Family decides not to sue over daughter's death

A family from Savai’i, who lost a 11-year-old child at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital last month, has decided not to go to court to sue health authorities for the death of their daughter.

An aunt of the deceased, Mele Sila, told the Samoa Observer in a telephone interview that nothing will come out of the family’s attempts to seek justice for their daughter.

She said her family members discussed suing the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) for medical negligence but acknowledged that it could lead to further investigations and delay their daughter’s burial.

“If someone was to say our poor baby was going to rise from the dead if we fight for her justice then why wouldn’t we?,” she said, while crying over the phone. “God knows and sees the truth to whatever happened. We thought that if we continued with this, it would be hard for us to get her body back for her funeral regarding all the investigations they’ll need to do so we turned to God and that’s the answer we got.”

Mrs Sila said her family has decided to move on from their daughter’s passing and they will try to forgive the authorities for what they believe allegedly happened to the deceased.

“We’ll just try to forgive whatever we believe happened, because at the end of the day we’re certain that she’ll be another beautiful angel looking down on us, and guiding our family through this scar engraved in our hearts.”

The distraught aunt also appealed to members of the public to respect her family’s privacy as they try to move on from their daughter’s passing.

“I thank everyone for their condolences and support but let’s make my poor baby’s remaining memories peaceful.”

A family member said the child went into cardiac arrest and a nurse administered an injection before she died later. A doctor in Savai’i initially diagnosed her with an enlarged heart which could lead to rheumatic heart disease, consequently she was referred to the national hospital for further checks. 

According to Mrs. Sila, her sister was with her daughter when she went into cardiac arrest.

“She told us that after the nurse did the injection, she slowly lost consciousness and died on that same spot,” she said.

The child was buried at her home in Sagone, Savai’i on May 16. 

Mrs Sila is the wife of the dead child’s uncle and was a mother figure to her for a number of years. The deceased was a student at the Sagone Primary School in Savai’i.

“She’s not one to socialise and she’s humble and is always obedient hence why I am so addicted to her,” Mrs. Sila said. “We just hope the Ministry of Health does not hide any truth they know as we have our own truth and God sees everything.”

Attempts by the Samoa Observer to get comments from the M.O.H. and the Police on the death last month were unsuccessful.

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