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...Funeral to take place today

By Michelle Loubon and Anna Ramdass

Baby Simeon, whose head was cut open during a Caesarean section at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital on March 1, will be laid to rest today. The foetus was seven months old.

Quelly Ann-Cottle told the Express that she spent all of yesterday preparing for her son’s funeral and hopes to feel some sense of peace with his final rites.

Cottle said the baby will be buried at a Chaguanas cemetery where her father was laid to rest last year.

An autopsy conducted by Chunilal Ramjit at Mt Hope Hospital found that baby Simeon died from a laceration to the head which caused massive blood loss and hypovolaemic shock as well as prematurity with severe intrauterine growth retardation.

Cottle and her husband Emil Millington were of the view there should be a second autopsy but decided to proceed with laying their son to rest.

Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan said yesterday the family was free to seek an autopsy reading from abroad to allay their concerns.

He was speaking at the launch of the public volunteer programme at the Health Ministry’s Port of Spain office.

“Everybody likes second and third autopsies. We  have  faith in our people. They are professional  in their own rights. We have done all we can to  assist them. I think if they feel that way, it should be indicated to the authorities. Because as minister,  I have to stay out of it. 

“The Regional Health Authorities  (RHAs) are giving the counselling. So if she does have a problem I do think she could approach the counsellor and they will assist,” said Khan when asked about the family’s request for a second autopsy.

Khan added: “At the end of the day, the second autopsy may show the same thing, or maybe, they may have to do a third. It will prolong the results. What she can do is to take the results to another pathologist. If they have pathological slides and they want to check it out they can send it abroad and get a reading.” 

Asked if he said Cottle had 12 abortions, Khan said: “I would never say something about that.”

On March 12, Khan said he was seeking help from a foreign specialist in the independent probe into the baby’s death. 

Khan said he has been in negotiations with a top surgeon from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from London, who will be looking at “technique.”  He also said the Attorney General Anand Ramlogan will be assisting. 

Asked for an update, Khan said: “It depends upon the AG. The AG is doing the investigations.”

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