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Widow of man turned away at EWMSC pleads: Help take my husband back to Guyana

Sunday, April 6, 2014
Jeetindra Sookram

Guyanese national Vidya Bachu is appealing for help to take back the body of her husband who died after being denied treatment at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), to their hometown. Bachu has to wait until the autopsy is done on her husband Jeetindra Sookram tomorrow before she can make the arrangements. The couple, who shared a three-month common-law relationship, came to Trinidad on Tuesday for a two-week vacation. It was the first time Sookram, 35, a farmer, visited Trinidad.



However, on Thursday Sookram was taken to the EWMSC after he began experiencing pain. But he was denied treatment. Bachu was told she would have to pay for treatment because Sookram was not a T&T citizen. Because he was not being attended to, Bachu took him to a private clinic in Charlieville, but he died in the back of a Nissan Navara in the clinic’s car park. It is suspected that he died of a heart attack.



‘I might never return to T&T’
With a sombre tone in her voice, Bachu, in a telephone interview yesterday, said she might never return to Trinidad or recommend here to anyone as a tourist destination. “It is very hard. I am trying. I don’t know how I will ever get over this. I don’t know if I will ever come back to Trinidad or recommended my family and friends to come here because the treatment we get in the hospital was not nice.” 



She said it was her idea to come here for their vacation because she had a good time when she came to Trinidad for the first time last year for her birthday. “I liked the country, that is why I told him (Sookram) let us come here.” She said her husband’s body has since been removed from the mortuary at the San Fernando General Hospital to EWMSC’s mortuary for the autopsy. 



However, she said it was costing over $15,000 to take her husband’s body back to Guyana. “I really need some help. We are not rich people, we are poor people,” she sobbed. Bachu said their intention was to start planning their wedding when they returned home. “We were going back to Guyana to start our lives together. We were going to get married in December because his family coming to spend Christmas with him.


“All I want is the autopsy done as soon as possible to get my husband body to take back home, that is all I need right now.” She said, “As soon as the woman (at EWMSC) see his passport when I went to register him she did not wait for an explanation, she say we will have to pay. They put him to sit down and he was in so much pain and they were seeing about other people. 


“I think they should take this as a wake-up call. When foreigners come in the country don’t treat them like that.” Bachu said she has been bombarded by calls from Sookram’s relatives. “I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. I cannot think. Right now I don’t have the strength to do nothing at all.” She said no officials from the Government or medical agencies have contacted her.



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