someone there. After spending a night in a hospital that I almost died, the doctor was scared and wanted to send us back. He made us deposit about a million before he took us in. He said the treatment needed enough flow of cash and we couldn’t afford a break. I was already a walking corpse.The nurses kept asking one another as they handover duty, ‘Is she still alive?’ And my mum and I would smile! Eskiss me ma! I am not gonna die. 8 doctors attended to me. Chemotherapy, EKG etc. I had to barb my hair at some point, because my hairs were pulling. After taking the protein bags we ordered from abroad, and … I was ready for my sixth surgery. The doctors were scared. The nurses were scared. The whole hospital was scared. So we all prayed before going into the theatre.

While they were operating on me I saw cubes enlarging into big ones and reducing into the tiniest cubes you could ever imagine. I was literally on the verge of death. I kept struggling and pushing..I actually got knocked out only to wake up and find myself in the hospital room. The operation was successful. The fistula was gone. The 13 holes gone!

I saw my family around me. My brother held my hand tight and kissed my forehead. I could hear the fast rhythm of his heart. He had been so scared. My mum was all smiles; she couldn’t contain her joy.

My mum and sister took turns to keep me awake all through the night. The doctor said it was risky to sleep on the night the surgery was done.

I was healed. Everything in my body normal again.

The doctors said I was a miracle. They said they had never seen a thing like that before.

I survived. Six times, I survived!

From 2017 to 2019, I had several blood transfusions. I have up to 50 peoples blood in me, if not more.

Why am I posting this story on Easter Sunday?

The last operation took place on Easter Sunday 2019. Like my mum said Christ brought me back to life on the Resurrection Day. As for my mum, heavens will fall before I let her down. Easter Sundays will forever be special to me. Well, I am taking Easter Sundays as my second birthday. So please I am accepting birthday gifts.”

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