Visually impaired mother of twins detained in hospital over delivery bills

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

Agnes Forte, a visually impaired mother, is being detained at a medical centre in Lagos because she could not raise her bill after giving birth to twins.

She found herself in a double challenging situation having lost one of her children to kidnappers who exploited her deprived vision to whisk away her daughter.

The new twins came as a hard consultation, but now she cannot pay the bills for the medicare.

Stranded in the hospital due to unpaid delivery bills, she awaited resolution while grappling with the disappearance of her one-year-old baby, Excel, from her home in the Akowonjo area of Lagos State.

The events unfolded when Agnes, 32 years old, raised an alarm on November 28, 2023, concerning the vanishing of Excel while she was present in their apartment. Despite her impairment, Agnes recounted the moments when her children, 13-year-old Joy and Excel, were playing along the corridor before their voices faded, leaving her unable to locate them since.

Although she found solace in the birth of her twins, Agnes harbored hope for the safe return of her missing daughter. However, her immediate concern revolved around the mounting hospital bills incurred during her stay. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Agnes expressed her distress over being unable to settle the N150,000 bill, with her husband managing to pay only N70,000 thus far.

Agnes expressed, “I have been unable to leave the hospital since I gave birth to my twins. We were given a bill of N150,000, and my husband could pay N70,000. He has been trying to balance up. We have been told to get ready to vacate the bed we are using because of limited bed spaces. And what this means is that we may end up sleeping on the floor.”

Trapped in a predicament exacerbated by the hospital’s warning of limited bed space, Agnes feared she and her newborns might soon be relegated to sleeping on the floor if they couldn’t settle the outstanding fees. Her husband, John Forte, echoed her concerns, urging the hospital management to consider their plea and allow them to sign an undertaking to clear the balance.

John emphasized, “It is a thing of joy giving birth to twins, but we are not happy to still keep them here. We hope the management will allow us to sign an undertaking to pay the balance. The longer we stay here, the more our bill accumulates.”

While Agnes cherished the arrival of her twins, the financial strain and uncertainty of their hospital stay weighed heavily on the family, overshadowing the joyous occasion with mounting anxiety.

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