NATION

Mum Tells Of Loss Of Infant

Hadassah Baleilakeba was to celebrate her first birthday next Friday. On Wednesday January 17, Hadassah succumbed to the deadly Meningococcal meningitis disease. This was confirmed when the Fiji Sun sighted
22 Mar 2018 12:20
Mum Tells Of Loss Of Infant
Happier days ... Parents of Hadassha Baleilakeba, Tui Baleilakeba and Vaciseva Tagilala Wati, at their home in Vuci, Nausori. Photo: Selita Bolanavanua

Hadassah Baleilakeba was to celebrate her first birthday next Friday. On Wednesday January 17, Hadassah succumbed to the deadly Meningococcal meningitis disease. This was confirmed when the Fiji Sun sighted the death certificate for nine-month old Hadassah.

Shattered, her parent’s Tui Baleilakeba and 23-year-old Vaciseva Tagilala Wati relived the days leading to the death of their only child.

On Tuesday, January 16 at 10am, Ms Wati took her daughter to the Nausori Hospital after she was suffering from high fever.

She said her daughter was given medication and was told to wait for a while before she had her temperature taken for the second time.

“Her temperature (the second reading) was low again after the medication but one thing I noticed, she had diarrhoea.”

They were sent home at about 1pm.

In the bus, on their way home, Ms Wati said, her daughter vomited. They live in Vuci, Nausori. At around 4pm, the parents noticed a small purple rash on her stomach.

“When I saw the rash, I thought she got burnt and that time my daughter was very weak and was unable to move.”

At 6pm, her temperature was again very high. She was taken to Nausori Hospital for the second time. By then, Ms Wati said they had observed two rashes on her stomach and above her left eyebrow.

At around 6.30pm, Hadassah was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) ward at the CWM Hospital, which was a15-minute ride away, she said.

“At PICU ward, we were asked to wait while my daughter was wheeled inside. After at least 10 minutes we were allowed to check on her. The doctor warned us beforehand that my daughter was not the same as when we brought her in,’’ Ms Wati said.

“When we entered, her whole body was covered with the hideous rashes. She was in a coma and on life support.”

At 7.47am on Wednesday, January 17, Hadassah was pronounced dead. She died at nine months and two weeks old. According to Ms Wati, her daughter is believed to be the first to die from the disease this year.

The couple is still trying come to terms with the loss of their first and only child.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services national adviser for communicable disease, Dr Aalisha Sahukhan said there had been four confirmed deaths due to meningococcal disease this year.

  • Meanwhile, at a Ram Naumi event in Waituri Road, Vuci, Nausori, last night, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said three students from a boarding school in the province had been diagnosed with the disease.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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