Information available to the Daily Guide newspaper indicates that President John Evans Atta Mills might have died before arriving at the 37 Military Hospital where he was rushed to after he slumped at the Castle a week ago.
Sources said the late president got to the health facility at around 1:35pm unannounced, looking pale and cold when he was examined in the ambulance van that took him to the hospital. The sudden death of President Mills is generating issues, with some calling for an autopsy report.
The sister of the president, Mercy Araba Quarshie, said she and other siblings were with the president just a few minutes before his departure. According to Madam Quarshie, the family members had visited the Castle on the morning of last Tuesday and dined with him before he told them that he was having a neck pain.
The president’s sister told Oman FM yesterday that they prayed with President Mills and later sang gospel songs with him while sending their last brother, Samuel Atta Mills, who lived at the Castle with the departed president, to buy cervical collar (neck brace) to support his neck. By that time, according to Madam Quarshie, his doctors had attended to him and left.
She said after that, they left for Cape Coast around 1pm only to be told 15 minutes later by Dr. Cadman Mills that the president had been rushed to the hospital. By that time, they were already at Kasoa and within a short distance of reaching Awutu Senya, they were told that President Mills was gone.
President Mills died a week ago and the one-week gathering will be marked today with a minute’s silence across the country. Some, including former President Jerry John Rawlings, have a strong belief that if a true disclosure of Mills’ health had been made, he could have survived a little longer.
The issue of the president’s health had been the subject of considerable speculation and concern but his handlers constantly assured Ghanaians of his sound health whilst skeptics insisted there was more to the deteriorating health of the president.
Sources at the Castle have started revealing details about events leading to his sudden death to Daily Guide.
Information has it that on the evening of Monday, July 23, 2012, a day before his untimely death, President Mills complained of severe pains, hence calling in his doctors the following day.
By 10am, the doctors were called in immediately to assess the situation.
On the same day, Tuesday, July 24, 2012, sources said, he was handed a bunch of documents believed to be from the oil and gas sector, which he was asked to examine and endorse.
By that time, Mills, who was said to be showing signs of weakness, became agitated and declined to look at the documents. He was said to have summoned an aide to take the documents to his secretary, J.K. Bebaako Mensah and that within seconds that the aide left the office of the president, he heard a loud scream from there. The aide rushed back to the office to find the President lying on the floor with blood oozing from his mouth and nose.
In the heat of the confusion and the panic that ensued, President Mills was said to have been bundled onto a stretcher and into a stationary ambulance at the Osu Castle and sent to the 37 Military Hospital with no notice to the medical officials there.
But, according to the source, the outriders (police dispatch riders) were nowhere to be found to lead the ambulance to the hospital.
This was said to have caused a delay in the decision-making process as to whether to take the former President to the 37 Military Hospital or what to do, a situation that was said to have been compounded by the non-availabilty of the outriders when needed.
Unconfirmed reports said the outriders were accompanying the Prof’s sisters to Cape Coast.
Not long after reaching the hospital, the president was pronounced dead. Indications are that adequate measures had not been put in place to give special treatment to the president since authorities at the facility had not been given any prior information of him being sent there.
According to a source at the hospital, when they got there at 1:35pm, they went to the Emergency and Medical ward where they were turned away apparently because they did not know that it was the president.
He was then taken to the Maternity Block where they were sent back to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where a certain female nurse, a Lieutenant Colonel, identified the body as that of the president and asked them to do the right thing.
Apparently, the officials following the body told the health officials that it was the body of a senior government official who was involved in an accident.
But with no health record of the president at the hospital, the Lt. Col. insisted that the right thing should be done.
With that development, health officials said they needed the coroner’s report to ascertain the cause of death since he was taken there dead or he was there less than 24 hours before his death.
After that, Mrs. Naadu Mills and other ministers were spotted at the facility wailing.
Later in the afternoon, Chief of Staff Henry Martey Newman called former President Rawlings and J.A. Kufuor to inform them of the death of President Mills.
Two weeks before his demise, President Mills had a private meeting with former President Rawlings at the seat of government at which they were said to have, among other things, discussed his health and the strains he was going through with his work schedule, as well as concerns about colleagues in the NDC.
That was said to be due to the fact that he was having difficulties in the day-to-day administration of the country in view of his failing health.
But handlers of the former president were said to have often propped him to continue keeping up appearances, contrary to expert advice from his medical doctors both at home and abroad who wanted him to take time off his busy schedule to rest.
Meanwhile, his doctors in the United States were said to have wanted to put him on admission for an extra two months to enable him to recover and have enough rest but the old man’s handlers would not listen.
Instead, they rushed him back home.
When the president arrived in the country from the United States, he was made to jog under the hot weather at the Kotoka International Airport to prove to his critics that he was stronger than ever.
Even though it was obvious from his nasal voice and frailty that the man was not well, the president told Ghanaians his doctors had given him a clean bill of health.
Reports have it that the medical records of the former president had been altered and changed over a period to misrepresent the state of his health before he passed away.
As the nation mourns because it has lost a president, Ghanaians are calling for the transparency needed when it comes to matters concerning public figures.
It would be recalled that the body of one of America’s most venerable presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, underwent two autopsies to ascertain what really caused his death despite the fact that it was public knowledge that he was assassinated.
Source: Charles Takyi-Boadu/D-Guide
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