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Parents seek legal action after child’s death

By LAUREL V­ WILLIAMS Friday, December 13 2013

The parents of a three-year-old boy who died at the Mount Hope Medical Sciences Complex on Tuesday are seeking answers for his death. They claimed that if proper procedures had been followed their baby boy would have been alive today.

Khegan Barrow-Simon and Leah Collins, each aged 25, are also calling on the authorities to investigate the “negligent and abusive” manner in which they were treated by a senior surgeon at the hospital .

The couple, from Carapichaima said their son - Eli Stephen Collins- had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at 18 months old, which affected his kidneys. The mother explained that he underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but in July he went into remission for about five months. Following that, he was like a normal child.

Collins said that in November while at his pre-school, she received a phone call from teachers who informed her that Eli was sick .

“His belly was swollen and his right ribs were protruding. It looked red. He was complaining of pains and fever. We took him to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex where doctors who ran some tests, said in an initial report, that it could have been a relapse of the cancer,” Collins said. They then recognised that what appeared to be a mass was a serious blood clot due to post radiation treatment.

During this time, Eli started to lose blood and was bleeding profusely. Doctors gave him blood to keep up his haemoglobin count.

A week after being admitted, they performed an emergency surgery.

“When they opened him up the doctors said it was more complicated than they initially thought. So they just closed him up.

“The head paediatrician said that they have never seen anything like that, and we are not to worry. She promised to do research and contact a specialist to remove the mass,” Collins added

Two days after “surgery” Eli’s stomach got larger, doctor said to expect a massive heart attack, or lung failure, the father said.

“His condition got bad overnight . Next morning it was like a miracle and his stomach got smaller. This head surgeon gave us attitude, whenever we enquired about his health. She said the only one person could do the surgery was working at a private institution.”

After conducting their own investigations, the couple said they located the doctor who said he was unaware of the situation. “He cooperated with us, and did the operation. Had the surgeon removed that mass when they realised - how critical it was, Eli would be here right now. We reported the negligence to the hospital,” Barrow-Simon said.

The funeral is set for 3 pm tomorrow at the Roman Catholic Church in Couva.

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