Sunday, February 18, 2018

Tributes, tears flow at Sasha's funeral


A MOTHER'S PAIN: Leela Ali, mother of Sasha Lysa Ali-Bisnath, cuddles her two granddaughters, two-year-old Solara Alysa, left, and newborn baby Siara Lysa Dalia, during Ali-Bisnath's funeral service in Freeport yesterday. Ali-Bisnath bled to death last week Friday, a day after baby Siara was delivered through a Caesarean section. See Page 3. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

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A FAMILY'S GRIEF: Kismat Ali consoles his wife, Leela, and son-in-law, Damien Bisnath, during the funeral service for his daughter, Sasha Lysa Ali-Bisnath, at their home in Freeport yesterday. Ali-Bisnath bled to death last week Friday, a day after baby Siara was delivered via Caesarean section. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

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As she said goodbye to her daughter yesterday, Leela Ali made a promise to protect her two granddaughters and raise them the way their mother would have wanted.

Her daughter, Sasha Lysa Ali-Bisnath, who died following a Caesarean section last Friday, was remembered as a person who held her family together.

She died a day after delivering a healthy baby girl, who was named Siara Lysa Dalia Bisnath. Ali-Bisnath and her husband Damien also have a two-year-old daughter, Solara Alysa.

An Islamic service was held at the home of Ali-Bisnath's parents at Calcutta No. 2 in Freeport. She was later cremated at the Shore of Peace cremation site.

Hundreds of mourners gathered to say goodbye to the 28-year-old mother and University of Trinidad and Tobago graduate.

Ali-Bisnath's body was dressed in a simple white shalwar and headpiece.

Her mother, Leela Ali, sat at her daughter's head and caressed her face, occasionally whispering into her ear. Her father, Kismat Ali, sobbed silently during the service, while her brother and only sibling consoled his parents.

Rossi Ali said he was wearing the blue T-shirt his sister bought as a gift for his birthday two weeks ago. "She was tired but she waited until midnight with me to open my present. I didn't know this was the last birthday gift my sister will be giving to me," he said.

Her husband, Damien, sat quietly and gazed at his wife's face.

Ali-Bisnath's baby girls remained inside the house during the service.

Leela Ali cried, "What am I going to tell these two children when they grow up? What am I going to do? But I promise you, Lysa, mummy will take good care of your babies. I wish God had taken my life and leave my daughter to take care of her innocent children."

Kismat Ali delivered a tribute to his daughter, saying, "The most difficult thing for a parent to do is bury their child. Lysa was born 16 months after her brother Rossi and there was a thin line separating these two. They were our sun and moon and now the moon is gone. Our best friend was Lysa, she was always there for us. She lived a rich, meaningful life. And she achieved fulfilment and happiness."

Ali said Ali-Bisnath loved her family endlessly and wanted to be a "stay-at-home mom" until her children were five years old.

Ali recalled the last moments he spent with his only daughter: "The baby was born at 11.30 a.m. on Thursday. Lysa was tired so we took Solara and came home to take a rest. But Damien and his mother never left her side. We went back around 4 p.m. and I pinched her cheeks. The baby was in the room and she started to discuss names. Then at 5.30 p.m. Lysa went into severe shock because of the loss of blood. From there on everything turned to mas."

The baby was delivered at the Gulf View Medical Centre in La Romaine. Ali-Bisnath was then transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital.

Her father continued, "The doctors at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) did a tremendous job. The staff at the ICU was fantastic. At 8.15 p.m. Lysa departed this earth. We were in shock. We looked at the flat lines in the monitors and no one said a word. We couldn't do anything to save my child. But she has left a legacy of her two children. We are no longer grandparents or uncle or neighbours. We are now parents. We promise not to spoil them, but we have to pamper these children and grow them up."

Leela Ali said her daughter was her best friend and companion. "A mother's love for her child will never end. It just grows and grows. We were like sisters," she cried.

Ali-Bisnath's brother-in-law, Brian Bisnath, said she entered their house and made it a home. "This past week has been like a bad dream. What can I say to Damien to comfort him?" he said.

Member of Parliament for Couva South, Rudranath Indarsingh, extended condolences to the family. "There is nothing I can say to the family to ease the pain but we all have to assist with the upbringing of these two children so they can make a contribution to society and the way their mother would have wanted," he said.

As Ali-Bisnath's body was being removed from her home for the last time her relatives screamed and several collapsed. Her mother held her stomach and called out to her daughter. "Lysa come back to me. Don't take my child away from me," she cried.

A second autopsy performed at Guides Funeral Home by pathologists Dr Hughvon Des Vignes and Dr Valery Alexandrov at the weekend found the Ali-Bisnath died as a result of coagulation and bleeding diasthesis post C-section.

The findings confirmed the results of the first autopsy performed last week Saturday at the SFGH mortuary by Dr Hubert Daisley.

South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) chairman Dr Lackram Bodoe said a preliminary report suggested that the medical staff at the SFGH did all within their power and mobilised all resources to keep Ali-Bisnath alive following her transfer.

The report was sent to Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan, who has promised to take action if negligence is found in Ali-Bisnath's death.

Ali-Bisnath's family have requested her medical notes from the nursing home and are seeking legal advice.