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I want my baby's body - Distraught mother demands answers from hospital

Published:Sunday | April 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

A distraught mother is demanding her baby's body, but officials at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital seem to have no idea what has become of it. This is the third time that the young woman is losing a child after carrying the babies to near full-term, and she is demanding answers from the hospital this time.

The baby was reportedly born with a range of medical complications and died shortly after birth.

Sunday Gleaner sources say the baby was delivered prematurely last Thursday night, after the mother developed complications.

According to the sources, doctors gave the baby a 10 per cent chance of living.

The Sunday Gleaner was told that the medical team made every effort to save the baby, who weighed 1.9 kilograms at birth.

"All precautions were taken and the mother was set up for Caesarean section, which was done, but the baby reportedly died within minutes of delivery," said the source.

What has happened to the baby's body? No one knows.

Sunday Gleaner sources say by all indications, the body of the child was mistakenly taken up and disposed of.

"This one is a genuine case of the baby being dead when the body went missing," hospital officials have claimed.

According to sources, the police had to be summoned after the mother went berserk demanding to see the body.

In the aftermath of what is believed to be a foul-up, the chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Littleton 'Tanny' Shirley, told The Sunday Gleaner that he has commissioned an investigation into the incident.

Investigation ordered

According to Shirley, he will not be in a position to comment on the matter until he has the report in hand. He also confirmed that he has communicated the matter to Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson, while the police have been called in.

"I have asked for a full investigation on the matter. I don't want to comment fully on it because the mother is not even fully conscious. I don't want them (family members) to hear details in the public domain before a proper investigation takes place."

Shirley told The Sunday Gleaner that he expects a comprehensive report on the incident to be on his desk this week.

The matter has triggered memories of the high-profile missing 'Baby Pansy' case of 2002. Her body was never located.

The mother, Pansy Campbell, was transferred from Lionel Town Hospital in Clarendon to the Mandeville Regional Hospital to deliver her child.

The hospital reported 10 days later that Campbell's baby had died, but months of searching failed to locate the body.

Even when the hospital produced bodies, successive DNA tests showed that none belonged to Campbell.

The state settled with Campbell out of court.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com