The New Statesman can reveal that Ghana’s former President, John Evans Atta-Mills, did not die at the 37 Military Hospital as Ghanaians were made to believe by President John Dramani Mahama.
Our reliable sources indicate the post-mortem result on the late president shows he died before arrival at the hospital.
Also unconfirmed reports indicate the body of the late president was flown into the country in the night of yesterday from South Africa where it underwent preservation, expected to keep if for about 100 years.
It is recalled that in his inaugural address as leader of the nation, President John Mahama stated emphatically that President Mills died at the 37 Military hospital at 2:15pm after a short illness.
However, information available to the New Statesman, quoting post mortem results carried out at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital reveals that the former President died of “metastatic throat cancer spread to sinuses, eyes and throat.”
According to the report, the tumour eroded President Mills’ carotid artery, which is a very major blood vessel. The report implies that the late President, as a result of the eroding of the artery, may have choked on his own blood because there was no one to handle him properly.
The circumstances of President Mills’s death suggest negligence on the part of his medical handlers. And, this may call for a wider public enquiry to show whether or not better care could have saved him.
For instance, none of his medical team was around when he needed them most and his body was taken to the hospital without even a nurse around him.
The New Statesman is also reliably informed that on his last visit to New York for treatment, the doctors there insisted he be detained for at least two months or risk dying if he returned home.
We are still investigating why that advice was ignored.
What is obvious is that treatment of cancer, particularly malignant kind, requires a strict adherence to a regimental treatment. But, the president’s official schedules, and particularly, the strange decision by the Castle to hide the truth about his ill health made it practically impossible for him to freely subject himself to the necessary treatment.
The results of the post-mortem is also a contradiction to claims made by functionaries of the NDC administration, particularly Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who said President Mills did not die of cancer.
Former President Rawlings, who worked with Professor Mills as his Vice President in 1996, said, after the death of President Mills that “considering that the cancer affected both his eye and his ear, he couldn’t sustain more than three hours per day.”
Checks conducted by the New Statesman show that “patients with metastatic cancer of the throat have cancer that has spread to distant sites beyond the throat and neck region.”
Treatment of this type of cancer may consist of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy, or a combination of these treatment techniques.
Multi-modality treatment, which is treatment using two or more techniques, is increasingly recognized as an important approach for increasing a patient’s chance of cure or prolonging survival.