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Parents say goodbye to baby Matai today
National T&T footballer Marvin Phillip and his wife, Lesley Ann Halls, will say their final goodbyes today to their ten-month-old son who died at a daycare centre in Chaguanas last week. Baby Matai Joshua Cameron Phillip will be buried today at the Gasparillo cemetery after a service at the Gasparillo RC Church, Caratal Road.
The child died after being taken to the Anointed Angels daycare centre at Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas. An autopsy showed he died from positional asphyxia. This happens when a person cannot get enough air to breathe owing to the positioning of his/her body. Phillip returned to Trinidad on Saturday from Brazil to bury his son the day before the Soca Warriors were to meet Iran in an international friendly.
Saying Matai’s death was the worst ordeal he had ever experienced, Phillip said he would leave no stone unturned to find out what had happened. “We are hearing a lot of contradicting stories. It is not a good feeling to hear your young baby is dead. I would not wish this on my worst enemy,” Phillip said. He also said he was confident there would be no cover-up.
“I have been assured by the authorities that this matter will be thoroughly investigated so I don’t believe there will be a cover-up,” Phillip said. He added that he and Halls were planning to celebrate the baby’s first birthday on August 2. He added that Matai was a healthy child and it was heartbreaking to live without ever again seeing him smile. Baby Matai was the third child to have died last week.
He was dropped off at the daycare centre around 6.15 am and died an hour later. The owner, Pauline Maloney, said Matai was crying and was put in a car seat where it is believed he suffocated on the straps. On June 1, Kriston Gonzales, 22 months, drowned in a pond at Mayaro. Jemimah Agard, five, drowned in a pool at the Young Men’s Christian Association, Port-of-Spain, a day later during a school outing.