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‘Stella Died of Multi-organ Failure’

Posted by From Josephine Lohor in Abuja and Adeyeye Joseph with agency reports on 2005/10/26 | Views: 4691 |

‘Stella Died of Multi-organ Failure’

Preliminary results of Coroner’s inquest on the body of First Lady, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, who died in a Spanish hospital after undergoing an asthetic surgery, have revealed that she died of multi-organ failure.

Preliminary results of Coroner’s inquest on the body of First Lady, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, who died in a Spanish hospital after undergoing an asthetic surgery, have revealed that she died of multi-organ failure.

But President Olusegun Obasanjo at the commendation service held for the deceased First Lady yesterday evening at the Aso Villa chapel described his late wife as a gem whose loss was monumental to the family.

Online versions of Spanish newspapers El Correo (Malaga), Diarios Rumbo and Online news medium, Terra Espana quoted the country's official news agency, EFE, which they claimed gained unofficial access to the autopsy results, as reporting that Stella died when some of her vital organs failed after the operation.

El-Correo reported that an official of the Legal Medicine Institute of Malaga confirmed that the autopsy, which the paper described as 'meticulous', has been concluded.

While not faulting earlier reports that Stella suffered an attack of asthma before she died,  the source who works in the Marbella judiciary, explained that a sudden shock experienced by the First Lady after the operation led to a failure of her respiratory organs.

According to the official, when a patient experiences a shock one of the first things the body loses is respiratory function. He said this was the reason why the investigators think that the asthmatic crisis "necessarily does not have to be" the cause of the First Lady's death.

THISDAY had exclusively reported Monday that Stella had "a massive asthma attack" after her surgery, a complication from which she did not recover.
The source, a judicial official in Marbella, told EFE that the next stage is to compare the result of the autopsy with Stella’s clinical history to determine if there is any correlation between her death and any previous illness.

Investigators, according to the official, would study Stella’s clinical history "to determine if there is correspondence between the cause of the death and the operation which she was put under".

The official who spoke under anonymity further described the result of the autopsy as 'enlightening' but could not confirm if a case of negligence has been established against the surgeon who performed the surgery.

The report, according to the official, has been sent to the court that ordered the autopsy for a final decision. The autopsy was ordered by Marbella's No2 Court of Instruction after fears were raised that negligence could have contributed Stella’s death.

The autopsy also traced the incident from the  beginning till the end.

According to the report, Stella was operated upon on a Friday and was recuperating when she suddenly took a turn for the worse on Saturday night, 36 hours after surgery. The autopsy, according to the newspaper, stated that she was already in a 'state of cerebral death' when she arrived  at the USP Hospital of Marbella (old Europe Clinic), on Sunday.

The report also records the futile efforts of the health workers at the USP Hospital to revive her through 'resuscitation' procedures.

However, officials at Molding Clinic, the hospital where Stella had the surgery, have denied reports that she died in the course of operation. According to a statement issued by the hospital's medical director, the First Lady, "did not die in the course of the operation".

The hospital said that it was authorized and equipped for cosmetic surgery, adding that it cooperated fully with investigators and is awaiting the result of the autopsy.

The newspaper stated that if negligence is determined as the cause of Stella’s death it would be the second time that a woman would be dying from cosmetic surgery in the Marbella region this year.

In April, a patient-rights body, the Association of the Defender of Paciente (ADEPA) took the case of the death of a 20-year old woman Natalia Isabel, during breast enhancement cosmetic surgery, in a  clinic in the region, to Court of Institution of Madrid. ADEPA had then claimed that the lady was a victim of medical negligence. She had a cardiac arrest in the course of her admission, recovered and died two days later.

While acknowledging the risk involved in cosmetic operations, the Spanish Society of Plastic, Repair Surgery and Aesthetics (SECPRE), described the operation as a 'minor operation'.

The president of SECPRE Jose Mannuel Perez Macias, who commented on Stella’s death said that 350,000 of such operations are carried out in Spain each year.

As a result of Stella’s death, health authorities have advised people who come to the region for cosmetic surgery to liaise with authorities before deciding on a hospital. A health official in Malaga, Maria Jesus Montero, who confirmed that Molding Clinic was authorised to carry out cosmetic surgery, nevertheless advised Spaniards and foreigners to confirm that hospitals are authorised to carry out cosmetic surgery before using them.

In Abuja Obasanjo while commenting on the death of his wife and the events after the death became public said believers must look at the positive side of all things. He noted that "the crowd at the airport along the way was just unbelievable. We thank God for her life and you made us really feel that we have lost a gem. And Stella was a gem".

In the company of his children, in-laws and friends, he said that what matters most is "how much of your life are you committing to humanity".
Obasanjo while thanking everybody for sharing the pain of his family, said that "Saturday night and Sunday morning is not what somebody called double national tragedy. It is for most of us, multiple national tragedy".

The Chaplain of the Villa Chapel, Reverend William  Okoye, took charge of the service while the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Professor Jerry Gana, coordinated the programme. The lesson was taken from Romans 8 verses 3 to 8.

The First Lady’s brother, John, who the President described as "very close to Stella", childhood his sister’s was full of laughter, love and friendship." He added that she "lived a good and fulfilled life".

Others that attended include Ministers, Senators, military top brass, Governors of Taraba and Edo States, Jolly Nyame and Lucky Igbinedion respectively, Senator Jim Nwobodo and former Chaplain of the Villa Chapel, Professor Yusuf Obaje.

Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma and his wife, Daisy, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo, Ben Murry Bruce, former Minister of State, Science and Technology, Pauline Tallen and Senators Udo Udoma and Florence Ita Giwa also attended.

The body of the First Lady will lie in State today in the Banquet Hall of the State House as from 12 mid-day and is billed to leave Abuja on Thursday for Abeokuta, Ogun State.


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