Friday December 16, 2016 saw a packed auditorium of the Royal House Chapel. It was a burial service, not for an old or elderly member of society. It was for the send-off for a young woman, aged 23. It was for Verma Marie Annan, who died on November 20, 2016.
Every sympathiser, young and old, was moved to tears as she lay in her casket and people filed past. When the casket was to be closed, the auditorium was riddled with shouts of mourning and grieving, as the beautiful young woman was never to be seen anymore.
The melodic tunes from the choir on stage were drowned into the background, as the cries and dirges reach a crescendo. Her mates could not hide their grief and sorrow, as they wept bitterly. The adults could not be left out in this, as some, including men, threw away prestige mannerisms and also wept openly.
The fact that the auditorium was packed on a working day is a tribute to a young woman who was determined to change society for the better, but her life was cut short.
Verma Marie Annan died from what medical science calls anemia from G6PD deficiency. During her last days on earth, she exhibited the symptoms with coca cola coloured urine, and bleeding freely from her mouth and nostrils among others. Her RBCs were destroyed from the administration of strong anti-malarial drugs into her system. She was diagnosed of malaria by Bob Freeman Clinic, while those with G6PD deficiency do not suffer from malaria.
Her transfer from C n J to Korle Bu Hospital worsened her plight, as she was not given the urgent attention she needed at the Emergency Ward. She was even put on the same strong anti-malarial drug, Coatem, maybe to speed up the destruction of her RBCs.
The specialist, who could help sustain her life, was brought in a whole week after her admission when the harm had already been done. And on her death bed, during that final hour, she was bleeding through her nostrils. When the doctor on duty’s attention was drawn to it, he asked the junior nurse to take care of that, without even bothering to look at her.
On Sunday November 20, 2016, Verma Marie Annan passed on to the life hereafter.
Her death had turned her into a heroine, and there is a strong call for a G6PD Awareness Project to be set up in her honour, since between 20-25% of Blacks, including Ghanaians, suffer from that.
There is also a call for the health institution to purge itself of medical practitioners in public practice who would not work professionally, and assume they do patients a favour by treating them. They make one feel that it is an offence to be taken ill.
What did the Bob Freeman Clinic see in Verma’s blood to diagnose malaria? Why did Bob Freeman refuse to treat Verma when she came back five days later, looking worse than before?
Why did the doctor on duty at the emergency ward refuse to attend to Verma, or even assign good nurses to her when she was brought in from the C n J Hospital? Why was she refused immediate blood transfusion when C n J recommended it as a matter of urgency?
Why did Korle Bu keep the specialist away for a whole week, and brought him/her in when Verma’s doctors knew it was now too late?
Why did that doctor not have passion to make Verma comfortable before she departed this life, by attending to her bleeding nostrils?
Why did Korle Bu conduct a post mortem and keep the report away for over three weeks before giving the family a copy?
Why was the post mortem report put in language not easily deciphered for the layman to understand what killed Verma? And why are some doctors and medics of Korle Bu allegedly going about proclaiming that Verma was not G6PDD? Is this the normal practice?
Unfolding events will soon reveal the truth about Verma’s death.