Fri | Aug 18, 2017

'I am human' - Woman, born premie, joins hundreds flaying Ferguson

Published:Sunday | November 1, 2015 | 11:00 AMShanna Monteith
One of the online posts flaying Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson.
Daneyle Carr (right) and her grandmother.
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Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson has apologised for his they are "not babies in the real sense", but the furore over his statement last Tuesday is not going away.

With the comment and subsequent apology generating much comment on social media, angry Jamaicans have taken to the popular site Facebook to voice their displeasure.

Hashtags such as #AllBabiesMatter and #PreemiesMatterToo are flooding the pages of many.

Equally offended is Daneyle Carr, now a 24-year-old woman who was born premature.

"I was born at five months and two weeks and weighed two and a quarter pounds. I was incubated in the hospital for four weeks. While there, Mommy realised that I was getting smaller," she said, adding that the doctor, Dr Lloyd Cole, informed her mother that sometimes babies shed weight after birth.

"By this time, I was at 16 ounces. After spending four weeks in the hospital I weighed three and a half pounds. Dr Cole recommended that I be given iron and vitamin supplements.

"I grew up as a normal child would. I began walking at the age of one and did everything else like an ordinary child," said Carr.

According to Carr, she was told that she was so small that her mother pinned her to a pillow because she was afraid the baby would fall and hurt herself.

"My brother (half-brother) often reminds me of a time when he saw me on the pillow and thought I was a doll until I started to move," she laughed.

In a more sombre tone, Carr told The Sunday Gleaner that she is an only child as her mother was unable to conceive after she was born.

Carr said she, therefore, sympathises with the mothers of the dead babies as she can relate from her own story.

"My mommy was a secretary at the time, a lower-middle-income earner just like a lot of the mothers who have suffered this tragedy. I am disheartened to know that the minister believes that I am not a human being.

"I wasn't fully developed at birth, but I am now a very involved and fully effective student at the University of the West Indies and a proud contributing member of the labour force."