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-Parents wants probe as hospital says Covid, but tests show negative
By Lisa Hamilton
The parents of five-year-old Kelon Lorenzo Belle who died on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, have been left with more questions than answers after COVID-19 tests stated that he was negative for the virus but the New Amsterdam Hospital later listed his cause of death as COVID-19 and bronchitis pneumonia.
In an exclusive interview with the Village Voice News, parents Camille and Kelon Belle (Snr) called for an investigation to be launched into the death of their son to determine whether there was any form of negligence on the hospital’s part. Camille works as a security guard while Kelon (Snr) is a taxi driver. They are from Bush Lot Village, Region Five. Meanwhile, their son, who had just turned five, was physically attending nursery school for approximately two weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 AM to 11 AM.
According to Camille, she learned that Kelon was not feeling well on Sunday night when she returned home from work around 11 PM. He told her: “Mama, I’m not feeling well.”
On Monday, she took him to Fort Wellington Hospital where it was recommended that he take a rapid COVID-19 test which turned out negative. Camille informed the doctors that she once worked in Guyana’s interior so perhaps it was possible that her son had dengue or malaria.
Because of his illness, the hospital also performed a blood test on Kelon and the doctor said that it showed that he had dengue. Kelon was given panadol syrup and chlor-o-phan and was discharged. On Tuesday, around 11:00 PM, Camille noticed that her son’s temperature was rising again and eventually he vomited. She called her husband and they took him to the hospital and he was given saline and an injection. He was discharged and his parents were told that if their son’s condition did not improve, they should return the next day.
On Wednesday, Kelon’s condition did not improve. “He said ‘Mama, I’m feeling wobbly’. I said ‘stand up’ and he said ‘Mama, I can’t stand up, I’m feeling wobbly’,” Camille recounted. Camille took her son to the emergency section of the hospital and his temperature was taken and he was given panadol and saline. Camille told the newspaper that her son seemed somewhat delirious and was speaking about seeing a gate or being unable to see his father when Kelon (Snr) later arrived at the hospital.
It was then recommended by the doctor that Kelon be transferred to the New Amsterdam Hospital. There, he underwent another COVID-19 test which also turned out negative. “While they were doing that, my son was breathing but his breathing was going down and down all the time,” Camille said.
An x-ray was conducted and the doctor told Camille that her son was infected with either a cold or COVID-19. However, she told the doctors that previous tests had turned out negative for COVID-19. Camille said that another doctor then told her that it appeared that her son had bronchitis. By then little Kelon had begun to complain about neck and stomach pain. “Then they [health workers] said ‘Mommy, we have to put your son to sleep because we have to push a tube down his throat for him to breathe and we’re going to transfer him to Georgetown’. I kept asking if my son is okay and they said ‘yes, your son will be okay’,” Camille said.
Both parents were not allowed in the hospital at the same time so Kelon (Snr) was sent out. They subsequently asked Camille to exit the room as well, which she did. A while after, said that she felt compelled to return inside and when she did she saw her son connected to a monitor that appeared to indicate that his heart wasn’t beating.
She recalled: “Something was just telling me to go in back. When I go, I saw three doctors around my son and I didn’t see no heartbeat, it was like a straight line. I go to the doctor and I said ‘doctor, what happened to my son?’ He said ‘nothing, nothing, go outside’. I didn’t go like far away from them but then one of the doctors come and she said ‘I’m so sorry, your son’s heart stopped’.”
Camille was distraught and ran out of the hospital screaming. The said doctor then told her: “On no, no, no, he’s okay. We got him back.” However, the next time Camille and Kelon (Snr) were called in, they were told that their son had died though the doctors tried their best to save him. Kelon’s death certificate lists multiple reasons for his cause of death. It lists severe respiratory distress bronchopneumonia, bronchoaspiration, COVID-19 and another reason this newspaper was unable to decipher. The latter three were next to the section regarding underlying conditions.
Camille said that she and her husband are confused because they are aware that Kelon’s COVID-19 tests results had returned negative. Also, there was no indication of dengue — as previously stated — noticed on the death certificate by the Village Voice News. Asked about whether Kelon had ever previously had breathing problems, his mother said: “No never, never, never. This is the first time something like this happened with his breathing. All I wanted was for my son to feel better. This is my only child and he just celebrated his fifth birthday last month,” Camille said sadly.
Meanwhile, Kelon (Snr) said that he does not believe that his son had COVID-19 and the hospital should have done a better job at diagnosing and treating his illness.
“My thoughts are that they didn’t do a proper work,” he said. “They were treating my son for something that he didn’t have. From since we went in there, the one nurse just keep talking about COVID, COVID, that she suspect COVID, but he didn’t have that. The tests showed negative.”
Meanwhile, APNU+AFC Member of Parliament representing Region 5, Vinceroy Jordan who has been in contact with the family, claimed that the New Amsterdam Hospital has a history of false-positive COVID-19 tests. He said that something needs to be done to address the situation. As of Friday, October 22, 2021, there was no indication from the Ministry of Health’s Dashboard that there was the death of a five-year-old male as a result of COVID-19 and other compilations