FATAL BITE: Faith Henry

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Child dies of scorpion sting

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin

A TODDLER stung by a scorpion died after her parents said three health institutions were unable to administer medication that could have saved their daughter's life.

Young Faith Henry died last Friday morning, hours after the poisonous scorpion venom entered her body.

Mother Nadraka Henry, 28, of Chatham Village, Point Fortin said around 10.45 a.m. last Thursday, she heard Faith screaming and rushed to her side.

She said an older daughter told her a bug had bitten Faith as she was putting on her dress.

Upon checking, Henry saw a scorpion in the child's clothes.

"I started to panic. I ran out the road and got a drop to the Health Centre in Chatham (Point Fortin)."

While there, Henry said, Faith started vomiting and was given three injections by medical personnel. She said they then had to wait for an ambulance to take them to the Point Fortin Area Hospital.

While at the second health institution, the mother said, Faith was attended to by doctors but after 40 minutes the child was transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital.

Faith, who was two years and ten months, died around 4 a.m. last Friday.

"I believe it was lack of medication, because they didn't have the antidote to administer to her, she died. The Sangre Grande and Princes Town hospitals are the only two that have the antidote for scorpion stings," an emotional Henry said yesterday.

She said arrangements could have been made with these institutions to get the medication for her daughter.

Father Noel Charles called on the Ministry of Health to "do a lot better than that".

Member of Parliament for the area Paula Gopee-Scoon extended condolences yesterday and said it was unpardonable and unacceptable that a rural health centre was not equipped to deal with such a circumstance.

Point Fortin Mayor Clyde Paul said he was disappointed by the news and action will be taken.

Chief executive officer of the San Fernando General Hospital Anil Gosine said yesterday an investigation has been launched.

"I am aware of it, I was told about it (Friday) evening but I asked that we do an investigation. I need to find out exactly what was the cause of it. I cannot say if they had medication or not, I need to find out. I'm investigating it."

Henry, who has five other children, is asking for assistance to bury her child and can be contacted at 329-0516.

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