…father demands explanation
The father of nine-year-old Master Ferguson Amuro, who recently died in mysterious circumstances at the Warri Central Hospital, Warri, Delta State, has continued to trade words with the authorities of Classical International School, where the late boy was a boarding student before his demise.
Chief Amos Amuro has alleged that negligence on the part of the authority of the school resulted in the death of his son.
When nine-year-old Ferguson Amuro and his elder brother, Marvellous, resumed studies at Classical International as boarding pupils on September 18, 2016, they were happy and full of life.
But few days after, Ferguson allegedly fell ill and the unexpected happened-the little boy mysteriously did not survive the strange ailment that afflicted him.
The turn of events still remains a mystery as the parents of the child, who have yet to come to terms with the reality of the untimely death of their son, are now alleging some foul play regarding the strange circumstances surrounding his death.
Amuro, who spoke with our correspondent, said that the school authority called his wife on October 4, 2016, to inform her that one of his two sons attending the school, Ferguson, had been admitted at the Central Hospital Warri after falling ill.
He said on getting to the hospital, he met his son in a very bad state of health and could hardly recognize him, adding that Ferguson’s skin was already peeling off like that of a victim, who had sustained a first degree burn in a fire incident.
Amuro said he was shocked when he found out from the hospital’s management that his son had been admitted for four days after being isolated in room in the school for two days, without his knowledge.
The distraught father lamented that the school authority failed to notify him or his wife about the condition of their child for six days, even when his wife visited the school on September 30.
Chief Amuro said he got another shocker, when he found out that his son was admitted in the hospital under a different name, Junior Oruke, instead of Ferguson Amuro.
He further said that the teacher, who took Ferguson to the hospital, allegedly told the doctors that the ailing student was her younger brother.
Ferguson’s elder brother, Marvelous, who is also a student in the same school, alleged in an interview that his younger brother was ill and was locked up in a room in the school for two days.
Marvelous further alleged that his ailing brother was sleeping on the bare floor for the two days he was kept in seclusion in the school room, where he was sent to give him food.
He said that his younger brother’s skin was already peeling off while he was confined in the school room for the two days before he was taken to the hospital.
The late Ferguson’s father further alleged that the death certificate given to the family by the Central Hospital in Warri bore the name of one Junior Oruke and all efforts to reach the school authority for explanation were allegedly frustrated.
Amuro said, “When the school authority called me and told me that my child had been sick and was taken to the Warri Central Hospital, I thought it was just a minor malaria. But I was shocked to my bone marrow, when I saw my child lying on the hospital bed with virtually all his skin peeled off. The school authority told me that my child had been admitted in the hospital in the past four days.
How can a child that is under your care be sick for almost four days and you cannot even inform the parents? If they had informed me earlier, my child would not have died. The school authority must tell me how my child died.
“My son has been sick for the past four days and the school authority did not deem it fit to inform me about the health status of my child that I kept in their care. I am really surprised at the attitude of the school authority. How can a child that is under your care be sick for almost four days and you cannot even inform the parents? If they had informed me earlier, my child would not have died. The school authority must tell me how my child died.
“I have two children in that school. The eldest boy told me that his brother was sick for at least two days and he was locked up in a room without any furniture. He said the school authority used to give him food to take to him inside the room as nobody was allowed to enter into the room for the fear of being infected with his illness. My son also told me that when he went to visit his brother, his skin had started peeling off. I do not know what kind of skin rashes will make a child’s skin to peel off just like that. I am not satisfied with the explanation given to me by the school authority. They have to tell me how my son died.”
But the Director of Classical International School, Dr. Ochuko Akeme, debunked claims that the pupil died as a result of negligence on the part of the school authority.
Akeme explained that the nineyear- old pupil was given the best medical attention when he fell ill.
He explained that Ferguson, who was a boarding pupil, complained to the school matron of itching all over his body on September 28, 2016. The school’s director said an ointment was applied on the boy’s body to relieve him of the itching, as a first aid treatment.
Akeme noted that the child was then taken to the Central Hospital, Warri, the third day, where he was admitted.
He denied that the child was locked up in a room in the school, stressing that the parents of the child were duly informed of his illness by the school authority.
Akeme further said the child was handed over to the parents at the Central Hospital, Warri and was alive for four days before he died. He said that the child was not admitted to the hospital under a wrong name but explained that Ferguson was popularly called junior because his elder brother was also in the same school.
Akeme said, “To the best of my knowledge, the school gave the deceased pupil the best medical attention possible. We gave the child first aid, when he reported to us that he was feeling some itching all over his body. It is not true that we neglected the child as claimed by the father. We took the child straight to the Central Hospital Warri, when we discovered that the itching did not stop. We called the parents immediately and we handed over the child to the parents at the hospital.
“On the claim that the child was registered with another name, I will say it is also not true. At school, the child is popularly called juniour because his elder brother is also in the school. So, that was the name the teacher who took him there used to admit him. Also, we did not lock him up in any room as claimed by the parent. How could we lock up a child in a room when we knew that the child was ill? This allegation is completely untrue as my school has never recorded any death since its inception. We take very good care of any child that is under our custody. So, people should disregard that rumour that we locked up the child in a private room. We cannot do that to any child in this school.”
Our correspondent, however, gathered at the Central Hospital, Warri, that the child was admitted as Junior Oruke and was treated for Steven Johnson Syndrome, an ailment linked with adverse drug reaction.
Police authorities at the B’ Division in Warri confirmed that the case was already being investigated.