Last week joy turned into sorrow for the Sannis who had just had a set of triplets. Within 24 hours of their birth the three boys died in succession.
The arrival of a baby in a family naturally should exude joy and happiness, let alone when triplets are delivered. Many well-to-dos are ready to pay any amount to have them. But for Temitope Sanni and her husband, the birth of a set of triplets into the family was more of a curse than blessing. Temitope, 36, lives with her husband and two children at Otto-Ilogbo slum, Oyingbo area of Lagos Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Last Monday, she went into labour and was delivered of a set of triplets (all boys) by her nurse niece. The period of Temitope’s labour did not last two hours and she successfully delivered the three babies, without stepping into a hospital. But after delivery of the babies, there was need for the babies to be examined by competent medical practitioners, as prescribed by the nurse who attended to their mother.
In so doing, Temitope, accompanied by her mother and husband, dashed to a nearby health facility, Damisile clinic, from where they were referred to another hospital. At the other hospital, doctors reportedly recommended some medications for the new babies but neither Temitope, nor their father could afford the N4, 000 required for the drugs.
She told Saturday Mirror that as at the point she was delivered of the babies, her husband could only boast of N300.
“I only laboured for only a few hours before I gave birth to the babies. When I started seeing signs of delivery, I called on my niece, who rushed down to tend to me. But to the surprise of all, I delivered the three of them in the space of an hour and all was well. They all cried and behaved like new babies would do.
“But we realised that they were too fragile and my niece advised that we take them to the hospital. As at the time of their delivery, I had only N2,000 on me while my husband had only N300,” Temitope recounted sadly.
When the couple could not muster enough money for drugs for the triplets, they were reportedly referred to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. By the time the couple had carried the triplet to the second hospital, their N2,400 was already reduced to N1, 850. Since going by public bus would take time, they decided to go for a taxi. The least taxi that accepted to take them to Ikeja demanded N2, 500.
That would leave the couple needing additional N650 to balance up for their fare. They, however, still asked the taxi driver to race down to Ikeja. Somewhere around Palm Grove, the taxi driver demanded that the Sannis pay him his fare for him to buy fuel.
Temitope continued her story: “When the man asked us to pay money, we knew we did not have up to that amount on us and we just told him to continue with the journey, saying our people were waiting for us at the hospital. Before the man continued with the journey, it took about an hour and by that time, the babies were already tired.
“By the time we got to Ikeja, they still referred us to LUTH. On our way to LUTH, one of them died.”
But from Ikeja to Idi-Araba, the Sannis had nothing to tell the taxi driver again. When the taxi driver saw that one of the babies was already dead, he chose to let them go. Going to LUTH was not an option for the couple, so they chose to go back home hopping the remaining two would stay. That was not to be, after all.
By the time the husband and wife got home, there was not a dime with them and so they could not procure any drug for the two babies. Three hours later, one more of the triplets passed on. The last one also went the way of his siblings in the early hours of the second day.
Speaking further on her ordeal, Temitope said amid tears: “The three of them died in less than 24 hours after their delivery. Had we had the N4,000 required to buy drugs at the initial hospital in our area, the babies would have lived.” The nurse that delivered the triplets spoke with Saturday Mirror on the likely causes of the death of the babies.
Her words: “I have never seen that before in my life. Tope is my sister and when she called me that she was in labour, I rushed down here to attend to her. We were lucky because she delivered the three babies without much stress, but the babies needed some medication because they were too weak and fragile. Since I had to rush down here, I did not come out with any money and so when we had to buy drugs for them, we could not raise N4,000.”
A neighbour of the Sannis, who declined to give his identity, told our reporters that the news of the death of the third baby got to the community as efforts were being made to raise money for them.
“The community association did not hear about it early enough. By the time the news was brought to our notice, we started gathering some personal donations to augment their expenses. We were on that when we heard noise that the third baby passed on,” the man said. Temitope’s husband was said to be too distraught to speak with our reporter, but it was gathered that his family and friends had taken him somewhere else to recover.
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