Taking home her newborn baby should have been expectant San Juan mom Crystal Carrington’s birthday gift to her husband Curt Goddard and herself.
But this was not to be, as Carrington’s baby girl, whom they had already named Olivia, died in the womb. And the couple now wants answers, since they believe negligence on the part of doctors at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, who sent her home twice the same day after she went to the hospital complaining she was ready to deliver, led to her unborn child’s death.
“Today is my husband’s birthday and August 10th was mine,” Carrington told Guardian Media yesterday.
The mother of three believes her baby’s death could have been prevented if she hadn’t been sent home by doctors twice within hours last Thursday, although both times she told them she was in pain, bleeding and believed she was ready to deliver.
“From the Thursday night it was just pain, pain, pain and plenty mucus was coming out,” Carrington said.
However, she said doctors told her she wasn’t ready to deliver and sent her home. She said she was told not to return unless her water bag burst or her bleeding became heavier.
Carrington said she was given a letter to return to the hospital on Monday but after experiencing a high fever on Saturday and no movement from her baby, she knew something was wrong. Her family took her back to the hospital on Sunday morning. At that point, medics burst her water bag, an ultrasound was performed and she was told the baby had no heartbeat.
“I was in shock because from the beginning of my pregnancy everything was good,” Carrington said.
She said the doctors told her that the baby had died since Friday and she may have gotten an infection. But she believes the doctors are now playing the blame game and wants them to take responsibility, maintaining this could have been avoided.
“I would like them to take their wrong and stop placing blame on me. They was supposed to keep me, this could have been avoided, no doubt about that,” Carrington said.
The couple also experienced a miscarriage earlier this year and with the death of baby Olivia, father Goddard said he doesn’t want to put his girlfriend in such a situation again. “When he found out he started to cry one time, started wiping his eyes,” Carrington said.
Carrington said besides the physical pain which she still experiences, the emotional pain can at times be unbearable.
“It breaks my heart to throw away my baby’s milk,” she said.
But she’s not the only one in her family who is hurting, as she said during a family discussion about the incident on Tuesday her eldest daughter started crying and her youngest still thinks she’s going to be a big sister.
“My five-year-old still rubs my belly and calls Olivia,” Carrington said.
Carrington said she was also disappointed at the way doctors treated her after her daughter’s death.
“They left me in the labour ward for five hours after I delivered my baby, so I had to listen to several babies being born even though mine was dead,” she claimed.
She said when she couldn’t take the emotional pain anymore she called the doctor and asked to be moved from the ward. She said she also wasn’t pleased with the doctor’s response to her baby’s death.
“She tell me she real sorry about that and she hopes my family don’t cuss her too much,” she said.
She said doctors later met with her and Goddard and told them they were sorry about the way things happened.
“They told me if they could turn back time and do things differently, they would,” Carrington said.
Contacted yesterday, North West Regional Health Authority CEO Terron Gilchrist confirmed Carrington was a patient at the hospital and that an investigation had been launched into the case and the findings would be revealed to the family. Gilchrist sent his condolences to the family and said the mother was also offered counselling.