Mother sends legal letter to NCRHA after Mt Hope baby dies

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Kaylon Jordan Philip. –

The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) has received a pre-action protocol letter from the mother of a premature baby boy who died after being treated at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope.

Renella Charles, 33, is being represented by Freedom Law Chambers, which also represents the parents of babies who died at the Port of Spain General Hospital’s (PoSGH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

In the letter, attorney Sue Ann Deosaran said although this is the first pre-action protocol letter being issued to the NCRHA, she expects more pre-action protocol letters “will follow in due course in light of the number of complaints we have received from mothers about the adverse negligent experience at the Mt Hope Hospital.”

Charles was 35 weeks pregnant with twin baby boys when she was admitted to the Mt Hope Maternity Hospital on March 6, after experiencing some discomfort.

After an ultrasound and examination she was told she was being scheduled for a caesarean section the next day as although the babies’ weight and vital functions were normal and healthy, doctors did not want to risk that being compromised.

At around 11 am on the March 7, Charles gave birth to twin baby boys via caesarean section.

The twins weighed just over four pounds each and were both placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the EWMSC where they were placed in incubators and intubated to support their breathing.

Charles was discharged from hospital on March 9 and one of her twins was discharged on March 10.

She was told the other baby, Kaylon Jordan Philip, needed to stay at the NICU after doctors detected a trace of bacteria which needed additional tests and evaluations.

Charles visited baby Kaylon every day in the following weeks and was reassured of her baby’s steady progress and overall improvement.

Charles said she saw Philip vomiting and spikes in his blood pressure but was told this was a result of antibiotics.

On April 3, Charles went to visit baby Kaylon and saw an IV in his head and visible marks and needle punctures on his arms and legs.

Renee Charles and Kaylon Jordan Philip. –

She demanded an explanation and was told staff had exhausted all veins accessible on his body and was left with no choice but to place the IV line on his head.

Charles said the nurses were hostile and hoggish telling her, “If allyuh want allyuh children to be better… yuh must prepare for dese things!!”

A doctor then explained the IV was needed as Philip was still suffering from an infection and urgently required a blood transfusion and suggested that Charles was the optimal donor as her blood would help fight the bacterial infection plaguing the baby.

Despite assurances by the doctor that the transfusion would work, Charles “had the haunting feeling that all was not as it should be.”

The following day at around 7 pm nurses contacted Charles and her husband to say Philip was being discharged and they needed to make space for some newborn babies who were in critical condition.

Despite concerns over the baby’s health as the transfusion was done just a day before, nurses said Philip was in good health as all his vital signs were within normal ranges.

When Charles and her husband asked again at the NICU if Philip was fit for discharge nurses reportedly asked in response, “Who is d medical professionals here… you or we?” before steupsing and adding “We sure, we sure!”

Nurses said Philips had “growing fever” and advised her to buy baby Panadol and give it to him using a dropper.

Baby Kaylon struggled to keep down his meals, cried incessantly and appeared to be in discomfort despite being given the baby Panadol.

Eight days later on April 12 at around 5 am, Charles checked on the babies and found Kaylon’s body cold and rigid with blood seeping from his mouth and nose.

Her screams woke her husband who called an ambulance but by the time they arrived, baby Kaylon had already died.

Charles said his death was even more difficult to deal with as another of her children died on the very same date in 2022, after being beaten to death by a man she was in a relationship with.

When Charles discovered she was pregnant with twins, she thought it was a divine intervention and a way for God to restore the child she had lost.

Charles had also opted for tubal litigation after having the twins since she already had an 11-year-old child and she thought three children would be a manageable number.

The letter said Charles is now physically and emotionally scarred and left with many unanswered questions including “Why was the baby suddenly discharged to make space for other babies?” and “How could the baby get discharged in light of his blood transfusion only the day before, as well as inability to keep down feeds, vomiting and fever?”

Deosaran said the concerns regarding the medical decisions and procedures surrounding Philip’s care warrant a thorough investigation and explanation from the NCRHA.

She added while Charles hoped to find solace and closure after burying her son, the recent surge in cases against public health institutions has spurred her to come forward.

Deosaran said if the NCRHA was unwilling to settle the matter, Charles intended to seek damages, interest and legal costs along with any further relief the court may deem fit.