Kelvin Duo, 29, who mistakenly drank caustic soda and needed urgent surgery outside the country to remove the blockage caused by scarring in his throat, has died.
Kelvin died on Saturday, April 23, at a local health center in Monrovia as his father, Kaplah Duo, desperately pleaded for financial assistance to take his son to Ghana, the nearest country, for surgery that could save his life. (Daily Observer April 15 edition).
Kelvin described by his father as “a talented young man with great potential”, was a nursing student at the Monrovia Bible College Nursing School. His ordeal began on January 26 this year when he mistakenly drank a cup of diluted caustic soda that was placed by mistake where the drinking water gallons are usually located in the living room of his parents’ home in Paynesville’s Outland Community.
He suffered from esophageal stenosis, a blockage of the throat as a result of scars from the sores caused by drinking the caustic soda.
After seeking medical attention at various health facilities in the country, the Duo family lost hope because their son’s condition was not improving. This is because the operation that was needed to save Kelvin’s life could not be performed in the country. This prompted Kelvin’s father, Kaplah, to solicit public assistance, but his effort did not get the needed result before his son succumbed over the weekend.
“Nothing used to come or go out of Kelvin’s throat because the passage was blocked by scars, a condition which worsened until he died,” Mr. Duo lamented.
After drinking the caustic soda, Kelvin had been immediately taken to the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital where the esophageal and intestinal sores were treated and pronounced cured. However, a much more difficult condition emerged – esophageal stenosis, a blockage of the throat as a result of scars from the sores cause by the caustic soda.
Medical experts, including Dr. Dopoe, a veteran ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, then advised that the patient be taken out of the country for further surgery.
According to Mr. Duo, Dr. Dopoe recommended Ghana as the nearest country that such a procedure could be performed.
“But again time was no longer in Kelvin’s favor because funding that was urgently needed to take him out of the country for the surgical treatment,” did not arrive in time.
The proposed surgery in Ghana would have cost about US$10,000, including accommodation and other fees.
Kelvin’s remains have been deposited at a local funeral home, while the bereaved family arranges for his burial on Saturday, April 30.