A Nigerian woman incurred a bill of £500,000 after giving birth to quadruplets at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in London. The 43-year-old woman, Priscilla, who had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago, U.S where she has family, was turned away by border officials upon arrival. The officials said she did not have required documents from a hospital stating that she had the money to pay for the delivery. Priscilla said she was returning to Nigeria through London when she started having contractions shortly after landing at Heathrow airport.
This took place in November 2016, three months to her Expected Day of Delivery (EDD), Mail Online reports. She was taken to the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in West London, part of Imperial College Hospital, where she delivered the four babies. Unfortunately, one died shortly after delivery, and another passed on January 28, 2017. The other two are still being treated in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care ward. Hospital staff estimates that the total bill for the highly complex birth and the care of the babies is already more than £500,000.
The cost of treating one baby in neonatal intensive care is £20,000 a week. Priscilla, who is a healthcare worker in Nigeria, is currently staying at a hostel run by a charity and is unable to afford the bill. Her husband is in Nigeria, and cannot come to Britain to help take care of her as he does not have enough money for a visa or the flight. Priscilla underwent IVF treatment, which has a high risk of multiple births, as she was struggling to conceive naturally due to her age.
She was told by her doctor to fly to the US to have her babies, as Nigerian hospitals do not have the ‘facilities to cater for the children’. Speaking to Terry Facey, the overseas visitor manager after being warned of the high cost of treatment, Priscilla said: ‘It’s only money. Money can’t buy life’’. “The last bill I had was £331,000 but – even if I worked every day – I would never earn that much money. My kids are priceless.’