The autopsy of the late LUTH Consultant Paediatrician, Dr. Hestianna Thomas has been completed. However, the result has not been released because the committee constituted by the NMA to unravel the cause of the death is yet to release its findings.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Department of Domestic Violence remain resolute in pursuing the case to a logical conclusion and have asked the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, to release the autopsy report immediately.
The results are eagerly awaited because the cause of Dr Hestianna's death generated a lot of controversy with different reports making the rounds. Some allege on one hand that the doctor died of injuries sustained as a result of domestic violence, while other reports said her death was one of suicide.
According to a report by The Vanguard, a colleague of the deceased who is a surgeon in LUTH said the deceased had a history of depression. The source, who pleaded anonymity, noted: “The victim came in a pool of blood with a nylon bag over her head, face smashed in, chest and arms fractured. Husband told us she had a history of depression and suicidal attempts. I heard that she jumped off the second floor. I spoke with her unit members, it seems it’s confirmed that it’s a suicide, the family reached out in support to the husband and confirmed the previous history of depression and won’t be taking anything up.”
Also speaking, the husband of the deceased, Dr. Femi Thomas, when contacted, declined to grant an interview. He, however, said that the death is a coroner case. “Let us wait for the coroner report,” he urged. In his reaction, Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, told Vanguard reporters to expect the institution’s response in due course. “Please await a press statement about the case from LUTH,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Branch of NMA has condemned media reports linking the death of the deceased to the husband. The NMA through its Public Relations Officer, Dr Ibrahim Ogunbi, wondered why some journalists should carry stories of such sensitive matters without proper investigations.
Ogunbi said “When we visited the home of the decease on Friday, we saw her mother who also lives in the house. And during our interaction with her, she said that the report making the rounds that her in-law killed the daughter worries her; it has further inflicted pains on her, and that those making such allegations are adding to her pains."
“She cursed those that started it because she said they have only added to her pain which is already unbearable. She said she is a principal officer in a university and has some background in psychology and she knows the tell tale signs of domestic violence. She visits often and would not have hesitated to forcefully drag her daughter out of the marriage had that been the case."