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….Young teacher to file official complaint to Health Ministry over death of her baby at a private city hospital
By Svetlana Marshall
Twenty-year-old Tamera Leslie has vowed to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is served for her baby girl, who died shortly after being delivered at a popular private hospital in the city – Georgetown.
The Smith Memorial Primary School teacher, who resides at Bent Street, Wortmanville, Georgetown, said though born prematurely at the Woodlands Hospital, her daughter was not given at fair chance at survival. In fact, the grieving mother said her baby was pronounced dead even before she was born, though her heart rate and other vital signs appeared normal at the time.
“She [midwife] said because the baby is six months, the baby can’t live but I know cases where babies live less than six months,” Leslie said.
Leslie on Wednesday filed a formal complaint to the Woodlands Hospital, and she intends on filing a similar complaint to the Ministry of Health soon with the hope that there will be a thorough investigation into the incident.
In an interview with Village Voice News on Wednesday, Leslie explained that after experiencing excruciating pain, she made a visit to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) on Monday March 15, but when the process of seeing a doctor there appeared too lengthy, she resorted to the Woodlands Hospital.
There Leslie, after seeing a doctor and a midwife, was told that she was in “active labour.”
“The midwife told me that I am in active labour because the contraction was like two minutes apart. She took her fingers to see if everything as okay, and she said the membrane in place, the water-bag in place, the baby in place, only thing is, is that the baby was in the vaginal canal,” Leslie recalled.
The young mother said she was given no other choice than to deliver the baby that day. However, she claims that it was after she informed the midwife that she was only six months pregnant (24 weeks), that the midwife made the shocking pronouncement.
“She was like okay, the baby nah gun live,” Leslie recalled.
Nonetheless, the expectant mother said she followed midwife’s instructions, and delivered the baby at 20:17hrs on Monday, March 15, 2021.
“I saw the baby moving, because her rib cage was moving in and out, she was breathing and she even moved her foot and while that was happening, she folded the baby in a blanket and put it next to me, and said ‘oh you have to carry it home because they don’t have storage there,’” Leslie further recalled.
The Smith Memorial Primary School teacher said there were no attempt by the midwife to save the baby. “She didn’t even given me an option of incubating the baby, or she will stitch up the uterus, she just check to see if everything else was in place, and was like okay the baby will die,” the grieving mother said.
Leslie alleged that throughout the delivery process, the midwife appeared distracted and at one point even stopped to take a phone call. The teacher said too that the midwife also appeared more concerned about whether she could have afforded to stay in the hospital than saving the baby’s life. She said too that it was her mother who had to enter the delivery room to clean her up.
Leslie said she is devastated by the entire scenario.
“It is very much devastating because…I expected her to at least try and save the baby, so it is very much devastating,” the teacher said.
She added: “We really were expecting the baby because she would have been my mom’s first grandchild, my grandmother’s first great grant and my great grandmother’s first great great grandchild. So everyone was really expecting the baby and it would have been my boyfriend’s first child as well and his mother, first grandchild. So it really tore us apart.”
In an official correspondence given to the family, Woodlands indicated that the female fetus was aborted by Leslie. A letter was also given to the family for a post mortem examination to be done.
Leslie said on Wednesday she filed a formal complaint with the Woodlands Hospital, and will soon file another complaint with the Ministry of Health. “I want it to be investigated properly, so I can get justice for my child,” she said.
Leslie, and her mother, are also advocating for midwives, nurses and doctors to be properly trained and screened, noting that the latter is important to detect persons who are emotionally distress within the promotion. The mother is of the belief too that some medical personnel cannot give optimal performance because they are simply over worked.