Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 17th 2016 Contents AUGUST 17 - 23, 2016
The spotlight has once again been
thrown on the health care services pro-
vided at the Scarborough General Hos-
pital, as yet another distressed fami-
ly is demanding answers after a woman
who went to the facility for the treat-
ment of a boil allegedly ended up
becoming paralysed and is now in a
vegetative state unable to operate on
her own strength.
The family of 50-year-old Florence
Sammy-Smart, of Murray Hall, Pem-
broke, now intends to sue the Tobago
Regional Health Authority, claiming neg-
Speaking during a press conference at
the Scarborough offices of attorney Mar-
tin George on Monday, members of both
families (Sammy and Smart) claimed
Sammy-Smart went to the hospital
on April 24 seeking treatment for a
boil which had developed at the side
of her right breast.
According to her sister, Alison Sammy,
Sammy-Smart was admitted and had
a surgical procedure done on the bed
in the ward to drain out the boil.
"Two days later she suffered a heart
attack and has been in the hospital since
then in a literal vegetable state," cried
Alison, along with the woman s
husband, Lawrence, and their two daugh-
ters, said the family has been trau-
matised by the events.
George pointed out that Sammy-
Smart, who walked into the hospital
for treatment with no other complaints,
has now spent two months in the
ICU. He said she is now in a state of
paralysis having suffered three heart
attacks and two seizures and is now
fed through a tube. He said at one point
she was even diagnosed as suffering from
pneumonia and also pronounced brain
dead by medical staff.
"All this time they have furnished
no answers to questions from the
family about the deteriorating condition
of their relative. However, the hospi-
tal staff is now asking the family to come
and take her as they want to dis-
charge her from the hospital," he said.
George insisted that the family must
not accept any discharge of their rel-
ative from the hospital.
"The current state is that she is paral-
ysed, she is almost a vegetable. She
is non-communicative, she is unable
to speak, she lost partial sight, and
her hearing is diminished. The surgi-
cal procedure was performed on the
woman s hospital bed," he said.
"The Scarborough General Hospital
called upon the relatives last Friday, telling
them to come and take their relative,
because they are discharging her with
oxygen tanks. She cannot eat for her-
He said, however, that the family is
demanding answers and the TRHA
will face a legal battle.
"I am now in the process of draft-
ing a letter demanding answers over the
care of Sammy-Smart. We want full dis-
closure on the medical records and treat-
ment of this client," George, who has
initiated several other medical cases
against the TRHA, said.
The family has also since respond-
ed to what they called a "malicious
rumour" circulating that they have
not been visiting or attempting to
take care of Florence at the hospital.
They told Tobago Today: "Every
day an aunty visited her and we too
always went to visit often and when-
ever they (the hospital staff) were
ready to clean Florence they will put
us out of the area."
Contacted yesterday, George said he
still had not received any word from the
TRHA on the family s complaint, but
promised to keep the media updated.
Attempts to get a response from
the TRHA s communication s depart-
ment were unsuccessful as they did
not respond to a request from Tobago
Today up to press time.
However, TRHA acting chief execu-
tive officer Godwyn Richardson is report-
ed to have said that the matter will
be looked into.
Attorney Martin George is flanked by Florence
Sammy-Smart's husband Lawrence Smart, 2nd right,
sister Alison Sammy, right, and her other sisters.
Within recent times, the TRHA has been
embroiled in several legal cases which have
accuse their medical practioners of negligence.
Two of the more public cases involved
In 2014, the husband of Luciana 35-year-
old Leciana Mitchell-Sheppard began seeking
justice for his wife, who died during child
birth along with baby boy Ajani Merrie Shep-
pard at the Scarborough Hospital.
A legal battle ensued and the TRHA is yet
to reveal the contents of the findings of a
probe ordered into the case, as ordered by
In January this year, 35-year-old Rose
Gordon, of Charlotteville, died while giving birth
at the hospital. The doctors involved in the case
were suspended but subsequently reinstated
at the hospital.
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