MONROVIA – The management of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK) is facing a lawsuit of US$1.5 million for an alleged wrongful surgical operation performed on one of its patients, identified as Madam Karen Gaydou Sehkehporh of Paynesville City.
By Victoria G. Wesseh
The case against Liberia’s largest medical facility is currently unfolding in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice.
Before the court, the complainant, Karen, revealed that JFK was where she sought medical treatment. She explained that on May 24, 2019, she began experiencing heavy bleeding and sought initial medical attention at the Snapper Hill Clinic, where she underwent tests. Following the test results, she was referred to JFK for immediate surgery.
Karen further informed the court that she began visiting JFK for the surgical procedure starting on May 30, 2019.
Upon her visits to the facility, she was introduced to Dr. Ernest Enders, a medical professional employed by and working at the defendant’s medical facilities, who was assigned to oversee her care.
According to Karen, Dr. Enders requested numerous tests and informed her that she needed to undergo an Abdominal Hysterectomy Surgery, which would also involve the removal of her ovaries due to suspected ovarian cancer.
“The tests were conducted in collaboration with Dr. Billy Johnson, a consultant at JFK, who concurred with Dr. Enders, and a surgery date was set,” she stated.
Karen noted that she was instructed to be admitted to the hospital on June 12, 2019, for the surgery. The surgery proceeded as scheduled, and she was discharged on June 16, 2019.
During her initial post-surgery visit to the hospital, she was examined by Dr. Enders, who informed her that she was recovering well and was cleared to return to work and resume other activities.
However, Karen asserted that, following the hospital’s clearance, she experienced severe pain in her abdomen and legs. She promptly informed JFK about her deteriorating condition but was only provided with medication. Regrettably, her condition worsened, preventing her from sleeping, eating, or drinking.
Detailing her ordeal, she explained that, as her health deteriorated, the hospital neglected her care. She decided to seek treatment at Fidelity Health Center, where multiple surgeries were performed to alleviate stomach pain, remove pus from her abdomen, stop the bleeding, and reduce abdominal swelling.
During one of the surgical operations at Fidelity Hospital, doctors were astonished to discover abdominal gauze inside her body, with pieces of her flesh adhered to it. This was a result of the abdominal gauze left in her body by the JFK doctor who had performed the previous surgery.
The complainant revealed that she had written a communication to JFK’s management regarding the situation, but they only visited her once, expressed regret, offered an apology, and departed without assisting in her recovery.
Karen lamented that during the surgeries, she underwent an incision from her chest to her vagina, developed fistula, and came perilously close to losing her life.
Due to the medical bills, tests, and other expenses directly stemming from her illness and the alleged botched surgery conducted by JFK doctors, as well as the pain, suffering, and emotional distress she endured, Karen is seeking US$1.5 million in compensation.