Jodian’s mother vows to continue fight for justice
Jodian Fearon’s mother yesterday promised to write a bestseller that would document her daughter’s story, and vouched that she would continue the fight for justice for her “princess”, who died after she was reportedly denied maternal healthcare at three Corporate Area hospitals.
Portia Green-Haughton made the pronouncements while delivering the eulogy at Fearon’s thanksgiving service. Clad in a black T-shirt emblazoned with ‘#JusticeforJodian’ at the back, the mother shared several heartfelt memories of the younger of her two children.
“My little princess was extremely smart; she was always referred to as the family’s dictionary. If you had a letter to write, Jodian was called; if you need help with your assignment, Jodian was called; if I had to make a tweet, Jodian ensured that my grammar was correct before I posted it,” she recounted while standing at the podium, supported by Jodian’s sister and another relative.
Disclosing that Jodian was the first in her family to graduate from university, the proud mother added that, “She had also promised that she would have assisted me in writing my book about my life as a teenage mom and how I overcame the odds.”
Fearon, a 24-year-old first-time mother, died on April 25 at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), six hours after giving birth at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine. The young mother was initially expected to give birth at the Andrews Memorial Hospital, but had to leave following speculations that she had COVID-19. Test results later revealed that she did not have the dreaded respiratory illness.
According to Fearon’s private doctor, both UHWI and the Victoria Jubilee Hospital refused to offer care to the young mother while she was in labour. She was eventually transferred to the Spanish Town Hospital where her health deteriorated after giving birth via a C-section.
A high-level probe into her death has since been launched. Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey revealed during a virtual press conference last Thursday that 20 statements have been recorded in relation to her case and a file was almost ready for submission to the director of public prosecutions for advice.
BROKEN AND CONFUSED
Green-Haughton said she saw her daughter’s lifeless body for the first time yesterday.
“I stand here this morning, so broken, so hurt, so confused,” said the mother who throughout the service was seen attending to her grandchild, Peyton-Grace.
“I am confident God will give us the strength to fight for justice for Jodian and Peyton-Grace. The family is also seeking legislative changes which would ensure that this painful situation will never be encountered by any other family,” she said.
Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange said the nation failed the young woman.
“We all feel like we know her, even those of us who did not know Jodian. So she could have been anyone of us, and that is why our nation, everybody shares this great sense of lost and anger at the circumstances of her passing,” she said.
“I understand that there is a room at the Jubilee maternity hospital that was commissioned to provide a facility for pregnant women who would have to be isolated for whatever reason, but that facility was never commissioned, and so today, we will ensure that that facility is commissioned, so that we will never have another Jodian Fearon experience,” the government minister pledged.