A Crane, West Coast Demerara woman died yesterday while giving birth at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH) and her family says her death could have been easily avoided had medical personnel followed protocol.
Kenya Alleyne, 28, of the Lot 296 Crane Housing Scheme, succumbed while undergoing a caesarean section at the WDRH. Her baby girl was delivered and is being kept at the hospital for monitoring.
Relatives said they were not notified of her death until sometime after 2 pm and they are peeved at the treatment meted out to the mother of three as hospital staff were aware that she was scheduled to undergo a C-section surgery but delayed it hoping she would deliver naturally.
“She attended two clinics, the high-risk clinic there at the hospital and the village one. She was healthy yet they keep her in pain since Wednesday checking to see how much fingers (dilatation) she at and telling her she ain’t ready yet,” her sister Roshana Alleyne told Stabroek News.
Kenya Alleyne’s delivery dates were between December 2 and 5 and she had been told by medical personnel at the clinics she attended that she would need a C-section. She was prepared for this having had the procedure when she birthed both her 9-year-old son and her 5-year-old daughter, her sister said.
On December 4, she checked into the WDRH after experiencing excruciating back pain. She was examined by nurses who told her that she was not ready for delivery. “She said the nurses kept checking her and checking her telling her she is only two fingers. She told and showed them her belly [the previous surgery scar] and told them they not suppose to do fingers but they still,” Roshana Alleyne said.
This went on for all of Thursday and a decision was made late Thursday that she would have the surgery yesterday.
Relatives said that up to yesterday morning, although in pain Kenya was doing well. She messaged her sister shortly before the surgery reminding her of chores to be done – feed and water the birds, take sweets for her 5-year-old’s party and purchase writing sheets for her 9-year-old son’s examinations.
Relatives waited for word of a successful surgery but none came. Instead, they received a call around 2 pm asking them to go urgently to the hospital. But when they got there, the treatment was “horrible”.
“They have no kind of protocol. [We] went to a nurse she say you have to check with the doctor; he said you have to go downstairs to some office and then a lady came and they still won’t say anything making it worse ,” Roshana Alleyne said.
“They don’t care about people’s feelings at all. [The doctor] say with a straight face ‘I am sorry’; what can sorry do?” she asked.
She said their mother collapsed when she got the news. Last night she was still in shock that her healthy 28-year-old daughter who she spoke with only hours before was dead. Her partner, Ronsdale Knight, who is mining in Region One, was unaware of the woman’s death up to last night as efforts by her family members to get word to him were unsuccessful.
Alleyne’s death sent shockwaves through her tightly-knit village. She was described as a “quiet stay at home girl” who loved family. “She…loved being with her children cooking for them taking them to school…she was always happy friendly and never had a problem with anyone,” her aunt said.
Her neighbour Helen (only name given) reminisced that “She would fill rain water and would call out Aunty Helen come and fill up because she knows that was what I drink. I look out she is with her kids working with them doing homework…”
A touching moment came as the reporter was leaving the yard when Kenya’s 5-year-old daughter blurted out: “If mommy alive must call back and tell me right?”
The family expressed concern for the woman’s children’s mental well-being, given that she was so close to them.
They said they will continue to call on government to do something to reduce maternal deaths. “This is what is happening and then you have government telling the people that they are trying to prevent maternal deaths. What lies! That a strong 28-year-old would go for something so normal and die,” her aunt said.