Liberia: JFK Hospital Entangled in Allegation Of ‘Unethical, Bad’ Health Practices Leading to Death of a Two-Year-Old Cancer Patient


Monrovia – The management of the John F. Memorial Medical Center (JFK), Liberia’s biggest hospital, has been accused of causing the death of two-year-old Success Gbassay, who was allegedly wrongfully administered a chemotherapy intravenous injection under the skin of the minor.

But the Public Relations Officer of the Hospital, James Crayton, termed the allegation which was made on social media by Mrs. Thelma Y. Saye, a Liberian-based in the United States, as false and misleading.

“The allegation of Thelma Y. Saye, through her social media post against the hospital is false, misleading and is not true,” he said.

Mrs. Saye is helping the mother of the deceased get justice for the death of her son.

According to Mrs. Saye, the two-year-old cancer patient was wrongly given a Chemotherapy injection under his skin instead of his vein by a student nurse on the order of a doctor, resulting to a severe burn on his hand.

She also alleged that due to the ‘negligence, carelessness and unethical’ health practices on the part of the doctors and nurses at the hospital, little Success Gbassay died on January 2, 2021.

Mrs. Saye further alleged that the two-year-old was taken to the hospital last year to undergo a surgery for Neuroblastoma, a cancer disease that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body.

She explained that the surgery was successfully carried out by a foreign doctor from Nigeria identified as Dr. Maggie, who came to Liberia with a team of doctors on a one-year contract to provide training at the hospital.

But after her departure, the child was left in the care of doctors and nurses at the hospital.

Mrs. Saye: “Deddeh Darwolor Kwame, the major reasons behind the death of baby Success G!! You, Amie, Yarmah and the so-called heartless doctors at JFK hospital, you need to pay for what you have done. How can you sleep after killing our babies because; I can’t. The pains are overwhelming knowing that if it wasn’t for your negligence and careless, heartless behavior he would have still been here. You need to be held responsible for sending a student nurse to administer a delicate medication such as the Chemo drugs that can kill fast if not properly administered and walk away.”

She posted to Facebook on January 7: “The student nurse made it clear that she had no idea how to administer the medication in front of Success’ mother, and that she doesn’t understand why you will leave her alone but you still left because you were too busy doing nothing. Baby Success’ mom made you to understand that the medication wasn’t being given to her son rightly, but you told her you were too busy. You are a baby killer. JFK Hospital Board, please investigate this murderer! These nurses are killing our children everyday! She doesn’t deserve to be in this uniform! The blood of this baby (Success) is on you, Amie, Yarmah and all you wicked doctors. The rest of you full names and the role you played in Baby Success death are coming soon! You are paid to save lives not end it. Wicked people.”

In the video, Mrs. Saye also alleged that Success Gbassay is not the only child that has died at the hospital due to the “carelessness and negligence” of the nurses and doctors.

She named Josephus, Neomiah, as kids who also lost their lives at the hospital for the same reasons.

Mrs. Saye explained that she came across little Success on Facebook, pleading for medical help to treat his condition.

“We are not an organization, I saw one child and as a mother, I was moved by his condition and decided to help. The way in which I handled baby Success case with transparency, care and passion, other people quickly started to join in.”

“Sis. Orsay Karnga-Gbaa, the organization Liberian Supporting Liberian (Michael Padmore), the Reach Foundation (Ne-Suah Beyan-Livingston) of Liberia and GHT/Concern Liberia (Y. Michael Gilman) join in to help. The public also started to send more kids our way that needed help and I couldn’t say no. We just continue to help till now.”

Mrs. Saye and her colleagues who were providing support to the kids (Josephus, Neomiah and Success) to seek treatment at the JFK Hospital have begun a campaign on Facebook with the hashtag #We want justice for baby Success.

They are also calling on the Ministry of Health, JFK Administration and the Government of Liberia to launch an immediate investigation into the matter to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice.

Meanwhile, the National Health Workers’ Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) has joined the campaign to seek justice for the deceased kid.

Speaking at a press conference in Paynesville last Tuesday, the Assistant Secretary General of NAHWUL, Deemi T. Dearzrua called on the Ministry of Health, the Government of Liberia and the administration of the JFK to immediately investigate the matter.

“The National Health Workers’ Union of Liberia with utmost shock has seen a video footage on social media from Thelma Y. Saye, a Liberian residing in the USA, presenting issues of grave concern at the JFK Memorial Hospital alleging negligence of the hospital staff.”

Dearzrua continues: “The Union is totally saddened by these shocking revelations and has thus demanded an immediate investigation into the matter by her professional associations and regulator boards to including the JFK Administration. NAHWUL reassures the public of its zero tolerance of professional malpractice, and the Union is resolved for quality health care based upon professionalism and the highest ethical standards.”