The cries of pregnant cancer patient Melissa Evans echoed throughout the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court yesterday after she was told she had to spend a night in prison after being denied bail in
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Aid for mother of asphyxiated child
A Chaguanas mother recalled how she cradled her unconscious baby in her arms and ran frantically in the middle of the night for help to the police station almost half a mile away. By the time an ambulance got to the police station 30 minutes later, and then took the baby to the hospital, he was dead. An autopsy on six-month-old Christopher Rambhal revealed he died from positional asphyxia. He choked while being breastfed by his mother, Neisha Wattley, who had fallen asleep.
A tearful Wattley, 24, and her husband, Kris Rambhal, 25 (they have three other children, ages seven, three and two) recounted the traumatic incident to minister in the Ministry of People and Social Development, Vernella Alleyne-Toppin, who visited the couple’s Perseverance Village, Chaguanas, home yesterday to offer condolences. Alleyne-Toppin promised help with government housing or a lot of land through the Land for the Landless programme, and help with starting their own business.
For almost two years, the couple, both market vendors, have been living in a small, windowless shack, with no water or electricity, in a busy area off the main road near the river bank. They left their previous home after a family dispute. Wattley recalled, “The night the incident happen (June 14), I was sleeping, my son woke up around 9 (pm), he started to cry, I turn to my side, I lift him up and I rest him on my arm here, next to the breast here and I knock back out. I didn’t have a clue of what happen or when it happen.
“My husband, he then wake and he said Neisha, Neisha, I don’t think he alive you know, he belly not moving. And with that, I just dive off the bed, run outside, I turn his head over and I blow into his mouth to see if I could bring him back, but I just saw is like milk flowing through his nose and I just wipe it, run back inside, get a blanket and I run straight to the station. “I started to bawl and scream.” She said the police officers on duty that night were nice to her, but the ambulance took too long to get to the station.
With the support of her husband, she said, she was trying to move on.