Keron Cummings, the father of the country’s first sextuplets, has one regret. He wished he had listened to the advice of some doctors and relatives and sent his wife overseas to give birth. “If I could do it all over again I would have sent my wife abroad,” Cummings told T&T Guardian as he broke his silence yesterday, expressing concern over the aftercare given to his babies.

And while both Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan and chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Dr Shehenaz Mohammed claimed everything possible was done to prepare for the babies’ arrival, hospital sources told the T&T Guardian conflict surrounded the consent form for the caesarean-section surgery. While the consent form is normal procedure for patients undergoing surgery, the T&T Guardian learned that one was drafted specially to distance the NCRHA from any potential medical-negligence lawsuit.

However, reliable sources said the consent form was revised because of resistance from some doctors, who described it as “not proper.” A T&T Guardian exclusive reported on Tuesday that local and overseas specialists recommended that expectant mother Petra Lee-Foon should be sent overseas to ensure the sextuplets received the treatment they required.

Concerns were raised after two of the babies — Kaelon Nasir and Paeton Christopher Lee — died from internal bleeding. The fifth-born of the sextuplets, Persia Meleigh, continues to battle with pneumonia. While he is thankful to the medical team who looked after his wife at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital, Cummings is upset with Khan and Mohammed.

He took Khan to task for reportedly suggesting close to $5 million worth of equipment was purchased for his babies. He is also annoyed with Mohammed for her comment that the survival rate among sextuplets was four out of six. “The hospital was short of equipment to begin with. We were concerned about the aftercare,” he said. “The Minister of Health promised us that everything would have been put in place.

“It is obvious that things were not put into place as we expected.” “In any case,” he pointed out, “even if $5 million was spent, it was not only to facilitate our children. That money was spent because the hospital was lacking that equipment to begin with.

Extracted From: Trinidad Guardian Newspaper
Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013


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