GRIEVING GRANDPA: Wendell Lazar, grandfather of Shazade Simon, 3, looks at the pot he was cooking lentil peas in when she stumbled into it last Wednesday at his Morne Roche, Williamsville home. – AYANNA KINSALE
AS if she had a premonition of her death days before she died, little Shazade Simon, in a video recording showing her wrapped in bandages from her hospital bed, requested of her family, “All you don’t cry for me.”
It is a video that has shattered the very depth of the soul of her grandfather, Wendell Lazar, who was preparing a pot of soup for the three-year-old when she stumbled and fell on the pot, leaving her with second-degree burns on about 25 per cent of her body.
That incident occurred on September 21. Shazade died on September 25.
The family said they are baffled by her death because she was due to be released on Wednesday.
“She was real good,” Lazar said.
The South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) said it was concerned about the online video, which depicts the minor in care at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH).
“While the authority has commiserated with the parents of the deceased minor, a preliminary report has indicated that appropriate medical attention and care were advanced to the minor.
“However, to determine the cause of death and better understand the circumstances, an autopsy has been prioritised for Wednesday, September 27,” SWRHA said in a statement.
As he sat at his incomplete home at Morne Roache, Williamsville, where he also runs his fruit and vegetable stall, Lazar told the Newsday, “She called me from the hospital and tell me, ‘Papa, don’t cry. You are not a baby. You are not a children. I am a children.’”
He said he would forever be haunted by her words because “she was my princess. She was my eyeball. She was my only grandchild.”
Surrounded by friends, who were all mourning Shazade, Lazar said no one knew the pain and trauma he was going through at the thought of losing his only grandchild and the accusations of negligence being pointed in his family’s direction by people who are unaware of what happened.
He said his daughter Andelle “was going crazy, walking up and down the road. I am afraid a car would bounce she, but she not listening. The child’s father – he cannot talk right now.”
He denied social media reports that Shazade fell into the boiling pot of lentil peas and remained there for a long time before she was discovered by her mother, Andelle Lazar.
He showed the Newsday the pot, saying, “It is a small pot. She could not fit in this pot. It is a small pot. People making it look as though it was a big pot and she fell in.”
He said she was burned on her hand, buttocks and chest.
“If she had fallen in a pot of boiling peas or water and remained there for as long as people are claiming, she would not have survived for six days,” her aunt Marissa Brizan said.
“The information circulating on social media that she was found in a pot of boiling lentil peas is not true. It was not negligence. It was an accident. Simply an accident, not by anybody but by her stumbling.
“She was supervised every day and was surrounded by people who loved her and had no intentions of hurting her.”
Lazar said, “All these conflicting stories hurting the family.
“Life in this time, you have to have your head on your shoulders and you have to kneel down for God. He is your only companion right now. You have no companion like him.”
He explained his granddaughter, who lived close by, wanted his dumplings, and after her mother picked her up from the Mayo Early Childhood Care and Education Centre, they came to his place to make the soup.
“She was with me and her mother. It had plenty people here. Is right here the thing happened.
“I went to wash my hand after I knead flour to make a little soup for everybody because I like to cook.”
He explained there was no running water, and he had asked Andelle to pour some water on his hands.
He said he and Andelle were facing each other, but it appears Shazade followed her mother to the sink and while coming to meet her, tripped and fell on the pot, which was on a firecracker stove on the ground.
“From the corner of my eyes, I just glimpse her by the pot and I run to she. I did not even finish washing my hands. I pick her up and give her a little dip in the water.
“We wrapped her up, flagged down a car, get into the vehicle and went straight down to Sando hospital (SFGH).”
“The next day she was talking and walking. She was all right. I was going to the hospital to see her on Monday and then I got the call that she passed.”
The police Child Protection Unit is investigating.