After trying for nine years, Mohanie Phakira, 33, of Felicity, Chaguanas, was finally able to conceive and carry her first baby full term. However, something went terribly wrong during the ninth month of her pregnancy, and Phakira's baby girl died two days after birth via C-section.
Emotional and traumatised, Phakira is now planning to take legal action against the Mount Hope Women's Hospital. "I strongly believe that it was because of negligence that I lost my baby, so I am now going to leave it for the courts to decide. The emotional and mental trauma I now have to live with is not easy at all."
Baby Jaya Naomi Gayerpersad was born at the Mount Hope Women's Hospital on February 6, at about 5.04 pm, weighing just over eight pounds.
An autopsy performed on the baby's body revealed she died from respiratory distress syndrome caused by birth asphyxia. The autopsy was done at the mortuary of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope, on February 11, 2015.
Speaking with the Sunday Guardian after appearing briefly on CNC3's Crime Watch programme with host Ian Alleyne on Thursday, Phakira said she was given a letter by the hospital's clinic which indicated that because she was suffering from high blood pressure they would have to "take the baby from her via C-section on January 23, 2015."
"But when that date came nothing happened, and all that time I was in and out the hospital suffering from high blood pressure," she said.
On February 5, 2015, Phakira went to the clinic at the hospital were she was medically examined by a doctor. "I found that she was little rough with me and it pained a lot and when I told her, she said that's why I was supposed to be having sex. I began to bleed at that point. The doctor then went and consulted with the senior doctor who instructed that I be warded so that they could induce labour."
At about 7 pm labour was induced. Two hours later, Phakira said her pains intensified.
"I felt my entire body getting numb, I was running a high fever, I felt delirious and was left alone in a room. I was told that the doctor would come at about 6 am to clip the water bag. However, she did not come till about 8 am but my water bag was not clipped.
"I was in extreme pain and vomiting. I kept waiting to see or feel water gushing down but never felt anything like that.
"I began to pass out something green, it looked like baby mess. I kept telling them that something wrong but the nurses insisted that nothing was wrong, that it was normal. I took their word for it because it was my first time and I did not know what to experience or what happens, but all I knew was my body was tightening up on me and I was in pain."
From 8 am that morning, Phakira was put on a waiting list for a wheelchair to take her to the delivery ward, but it was not until 2.30 pm that a wheelchair became available, and when they wheeled her to the department she was told that the nurses were not ready as they were changing shift.
"While there sitting on the wheelchair I fainted. I don't know how long I fainted... I was then asked if I was getting contractions and then they hooked up the baby monitor on me and the pressure instrument. I was also given IV.
"I was told not to bawl or else I would be left alone. One nurse even asked me if I wanted to go home with a dead child. I was shocked...still in excruciating pain," Phakira said.
Again, she complained that her body was getting numb and her vision was becoming dim.
"I again told them that something was wrong, this time with the machine that was hooked up to my belly. They cut it off and then put it back on again and then I started to hear a beeping sound. One of the nurses pulled the sheet and I knew she saw something. That was when she said they have to do emergency C-section and asked for my consent," Phakira said.
"As I was slowly going unconscious from the anaesthetic, I remembered hearing the doctor saying the umbilical cord was around the baby's neck. I then blacked out and didn't wake up till late in the night."
Phakira said after she woke up she was told that her baby swallowed liquid and stool and was not doing well. She was only allowed to see her baby on the evening of February 7.
"Again, they had no wheelchair to put me on so I had to walk to go and see my baby. When I got the first glance at her she was hooked up to machines. I was told at that point that my baby would not make it," Phakira said.
"I was devastated to know that so long I had been trying to have a baby and when I finally got pregnant and gave birth I would have to lose my baby. Why? This was so unfair."
Phakira claimed that after her baby died she asked many questions but got no answers. She also alleged that she asked for the doctor's name and was told " 'Why? You want to sue? Go ahead! We accustomed to that here'."
After burying her baby, Phakira managed to get copies of all her medical records and other related documents and she has contacted her attorney.
An official at the North Central Health Authority, who did not want to be identified, said an investigation into the matter would be launched.