– still trying to get answers from health officials
Had his life not ended abruptly on December 10, 2013, Jaden Mars would have been preparing to celebrate his fifth
birthday next Wednesday (October 15, 2014). And the thought of facing the birth date of her first born is proving to be too much for 29-year-old Nathalie Caseley to bear.
“The fifteenth of October will be the hardest day of my life; every year I make it a big thing; a real special thing for Jaden, and now instead of having him I have to grieve for him,” said Caseley during an interview with this publication yesterday.
Ever since her son’s demise at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), six days after he was admitted to have his tongue sutured, Caseley has been relentlessly fighting for justice. This is in light of the fact that the woman believes she has been able to unearth enough information to prove that medical workers who attended to her son at the public hospital are liable for his death.
Official investigations conducted following the child’s death revealed that there was evidence of negligence. Moreover, the findings were placed in the hands of both the Medical and Nursing Councils with a view of the two bodies meting out disciplinary action to the doctors and nurses who attended to the child. But according to Caseley, although several senior health functionaries had promised to keep her abreast of the developments, no one has been talking to her.
“It has been 10 months now and nobody is saying anything to me,” said a despondent Caseley as she stood at the Hadfield entrance of the Ministry of Health yesterday.
This was after the woman had made several failed attempts to meet with Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud, and then Minister of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, to get answers in relation to her son’s case. She planned to head to the Office of the Chief Executive Officer of the GPHC, Mr Michael Khan, afterwards.
“I have these people on record telling me privately that they know it was negligence, but publicly they are taking no action,” said Caseley of some senior health officers.
“If they are hoping to make a mockery of me by allowing me to go ‘coo-coo’ in my head because they are not engaging me, then it is safe for me to do whatever I think will give me results.”
Caseley said that she was convinced that by now she would have been able to get closure, but noted that because of the lack of information she is increasingly becoming frustrated.
“I’ve tried to move on, look pretty, and post pictures on Facebook…trying just to see if I could get myself going, but those things are temporary; my pain, my loss, is permanent,” said the woman as she fought back tears.
Caseley, an employee of the Qualfon (Guyana), has not returned to work since the death of her son, and is fearful that failure to get closure may very well result in her becoming unemployed. “I am a strong person and I don’t like people to see me cry, because crying is a sign of weakness, so I try to bear my pains on my own. They made me try with every fibre of my being to erase the memory of my son completely; this is what they made me do…try to forget my son ever existed.
“Remembering Jaden is remembering love, remembering life, remembering happiness,” said Caseley as she confided how difficult it has been to give her other two children – two-year-old Jada and six-month old Jonathan – the love and attention they so deserve.
“It’s unfair to them. If I didn’t understand my role as a mother I would run and leave them, because I know it was supposed to be three (children) and not two.”
So frustrated is the woman that she prepared to publicise recordings that she has in her possession that will not only substantiate that the hospital was at fault for taking her son’s life, but also to highlight to the public, the insensitivity of senior health officials.
“It is safe to say nothing has been done. It has all been word of mouth from them, although I have been calling (telephoning) over and over, but still can’t get anything significant from them,” said Caseley.
The woman said that from all indications, her son’s case has been forgotten by health officials, like so many others in the past. She recalled a case at the public hospital, where negligence was cited in the death of a young mother during childbirth. Reports reaching Caseley is that those involved in that case are still on the job.
“My son’s case will not be one like that,” Caseley insisted as she informed that “I am going to keep fighting all the time, although I think these people are taking me for granted.”
According to Caseley, it was a very senior health official, who in acknowledging that the hospital was at fault advised her to take legal action. Caseley has since been able to solicit and retain legal Counsel in the person of prominent Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes.
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