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Victim ‘blind,’ scared to even come off bed

Monday, June 4, 2018
Relatives dispute reports of hospital death
Chaitram Maharaj

Relatives of 50-year-old Chaitram Shane Maharaj are now disputing reports that he jumped to his death from the second floor of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, on Saturday. Saying Maharaj was blind, relatives said yesterday that they intend to have a second autopsy done and to seek legal advice.

His nephew Amir Khan, in an interview with Guardian Media, said last Tuesday his uncle complained of sudden severe blurred vision. On Thursday, Maharaj was taken to the hospital and immediately warded because the cause could not be determined, as he was not suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes. Khan said when relatives visited Maharaj the next day he was scared to come off the bed, as he could not have seen anything at all.

“He wanted to use the bathroom but he was frightened to come off the bed so we had to lift him and help him find his way to the bathroom,” Khan said.

Khan said he was therefore totally baffled by the fact that his uncle would have been able to leave his bed and jump to his death given his condition.

He said on Saturday the doctors called in the family.

“The hospital called my aunt, carried her in a room and told her that when someone drinking and they stop that they react and my uncle started to react violently, so they restrained him on the bed.

“But two months he didn’t drink alcohol because he was staying by my aunt and she is a strict Christian and she does not allow that,” Khan said.

Khan said later on the family was told his uncle was able to free himself, walk past the nurses’ station and jump to his death.

“That is impossible because he cannot see. How would he be able to make himself quiet there and knowing he was scared to even come off the bed the day before.

“We asked the nurses and they said they don’t know anything. So I told her there must be a handover and she should have been informed. She said no and they told us to come off the ward,” Khan said.

Khan said his uncle was a mechanic who loved life and never showed any suicidal tendencies.

In a press release on Saturday, North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) CEO Davlin Thomas had said the patient had a history of addiction.

“I can’t give details about him for a number of reasons, but he became violent and eventually just jumped from the second floor,” Thomas had said.

The NCRHA said it was working closely with the police to locate a next of kin and thus was unable to release any further details of the incident.

The NCRHA said later in a statement it was saddened over the death of one of its patients.

“Our quality department is conducting an investigation into the incident. As the facts of the investigation are gathered, further information will be shared with the media,” the statement said.

But Khan yesterday said the family was further traumatised by this statement, saying, “The NCRHA is blatantly lying. All the time they have been calling us, so how they lying and saying they are trying to locate the next of kin? We brought him in and they took our information and contact.

“They are portraying my uncle to be an alcoholic with no family. Why are they lying? Unless it’s something more and they are covering up.”

Khan said when he requested a copy of the CCTV footage from the hospital he was told the cameras were not working.


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