Atrocious story of abandoned sick woman
Atrocious story of abandoned sick woman

Atrocious story of abandoned sick woman: How low can our social instinct sink?

When a friend abroad sent me the social media link to the story of a sick woman, whose legs were cast in Plaster of Paris (POP), and dumped in a bush in a wheelchair, my response was immediate dismissal telling her the story was far fetched in a society like ours, particularly, when the dumping was reportedly done by an ambulance.


I followed it up with a phone call and told her the act was uncharacteristic of us, moreover by a national ambulance.  I started recounting some of our social values as a people, touting the overused descriptive accolade ‒ hospitable.

The following day, the media ‒ radio, television, print and social media were all awash with headlines alluding to the sad and unfortunate happening. My friend's earlier story was thus confirmed.

To date, there have been different versions of the story. What perhaps is intriguing is the version of the embattled Medical Director of the Trauma and Accident Centre in Winneba, where the story is said to have originated, versus another version put across by several news reports.  


Nonetheless, whether the woman was knocked down by a hit-and-run vehicle and rushed to the Centre for treatment or whether she was one of the injured persons in an accident, the moral of the story, which stands so tall, is what is critical.  

The morality, therefore, is how a healthcare centre could dump a helpless injured sick person in a bush near Ojobi in the Central Region for days at the mercy of the weather in these days of unpredicted rains.

Unfortunately, the woman died in the bush by the time she was discovered. How callous could those who dumped her at that spot be?

The fact asserted by all the various versions of the story is that the woman was admitted to the hospital with leg injuries and in a confused state of mind. However, the story alleges that she was able to tell the hospital staff that she hailed from Ojobi.  

The hospital contended that she had recovered, but no relative had been in touch for the two months she was on admission.  

Meanwhile, she is claimed to have been a constant nuisance and bother to other patients in the hospital ward.

But assuming the woman had recovered while on admission and no relative had been around, what prevented the hospital's welfare section from accessing the many humane options which could have helped in locating and handing her over to someone who was in a position to take care of her?

Hospital welfare

Did the centre's welfare officials approach anyone, be it individuals or institutions, such as the local police or the office of the district assembly in Ojobi to help locate relatives?  

Was any report made at the community radio station in the area for announcements to be made in case the family had been looking for her?  

Did anyone think about putting her photo in the print media or any of the television stations to appeal on humanitarian grounds for help?  

Surely, her couple of months' absence from home would have prompted someone in the family or community to have acted if they were alerted of a missing person in their care.

It is just not acceptable and no attempt to justify the act can make it right, especially coming from a healthcare institution strictly governed by ethics, where the sick are supposed to go for physical healing and where lives are saved and not abandoned.

The act is simply unpardonable no matter how 'unruly' the patient was if indeed she was not mentally stable as some claims alleged.

Whoever hatched the inhumane "discharged strategy" has many questions to answer. The plan is very uncharacteristic of an acclaimed warm and hospitable society such as ours. 

With this ridiculous story, I am beginning to digest a comment made by a young man who helped me carry my shopping from a shop to my car the other day.  

While reaching for my purse to give him a thank-you tip to fix himself some lunch, I saw a coin on the ground and asked him to pick it up and add to what I had given him, so he could buy a sachet of water.


He outrightly rejected my suggestion. With a smile, he said in the Twi language, "Madam, the way Ghana is today, one has to be extra careful with some such things".  “Some such what things?” I went on to ask, enquiring whether he would not pick up a purse or envelope with GH¢ 10,000 if he found it lying on the ground. 

He exclaimed, saying, "Madam, that is even more dangerous". He then continued, "People are wild and would not stop to do the outrageous and abnormal stuff to live for others to die".

Is that where we have come to as a society and what had the young man seen or heard? We both did not have time to go into any details as to why he claimed people are so wild for their personal well-being that they would do anything out of the normal to survive.  

I had no reason to doubt his claim because taking the numerous public education one has received on mobile money fraud and how people should not fall for their tricks, there are stories every day about people being scammed.  


Just last week, someone tried to spring a mobile money fraud on me.  But for my alertness, the guy pleading in the name of God to reverse a mistaken credit of GH¢100 to my Momo account would have had the upper hand using the name of God to plead. 

Yes, people are wild to do everything, sane and insane to survive in a community that boasts of some 70 per cent of the population being Christians.  

It beats imagination, and that is why the incident coming from the Winneba Trauma and Accident Centre is hard to accept.  

Should a sick person ever suffer such an uncaring act by a hospital? Unfortunately, this story will remain a negative appendage, a sad uncaring story making a big dent in their history.  

Writer's E-mail: vickywirekoandoh@


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