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Friday 23 August 2019
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Tobago mother cries for help after daughter’s surgery postponed

A Tobago mother is calling on Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and the Secretary of Health Wellness and Family Development, Dr Agatha Carrington, for assistance after doctors postponed her daughter’s plastic surgery to Thursday.

Sherise Taylor said after waiting two weeks in Trinidad, three hours after the surgery was expected to be done, the plastic surgeons told her the nurses refused to work past their shift and she would have to wait another six days.

“She was supposed to do the surgery for 11 am," she said. "She was ready on the ward. We were there till after 3 when the doctors came to us explaining they were ready to begin the surgery, their equipment were ready but the problem is the nurses working in the theatre said they are not staying at any late hour to wait on any patient coming out from surgery so they left and the surgery was cancelled.”

Taylor said when the surgery was expected, to begin the nurses stressed that their working hours are from 8 am to 4 pm and they are not prepared to work a minute more if the surgery isn’t finished by the time their shift is over.

“It was not 4 pm at the time, because they prepared her since 11 am to do the surgery, and the doctors didn’t come until after 3 pm."

Taylor told Newsday Tobago on Friday she had been waiting at the Eric Williams Medical Complex for surgery on her daughter’s leg after she was involved in a car accident on April 21.

Kherse Walker, 16, of Castara, suffered serious leg injuries after Trevon Bonas, 18, the driver of a Mazda 323 in which she was a passenger, lost control and crashed head-on into a metal railing om the westbound lane of the Claude Noel Highway near the Signal Hill traffic lights. The accident occurred around 1.30am.

When fire officers arrived on the scene the two had already been removed from the car and laid on the roadside. Bonas’ foot was severed and Walker suffered similar injuries. They were taken to the hospital and later airlifted to Trinidad for surgery.

Bonas received a blood transfusion and returned to Tobago. However, Taylor said she is growing frustrated at her daughter's lengthy wait. Taylor said her daughter was left in tears after being told she must wait another six days after being taken to Trinidad for emergency surgery.

“I was upset because they promised the surgery would be done and they had her prepared. The foot will not be amputated. Nothing has happened to the bones in her foot. It’s just her skin," said Taylor, explaining her daughter only needed a skin graft.

“This is overbearing. I am not from Trinidad, so I don’t know who to talk with to address this issue. I know if it could be done in Tobago we wouldn’t have this issue, but they don’t have any specialists in that area at Scarborough General Hospital.”

Taylor also complained about the inhumane state of the wards and poor customer service from hospital staff. “The staff at the emergency department are supposed to be cleaning my daughter's foot every day, but sometimes she is left with the dirty wound for hours before they can attend to her.

“If next week Thursday comes and they don’t do the surgery, what should we do? We don’t know what else to do in Trinidad. When we start to cuss and get on they will say we are disrespectful. We need help, please.”

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