Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 14th 2014 Contents A6
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt December 14, 2014
Expectant mother Renuka
Gurahoo was left to deliver her
premature baby at the Mt Hope
Women s Hospital on her own.
The baby which was just 23 weeks
old lived for ten minutes, took a deep
gasp and died in her mother s arms
in the wee hours of December 8.
Almost a week after the ordeal, Gura-
hoo, 27, and her common-law hus-
band Ravi Gajadhar, 28, are yet to
be contacted by the hospital with
information on the baby s death and
the whereabouts of the baby s body.
Gurahoo said while she would
have liked to have had a funeral serv-
ice for her baby, she could not say
if the hospital had disposed of the
body or had it at the mortuary.
Unable to cope with the tragic
passing, the Piarco couple has sought
legal advice and is calling on Health
Minister Dr Fuad Khan to launch a
full-scale investigation into the baby s
Around midnight on December 7,
Gurahoo said she was taken to the
emergency department of the hos-
pital after experiencing slight bleeding
Gurahoo was attended to by a jun-
ior doctor, who claimed that the baby
was not in any distress.
Shortly after, Gurahoo said, the
doctor instead of using her hands,
inserted a long silver forceps inside
of her---not once but twice.
On the first occasion the forceps
was used, Gurahoo said, she felt
something "snapped inside" of her
while it was being taken out and her
pains began to intensify. Then she
started to bleed profusely.
The doctor said she couldn t tell
what was wrong because there was
too much inside. Gurahoo said she
overheard the junior doctor telling
another health care worker that her
water bag had been ruptured.
Minutes later, Gurahoo said a sen-
ior doctor was called in.
"She inserted her fingers inside
me and told me that my membrane
was damaged and she was feeling
something small. I asked her if the
baby was going to come down and
she said yes."
Gurahoo was given an injection
and transferred to Room 208 around
2 am for medical attention. She
claimed she was, however, left unat-
"There was no nurse or doctor in
the room. I had to wake up a patient
in the room to call the nurse for me.
That s when the nightmare began."
Writhing in pain, Gurahoo told
the nurse that she felt the baby was
"She raised the blanket and told
me she was not seeing anything and
if the baby has to come out, it would
do so on its own. She left me there.
Shortly after, I pushed out the baby
on the bed. The baby was moving
and kicking up between my legs in
a pool of blood. The baby was fully
formed," a tearful Gurahoo explained.
Ten minutes later, Gurahoo said
the nurse walked in and cut the
Gurahoo said she became per-
plexed that the nurse made no
attempt to take the baby to the
neonatal intensive care unit to save
"She wrapped the baby in a cloth
and give her to me. The baby at that
time was still alive and moving. She
Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar says if oil prices
continue to slide on the global
market the Government may
have to revise, for a second time,
the national budget.
And if the situation does not
improve soon, withdrawals from
the national Heritage Stabiliza-
tion Fund (HSF) might be nec-
essary, she added.
Yesterday, the price for Crude
WTI (West Texas Intermediate),
on which the budget is pegged,
fell bellow US$60, according to
Bloomberg.com. At present,
crude oil is selling at US$57.81,
down from a high of US$100 ear-
lier this year.
with reporters at her annual toy
distribution drive at the Ato
Boldon Stadium, Couva, said
Finance Minister Larry Howai
sent out circulars last week to
ministries ordering all non-
essential services be cut.
However, she said, essential
services like health and the social
services programmes would not
be cut since those would be
required to support the most vul-
nerable. Persad-Bissessar said
the trimming of excess in min-
istries would take place in the
coming weeks and into the new
The Prime Minister hastened
to add, "Should the oil prices
continue to fall it will be required
to have a further look at the bud-
geted figures and do some revi-
sions as may be necessary."
She assured that the HSF,
which was set-up for "rainy
days," would be available to the
Government if needed.
"The fund is configured [to be
triggered] should the oil prices
fall below a certain amount. Min-
ister Howai has told me that
there is no (need) to trigger off
withdrawals from the HSF," she
Persad-Bissessar assured that
the fund was "a padding and a
support, budgetary support, fiscal
support." The HSF currently
stands at US$5,563.3 million.
She said there was no need to
cut her annual Christmas toy
drive since those functions were
not paid for by the Government,
but through donations. "So these
will continue, all the toy drives
will continue," she said. At the
toy drive, which was attended by
thousands of eager children from
central Trinidad, Persad-Bissessar
got a special surprise when 13-
year-old heart surgery patient
Anuradha Balgobin presented her
with a thank-you letter.
The form two student at
Sarawati Girls Hindu College
hugged the Prime Minister and
thanked her for the Life Fund
that enabled her to have life-sav-
ing open heart surgery this year.
"I feel very happy. I knew she
would help me. I came to give
her a letter. I came this specially
to give her the letter to thank her
for the Life Fund and getting me
the surgery," the little girl from
Mc Bean, Couva said.
Balgobin s sister Shweta said
she brought her sister because it
was important for her to say
She said her family would
never have been able to raise the
US$.5 million needed for the sur-
gery. Persad-Bissessar said she
was touched by the girl s gesture
and promised that the Children s
Life Fund would not be cut.
PM on falling oil prices:
Govt may have to
withdraw from HSF
came out fighting to live."
Shortly after, Gurahoo said, the baby
took a deep gasp and died in her arms.
"I just started to cry. I took out my
camera phone and started to videotape
her on the bed."
Gurahoo showed the Sunday Guardian
the footage of her touching the dead
baby s arms and legs.
The nurse allowed Gurahoo and her
husband some time with her baby, after
which she was taken away.
After witnessing the baby s death,
Gurahoo said she was left on her own to
push out the afterbirth.
Within hours, Gurahoo was discharged
from the hospital without being told any-
thing about the baby.
Gurahoo said she requested her medical
records and files, but was told that she
would have to wait a month.
On November 28, Gurahoo said, she
had been seen by her gynaecologist and
an ultra sound showed that the baby was
in perfect health and developing well.
Gurahoo, however, was advised by her
doctor to take bed rest from December
7. Admitting that she had had two pre-
vious miscarriages, Gurahoo said the nurs-
es and doctors showed no compassion.
"I heard the night before another
woman lost her baby under similar cir-
cumstances. The health care system is in
a mess. I just want justice for the loss of
Gurahoo did not want to be pho-
Nightmare delivery for mom at Mt Hope
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar greets triplets Zafir, Zamir and Zareefa
Ali, nine months old, during the PM's annual toy distribution at the Ato Boldon
Stadium in Couva, yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Yesterday, Khan said this was the
first time he was hearing about the
incident and would ask the hospital
for a report on the matter.
KHAN AWAITS RESPONSE FROM HOSPITAL
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