Thursday, 29 October 2015

Press Conference On The Death Of Dr. Hestianna Idiodi-Thomas



By
Concerned Women Voices
October 29, 2015



Ladies and gentlemen of the press, you are welcome to this Press Conference being organized by Concerned Women Voices to ask pertinent questions on #WhatHappenedToDrThomas, the young female Consultant Paediatrician and mother of two who died as a result of fatal injuries sustained in her home.
Concerned Women Voices is a coalition of women rights organizations, professional women, and female celebrities who are concerned about the seeming increase in cases of violent incidences affecting women and girls both in private and public life.
Last week Friday, the social media was agog with reports of suspected acts of domestic violence that resulted in the death of Dr. (Mrs) Hestianna Idiodi-Thomas, a Consultant Paediatrician with Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH. The reports stated that the late doctor was rushed into the Accident and Emergency Ward of LUTH in the early hours of Tuesday October 13th with injuries on her head and other bruises.  At the hospital, she was declared dead. While the social media and the print media reported suspected acts of domestic violence as having led to the young doctor’s death, speculations attributed to the Nigerian Medical Association and the Medical Women Association stated that it was a case of suicide. The speculations said Dr. Idiodi Thomas was a ‘’psychiatric patient, who did not seek medical attention’’.
As Concerned Women Voices, we are not interested in hearsay and speculations but the FACTS. We do not want the truth to die with Dr. Idiodi-Thomas. We want her dead body to tell the true story of what happened in her home that fateful night/morning.



The facts as we know it are as follows:
1.     The unfortunate incident occurred at her residence.
2.     Dr. Babafemi Thomas, her husband was the last to see her alive (the night before) and first to see her fatally injured in the early hours of the morning.
3.     She was rushed to the hospital by her husband, Dr. Babafemi Thomas where she was declared dead.
4.     According to the police she had marks on her body, suggestive of violence. Also colleagues at the hospital said she had a fractured skull and her head was swollen and unrecognizable.
5.     Up on till three days before the incident, colleagues of hers said she was at work.
6.     Some parents whose children she treated and operated upon have commented on her dedication to work and her cheeriness.
With these facts in mind, we as Concerned Women Voices have the following questions to ask:
·      If Dr. Idiodi-Thomas was indeed a ‘’psychiatric patient’’ how sick was she? And why was she still allowed to treat patients (sick children) up until 3 days before her death?
·      As a medical doctor and husband to a mentally sick person, what conscious effort did Dr. Babafemi Thomas take to ensure that the wife comes to no harm, and that she was seeking medical attention?
·      Why are there three versions out there as to how she ‘’committed suicide’’? Version one she jumped from the balcony. Version two: the husband found her in front of their bedroom door; and version three, she jumped from the water tanker.
·      As husband, care giver and a medical doctor living with a ‘’psychiatric patient’’, didn’t Dr. Babafemi Thomas think he has the responsibility of  ensuring that all doors are carefully locked and keys kept away, to prevent possible suicidal acts as being projected here?
·      Have the neighbours been spoken to about the way and manner the couple lived and if they had on any occasion heard noises or fights from their flats?
·      Has it been confirmed that if the Thomases lived on the ground floor or first/second floor of the building in order to ascertain the jump down theory?
·      Did Dr. Babafemi Thomas in shock cry out for help and assistance from neighbours when he found his wife unresponsive, severely injured and almost dead?
·      Living in a compound of 5-6 flats, and Dr. Idiodi-Thomas having jumped from her flat or from the water tank, how come other neighbours didn’t didn’t hear a fall or a big sound that could have attracted them to come out?
·      As doctors, is it not unethical to divulge patient information as the NMA has quickly done in the case of one of their own?

We believe the NMA and LUTH are compromised in this instance. They are interested parties and as such, should step aside for an INDEPENDENT AUTOPSY AND CORONER’S INQUEST TO BE CARRIED OUT. They cannot sit and judge on one of their own.  We are therefore calling for a thorough unbiased police investigation into the questionable and violent death of this young female doctor. 

We are specifically calling for THE CONSTITUTION OF AN INDEPENDENT GROUP OF PATHOLOGISTS, IF POSSIBLE FROM OUTSIDE LAGOS STATE, TO CONDUCT A FRESH AUTOPSY. 

We are indeed concerned about the seeming increase in reported cases of women being injured or dying in their homes under questionable circumstances. The home should not be a battle field of sorts. It should be a safe place for every man, woman and child.
Signed
Concerned Women Voices

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