Headline — 20 June 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Did Baby Zayden die in hospital morgue?

Grandmother is convinced he didn’t die at birth; Health Ministry says he was stillborn

A distressed family from Blackman Eddy Village is presently doing their best to understand the puzzling circumstances surrounding the death of their newborn, whom doctors declared stillborn, but whose grandmother does not believe this was the case.

Allisha Bell, 17, and Marlon Reymundo, 24, went to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan on Saturday, June 7, for the birth of their first child, a baby boy. In this case, however, there was no happy ending because shortly after the young mother underwent a C-section to deliver Baby Zayden, they got the grim news that the toddler had been pronounced dead at birth.

Although saddened, the family acknowledged the loss, knowing the probability of such occurrences – that is, until the baby’s grandmother, Yolanda Molina, who is also the chairlady of Blackman Eddy, went back to the hospital’s morgue three days later and made a baffling discovery.

Today, she told Amandala that after the C-section was performed and the doctors had pronounced the baby dead, they brought the baby back to his parents, who accepted the doctors’ prognosis even though the baby closed back his fists after the father had pried open his hands three separate times.

Still believing the doctors’ declaration that the baby was stillborn, Molina explained, the couple gave the baby back to the nurse, who wrapped him in a blanket with both hands at his side and took him to the morgue.

According to the grandmother, she was frightened to see that on Tuesday, June 10, when she went to get the body ready for burial, she found the baby’s left hand over his eye and his left leg bent to the side.

That fact has led Molina to conclude that the baby may not have been stillborn, but probably went into a coma from which he had revived while in the morgue, but ended up dying due to the cold temperatures in the facility.

Upon making the observation, she immediately alerted the attendant and told him what happened, but he was at a loss as to how that could have occurred.

Molina, who is convinced that Baby Zayden died after being put in the morgue, subsequently made a report and lodged an official complaint to the Ministry of Health, who promised to look into the case.

At the completion of their investigations into the alleged irregularity early this week, the Ministry stated, however, that they were satisfied that due process was followed at the Western Regional Hospital and that the medical information supports the pronouncement that the baby was stillborn.

As for the baby’s mother, Molina mentioned that she has been left traumatized by the incident to the point where she experiences nightmares in which she hears the baby crying in her sleep and she wakes up screaming.

According to the Ministry of Health, a counseling team has also visited the 17-year-old mother to provide her with therapy, but so far we understand that has only happened once since the incident.

Today when we spoke to Molina, she told us that she had just visited the Ministry of Health, where she met with Ministry officials who were attempting to persuade her that her grandson was stillborn; however, she remains convinced that Baby Zayden – whose mother confirmed that he was alive before the C-section – died in the morgue.

(Ed. NOTE: We believe that the pictures of the infant – one taken when he was born, but before he was put in the morgue, and one taken when he was taken out of the morgue for burial, both of which were provided by the newborn’s grandmother – would afford readers the opportunity to decide for themselves whether it appeared that the infant was dead when he was placed in the morgue. Experience has taught us, however, that if we publish the pictures, even if they are not graphic, we risk public censure, even though the images have been on television news screens since Tuesday.  You access the pictures only if you wish to view them. CLICK HERE)

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