Nigerian mother of quadruplets stranded in London as she cannot afford £500,000 healthcare bill

NIGERIAN mother of quadruplets who gave birth in a London hospital prematurely is now stranded in the UK after successfully delivering her children but cannot leave because she cannot afford the £500,000 healthcare bill.


Named simply as Priscilla, the woman, 43, has racked up the huge bill after she went into labour three months early shortly after landing at Heathrow airport in November. She was subsequently taken to the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in west London, part of Imperial College Hospital, where she was delivered of four babies.


Priscilla had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago, in the US, where she has family members but was turned away by border officials upon arrival. They claimed that although she had a visa, she did not have required documents from a hospital stating that she had the money to pay for the birth.


Having been forced to leave the US, Priscilla, a healthcare worker, said she was returning to Nigeria via London when she started having contractions. She had the children but one sadly died shortly after birth while another, a girl named Deborah, passed away on Saturday.


Her other two babies named Elijah and Esther, are still being treated in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care ward. Staff estimate that the total bill for the highly complex birth and the care of the babies is already more than £500,000 as the cost of treating one baby in neonatal intensive care is £20,000 a week.


Priscilla said: It’s only money but 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, however, my kids are priceless.”


Terry Facey, the hospital's overseas visitor manager who has worked at the trust for 12 years works trying to collect bills for overseas patients. She has been working to raise money to help Priscilla clear her bills.


Ms Facey said: “Those invoices are going to be huge. We are looking at 20 grand a week for each baby in intensive care.”


Priscilla is currently staying at a hostel run by a charity and is unable to afford the bill. Her husband, who is in Nigeria cannot come to Britain to help take care of her as he does not have enough money for a visa or the flight.


Apparently, 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 reportedly 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.