Family years for answers on infants’ sudden passing

The mourning and distraught family of a two-months-old infant that suddenly passed at Motootua Hospital is yearning for answers on the passing of their dear baby.

According to the mother of the baby, Audrey Banse, her family is not accusing the hospital or so but they just want answers as the answers they received were confusing and not sensible.

“We are not accusing the hospital or anything but we just want answers as the whole process for our babys’ passing is confusing,” she cried.

“My babys’ facing is always lying in front of my eyes every day because I never expected something like this to happen all of a sudden and we’re not stopping until we’re certain of what happened to my baby.”

The deceased baby, Rosana Evelina passed away at the hospital on the 12th of August 2019 at 6.25 AM, time of death according to Rosanas’ death certificate.

However, what dismays the family of the infant was the different reports on the time of death stated in two certificates, the unsatisfying results of the postmortem, the language used by doctors, the irresponsive feedback from the doctors, blood test results and their suspicion on the injections in regards of prior similar cases.

According to Mrs. Banse, the doctors did not inform them of the postmortem as they were only told that there will be a postmortem conducted to investigate for the sudden cause of death.

“Four days later, a report from the Police stated that Rosana needs to undergo a postmortem. So we initially requested the Police for another way of investigating the cause of death because she’s only two months and postmortem is going to ruin her body,” she said.

“So we accepted it and when the Police arrived, they said starting from that time, we won’t see our babys’ face again until the investigations have completed.”

On the advice of the Police, the family was informed that the only way to stop the postmortem was to change the report.

At first, Dr. Tuese agreed but all of a sudden, he changed his mind saying he won’t change the report according to Mrs. Banse.

The postmortem still pushed through conducted on the 31st of August and after 20 days of yearning to see their baby again, the family was shocked to see the transformation on her face after her postmortem.

“I went inside and I kept telling them that’s not my baby because her face has gone black and hard and she looked like a doll and it was unacceptable and unbelievable,” she cried.

More painful for the Banse family was the unknown results of the postmortem after many days of waiting and praying for the postmortem.

On Sunday 11th of August 2019 before Rosana passed away, she was healthy, chubby and playing around her home with siblings and taking videos which she loves the most.

“She was very happy and playful around our house and around that time because it was the holiday, our family were planning to go on a picnic to relax,” Mrs. Banse said.

Early Monday morning, she suddenly lost consciousness while sleeping and was rushed to the hospital.

It was past five that morning and the doctors did what they usually do however, it couldn’t save Rosanas’ daughters’ life as she was declared dead at 6:25AM that morning.

A doctor named Martin Vaigafa who was an intern was the doctor that assisted baby Rosana that morning and did a report stating 6:25 as the time of death.

However, a senior doctor named Tanu Tuese assisted them afterwards with another report stating that the actual time of death was 6:29 am.

With this, the family is confused whether their baby was declared dead four minutes before she actually passed away.

“So they did their usual treatments and after some pumping, I heard someone saying 6.09 and kept pumping, a few minutes later I heard them again saying 6.14 and when they said 6.25 “Time of death”, Dr Tanu came out and informed us that they couldn’t do anything although they were still pumping her,” Mrs. Banse uttered.

After a few minutes of baby Rosana with her family after her passing, Dr Martin Vaigafa informed them that they have contacted the Police as such cases need corporations with the Ministry of Police

That same time, he also said a blood sample has been sent to the Lab for examinations which the family was looking forward to hearing from.

However, after following up with the Pathologist earlier this month, the family was pained to hear that no such blood samples have reached the pathology office at all.

While waiting for answers during that same period, the family was told that two other babies that also passed few weeks earlier faced the similar cases.

“We were told that two other babies were injected and after a few days they suddenly passed away,” Mrs. Banse said.

“My mind was far from suspecting any injections to be related to the cause of her death but when we were told to by Agabe that there were two other babies who had the similar cases, and have already passed away too, we started becoming suspicious.”

Rosana had her second injection called the Pentavalent 2 stated in the Health record and Immunization Tracker card, five days before she passed away.

According to Mrs. Banse, her family kept following up with the doctors together with the Police officers who also agreed that a postmortem shouldn’t be necessary.

However, Dr. Tuese had told the same response to the family that he will not change his report as its’ already in the system.

Crucially, the family is also not delighted with the language used by Dr. Tuese although he was not aware of its’ rudeness.

“We think he’s not aware that “mate” in Samoan language is a term to say to animals when they’re dead but he used that term regarding the death of our baby which was not acceptable and unbelievable but its' just an advice and a reminder,” Mrs. Banse added.

However, up till now, the family is still searching for answers for a certain answer as the cause of death for their baby.

Stated in Rosanas' printed death certificate for the cause of death is "Onascortaineel" but in the handwritten report is stating "Unascertained" which is also adding up to the familys' confusion according to Mrs. Banse.

Attempts to get a comment from the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Take Naseri was not successful as he said he needs to consult with the doctors involved in the case in response to questions by Samoa Observer.

The family said they will not stop until they get a certain answer for the cause of death for their baby.

"All we want are some answers and we will go farther and further if our baby doesn't get the results she deserves and there is no pointing fingers here we just want truthful answers," family yearned.

Attempts to also get a comment from the Ministry of Police was not possible.

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