‘Scarred for life’
By Cecily Asson Wednesday, February 20 2013
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Family holds on: Jason Francis, holds his daughter Afia, with his wife Abbi, at their home on Aldana Street, Princes Town yesterday. Their second daug...
“Emotionally and physically, I am scarred for life and at this point when it comes to giving birth to another child, I can’t see myself going through that again.”
Those are the words of a traumatised Abbi Taylor-Francis, 24, who, on February 2, witnessed her ten-pound baby girl, Jada, get stuck in her birth canal while in labour at San Fernando General Hospital.
Jada’s shoulders were unable to manoeuvre through the birth canal, and Taylor-Francis said no one took her seriously as she called for help. By the time the nurses responded to her cries it was too late as Jada’s organs had been damaged.
Three days later the baby girl died, an autopsy revealing that death was due to asphyxia, Taylor-Francis told Newsday at her home on Aldana Street, Princes Town yesterday. To add to her distress, a second autopsy discovered that some of the baby’s organs and her throat were removed.
Taylor-Francis and her husband Jason, 39, were forced to bury their second daughter without her internal organs while an investigation has been launched by the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) into allegations of negligence.
“I will not take that chance or that torture again ever,” the grieving mother said. She describes her hours-long ordeal in the labour room as watching a movie as a nurse stood over her eating an apple. “I re-live those moments every second of the day,” she said.
“That evening I was giving birth all by myself, I realised what was happening, I was telling the nurses, no one was taking me on. I actually told the nurse to put down the apple and help me.”
The nurses did eventually clip her giving way to allow the baby to come out, but the writing was on the wall, Taylor-Francis added.
Even to expel the placenta proved a challenge.
She said, “The afterbirth stayed in me a while before it came out. A nurse was pulling it out and then another nurse told her, ‘no, don’t pull it you will burst it.’ “You ever try to be normal but can’t be normal again? That’s me,” she said shaking her head sadly. Taylor-Francis said following her “nightmare” it took her four hours before she could be stitched up and then had to “get up off the bed, pack back my bag, go and wash my hands and get a wheelchair before I got some tea.” Yesterday the couple’s first daughter Afia celebrated her third birthday. Jason said up to now he has not been able to explain the baby’s death to Afia.
“She was looking forward to the baby even naming her Meep, don’t ask us where she got the name. I don’t know what to say to her.”
The family has been contacted by Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan who has apologised to them as well as officials of the SWRHA.
The Francis’ are working closely with their attorney Anand Misir Jason said, “I have submitted a request for the baby’s file from the hospital and that is what I am waiting on to take to my lawyer.” Jason said he sill believes everything is a dream.
“All my wife needed to do was see a doctor, she never saw him as he had to go out and from there everything went downhill. My baby came out of her mother’s womb grey like a stormy day,” he said. “My wife don’t want anymore children, she can’t take this trauma again.”
He is now calling on parents to speak out against such injustices at health institutions. “We came out with a dead child, somebody else will come out with a brain damaged child and they would take the child, and say I thankful the child alive,” he said. “We are creating this problem and we must stop it. Speak out about it so that other parents must not have to go through it.”