Monrovia – The US$25 million damage for wrongful death case involving Rep. Edward Forh versus the administration of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center currently ongoing at the Civil Law Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice took another twist on Thursday when a senior administrator of the hospital made a stunning testimony in open court.
“It was an Ebola emergency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said all patients showing syndrome of Ebola should be tested by the ETU and produced clearance before such person can be admitted at any health facility in the country not JFK Hospital alone” – Mary Howard Nyaquie, Administrator John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital
Taking the witness stand in the late morning hours, Mary Howard Nyaquie alluded that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf issued a mandate during the Ebola crisis for patients entering any health facility in the country to present ETU clearance before being admitted.
“It was an Ebola emergency, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said all patients showing syndrome of Ebola should be tested by the ETU and produced clearance before such person can be admitted at any health facility in the country, not JFK Hospital alone,” said Nyaquie, testifying as one of the 11 defense witnesses.
The eleven JFK employees are defending the JFK Administration over allegation by Montserrado County’s District #17 Representative, Dr. Edward Forh that his daughter, the late Nakita Forh, died at the hospital during the Ebola crisis due to negligence of the doctors and nurses who were on duty when she was brought in.
Representative Forh, who is seeking a US$25million at the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice, claimed that his daughter had suffered from breathing complication and was advised by Dr. Fanniah of Snapper Hill community to take her to the JFK where there is a nebulizer to restore her breath.
But Representative Forh indicated that to his surprise, his daughter was refused by doctors and nurses on duty, causing her to die on the compound of the JFK.
He argued that his daughter was rejected under the guise that she had Ebola but test conducted after her death established that she never died of Ebola.
“My daughter suffered from asthma and the doctor advised me to take her to the JFK Hospital to stabilize her breath but (she) was refused by doctors and nurses on duty and she had to die on the hospital compound.
JFK has bunch of wicked people,” an angry Forh told the court.
But testifying on behalf of the JFK Administration, Nyaquie testified in front of the jury that at the time the lawmaker took his daughter at the hospital on September 27, 2014, it was during the Ebola crisis.
Reacting to the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) investigative report on the death of the late Nakita Forh in which the report held nurses and doctors on duty liable for the death of Nakita, the JFK administrator told the court that the LMDC Chairman, Dr. John Morlu,` later rejected the report.
When questioned by the plaintiff’s lawyer, Cllr. Arthur Johnson, whether a written objection was made the LMDC’s report as administrator of the hospital, she flip-flopped saying: “it was Dr. Billy Johnson who told us that the report was rejected.”
Again, when Cllr. Johnson questioned about what happened to the body of the deceased following her death, the JFK administrator fumbled and later told the court that an Ebola Response Team was called in to take charge of the body.
According to Dr. Forh, when his daughter, who the JFK administration claimed to have had Ebola, died, her body was turned over to the family for burial.
It can be recalled during the Ebola crisis, the government had straight regulations on the burial of people who died of Ebola as special burial teams, sanctioned by the Ministry of Health and partners, were obligated to manage and bury Ebola bodies.
At the court on Thursday, Judge Yusif Kaba adjourned the case for its continuation on Friday, October 7 after he discharged fourth defense witness from the stance.
Other witnesses including intern Doctors Korto Dorbor and David Okiror who have so far testified on behalf of the JFK Hospital have faced counter arguments from The Forh’s family.
The two intern doctors and Dr. Billy Johnson are being accused by Representative Forh for refusing to admit his daughter at the hospital.
But the two medical practitioners have refuted the allegation, justifying that their actions were based on policy set by the JFK Administration during the Ebola outbreak.
The trial for damage for the death of the late Nakita Forh is taking place amid public outcries over the poor state of Liberia’s health system while the John F. Kennedy Hospital has come under sharp criticism in recent months.