This heart-wrenching story of a Nigerian woman simply identified as Priscilla is totally overwhelming.
According to DailymailUK, Priscilla gave birth to quadruplets prematurely in Britain and she has a bill of £500,000 ( N251.5m ) in one of the largest hospitals. According to her, even if she’s working everyday, she won’t be able to pay up the debts singlehandedly.
The 43-year-old healthcare worker had planned to give birth to her babies in Chicago, in the US, where she has a family. But she was turned away by border officials on arrival, saying although she had a visa, she did not have required documents from a hospital stating that she can pay for birth charges.
Priscilla, pictured, said she ‘would never earn’ enough to pay the bill for her treatment ‘if she worked every day in her life’
She was on her way back to Nigeria when she started having contractions. She went into labour three months early shortly after landing at Heathrow airport in November. She was rushed to the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in west London, part of Imperial College Hospital, where she delivered the four babies.
One of the babies died immediately after birth while another, a girl named Deborah, passed away on Saturday. The other two, Elijah and Esther, are still being treated on the hospital’s neonatal intensive care ward.
Talking about her bill on the documentary, Priscilla, pictured, said ‘It’s only money. Money can’t buy life’
Staff estimate that the total bill for the highly complex birth and the care of the babies is already more than £500,000. The cost of treating one baby in neonatal intensive care is £20,000 a week. Priscilla is currently staying at a hostel run by a charity and is unable to afford the bill.
Priscilla’s husband is in Nigeria. He is not planning to travel to meet her because he does not have money for a visa or the flight. Priscilla underwent IVF treatment, which has a high risk of multiple births, as she was struggling to conceive naturally due to her age.
She was told by her doctor to fly to the US to have her babies, as Nigerian hospitals do not have the ‘facilities to cater for the children’. Her case was revealed on BBC 2 documentary Hospital, which exposes the pressures of health tourism on the trust.
When Priscilla was first warned of the high cost of treatment by overseas visitor manager Terry Facey, she said:
‘I didn’t plan to come here. ‘It’s only money. Money can’t buy life. The last bill I had was £331,000 but even if I worked every day I would never earn that much money. My kids are priceless.’