Sunday, February 25, 2018

Too much for mom

Grieving Quelly Ann can’t finish Simeon’s eulogy


FAMILY MOURNS: Quelly Ann Cottle, her son Samuel, left, and daughter Ayeisha mourn at the funeral service of baby Simeon at Dass Funeral Home, Chaguanas yesterday. Baby Simeon died while Cottle was undergoing a Caesarean section on March 1 at the Mt Hope Maternity Hospital. See story on Page 5. –Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

Mark Fraser


Mark Fraser

Fragile like the flowers around him and smaller than the teddy bears in his coffin, baby Simeon looked like a doll as he lay peacefully in his coffin yesterday.

He died on March 1 after his head was cut open when his mother Quelly Ann Cottle underwent a Caesarean section at the Mt Hope Women’s hospital.

Dr Javed Chinnia has since been suspended.

A team comprising United Kingdom specialist Dr Melanie Clare Davies, neonatologist Dr Petronella Manning-Alleyne and retired justice Mustapha Ibrahim has been appointed by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to probe the baby’s death.

Baby Simeon’s funeral was held at the chapel of the Dass Funeral Home, Chaguanas yesterday where his mother Cottle and father Emil Millington said their emotional good-byes.

Cottle started reading her son’s eulogy but was unable to finish reading it as she broke down and wept.

“For months I kept wondering what my son would be like. His appearance, his personality, what joy he would have brought to my life as well as my family’s life. Night and day I felt pain, but I didn’t mind as I knew it would all be worth it after he was born. Sadly all my dreams and hopes for my son, Simeon came to an end in less than 24 hours,” said Cottle.

“Now I would never know what his laughter sounds like. As cheesy as it might sound I dreamt of hearing his amazing cry day or night, but I know that was just a dream that would never come through,” said Cottle.

“Every mother dreams of holding her child in their arms and embracing them with all that she has, but I cannot do that with my darling son Simeon,” said Cottle as she wept and paused.

Former government minister Verna St Rose Greaves, who was seated in the congregation, got up and went to Cottle and held her in support.

Cottle’s niece finished reading her prepared eulogy, “All my dreams of my child were shattered in a single moment. Months of wondering and now I would never come to know. I pray that this unfortunate circumstance will not befall any other mother or parent for that matter, because, trust me, it is very hard to deal with. Simeon, baby, no matter what, I would always keep those memories of those precious moments, those months in pain and joy with me to my grave,” she read.

“Like Michael Jackson’s song ‘Like a comet blazing across the evening sky, gone too soon, like a rainbow fading in the twinkling of an eye, gone too soon, dear baby Simeon, gone too soon. Rest in peace sweetheart and may God bless your tender heart son. Gone way too soon,” she concluded.

The service was presided over by Lloyd Cadogan of the Seventh Day Adventist church and who ministers at the prison chapel.

Cadogan said that Millington supported him by going into the prisons and ministering to the inmates and yesterday he was there to support him and his family with the loss of their son.

Cadogan said his sermon’s message was not for the dead but for the living as he urged people to accept Jesus into their life. He said the parents will see their son again once they keep Jesus in their hearts.

Both Cottle’s and Millington’s relatives attended the baby’s funeral. Many expressed shock at the sight of the baby’s tiny size and took photos with their cellphones.

Cottle’s youngest child Samuel looked on at his baby brother as another child said “the baby died’’.

An emotional Cottle hugged her five children as she looked at baby Simeon and said goodbye.

His father at one point held his head and wept for the son.

The funeral expenses were footed by the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) whose chief executive officer (CEO) Kumar Boodram attended the service.

Baby Simeon was buried at a cemetery in Longdenville, Chaguanas.