NATION

Switched At The Morgue: Family Presents Traditional Apology To Mother Who Lost Baby

Because of the mistake, Mr Railotu visited Mrs Vulase and her family at their Siberia home, Labasa to say sorry in the traditional way.
30 Jan 2020 12:18
Switched At The Morgue: Family Presents Traditional Apology To Mother Who Lost Baby
Sofia Kayaga showing the documents she will take to a lawyer in Labasa. Photo: Shratika Naidu

A traditional apology was accorded to Katarina Vulase who lost her eight-month-old baby girl last week at Labasa Hospital.

Mrs Vulase’s baby was given by a hospital morgue staff to Iakobo Railotu who went to collect Valeria Rakai’s baby.

Because of the mistake, Mr Railotu visited Mrs Vulase and her family at their Siberia home, Labasa to say sorry in the traditional way.

He explained it wasn’t his fault to have Mrs Vulase’s baby buried without her knowledge.

“My niece, Mrs Rakai was admitted at Labasa Hospital after she delivered her six month old baby girl last Wednesday,” Mr Railotu said.

“The baby died within an hour or so on the same day.

We conducted the funeral last Friday even though my niece was in the hospital.

“When I entered Labasa Morgue the staff had already placed the baby on the table for me to take for the burial preparation,” he said.

“Since it was a premature baby we couldn’t recognise it or know it could be someone else’s baby.”

They carried out the funeral near Bouma Settlement in Labasa.

“Later my niece told me that her baby was still at the morgue,” he said.

“We decided to seek apology from Mrs Vulase because we understand a mother’s love and loss.

“Her parents accepted our sevusevu so now we will bury our niece’s baby tomorrow (Friday).”

Mrs Vulase’s sister-in-law, Sofia Kayaga confirmed they had accepted Mr Railotu’s apology.

“When we went to the Labasa Morgue last Saturday to prepare our baby for the funeral we found out that it was a different baby,” Mrs Kayaga said.

“We identified by looking at the size and height of the baby.

They enquired with the staff and were told that one Taveuni family had buried our baby January 24 (Friday) in Labasa.”

We reported the matter at Labasa Police Station because we want to know who’s at fault.

They have also sought legal advice to take further action.

Mrs Rakai, 25, who is still recovering from her loss, said she doesn’t know whom to blame.

“Katarina and I became friends at Labasa Hospital since we both got referred from Taveuni Hospital,” Mrs Rakai said.

“We have received the clearance from Labasa Police Station this week,” she said.

Edited by Percy Kean

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