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Katherine Akum Lum resting at Norfolk Sentra General Hospital in Virginia.

The medical team attending to Katherine Akum Lum at Norfolk Sentra General Hospital has not yet set a date for her second surgery which is expected to be done in March.

In a telephone interview on her hospital bed yesterday, she said that she was being treated for a bacteria in her body. She said this was being caused by the nephrostomy tubes that were put in her kidney and passed through her back into urine bags. Akum Lum, 54, underwent her first surgery at the hospital in Virginia on February 17.

She suffered severe internal injuries when lye was used to do a pelvic wash after she underwent a hysterectomy at the St James Medical Centre in June 2019. She suffered extensive damage to her abdominal wall and organs and was bedridden for almost two years.

Through Freedom Law Chambers headed by former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, she sued the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) which is paying her medical costs and accommodation.

A God-fearing woman, Akum Kum is hoping that after her surgeries and treatment her life would return to some level of normalcy. Akum Lum said her 12-year-old son misses her, and they speak to each other every day. “He wants me to come home,” she said. Akum Lum is hoping whenever she returns home, she would be able to properly care for her son and do all the things she has not been able to since her hysterectomy.

Days before she was scheduled to leave the country for the surgery, Akum Lum gave an exclusive interview with the Sunday Guardian about her horrific experience and appealed to Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh to intervene. Given the correspondence from the authority’s attorneys, she was worried that they would not have met the payment deadlines and her surgery would have had to be postponed. Deyalsingh subsequently called her and assured her that he would do all that he could to ensure that the financial commitments for her surgery were met.