A family is seeking answers even as it struggles to come to grips with the death of its loved one – Laynia West of Linstead in St Catherine.
The 21-year-old, who is said to have struggled with a mild form of sickle cell, died at Kingston Public Hospital shortly before dawn on Tuesday, July 5.
That’s a few hours after she was transferred from Linstead Public Hospital.
Her mother, Tayeen McLean-West, recalled taking her daughter to Linstead Public Hospital on Sunday July 3 after she woke up experiencing a painful crisis associated with sickle cell.
McLean-West said her daughter’s condition deteriorated rapidly over the two days she spent at Linstead Public Hospital.
She has placed the blame squarely at the feet of the facility’s medical personnel, whom she accused of negligence.
McLean-West claimed that her daughter was languishing at the hospital in Linstead until one caring nurse, who was not there previously, showed up and immediately recommended the transferred to Kingston.
According to the mother, the transfer had to be delayed for at least five hours because no ambulance was available to have it done.
An ambulance finally arrived and took West to Kingston, but she passed away shortly after reaching there a few hours after midnight.
The mother is contending that her daughter’s life could have been saved if the hospital in Linstead had a second ambulance and if the medical staff had been more caring.
The autopsy report shows that the cause of death is heart failure. It also noted that West, at the time of death, had sickle cell and that she suffered severe anemia.
Her mother, still trying to make sense of all that happened, is not ruling out taking legal action against the administrators of Linstead Public Hospital.
She claimed that she went to the hospital to make an initial complaint, but workers there frustrated her attempt.
When The Beacon contacted Linstead Public hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Camile Wallen-Panton she declined to comment on the particular case. She noted that she was not in a position to comment because the family had not lodged a formal complaint.
In the meantime, the mother described her daughter as promising, adding that she attained a total of 13 subjects at Dinthill Technical High School when she was in fifth and sixth form.
Before enrolling at Dinthill, the late West attended Linstead Primary and Stony Hill Primary Schools.
She worked at Berrydon Financial Services in Linstead for just over a month and was on the verge of singing a model contract. She also did photo-shoots for Product of Jamaica Magazine.
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