By Marion V. Ali
Christopher Petillo and his 18 year-old common-law wife, Lucia Martinez are preparing, through an attorney, to file a law suit against the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for gross negligence that they say almost resulted in Martinez’ death after she gave birth to a baby girl at the hospital.
Petillo told The Reporter this week that the personnel who attended to Martinez’ delivery left a large piece of cotton gauze inside her vaginal canal on December 13, 2014 when she gave birth to their first child, baby Crystel Petillo. Three days later, the hospital discharged Martinez, who was unaware of the foreign object inside her.
Martinez started to grow seriously ill and her condition worsened with every passing day, with headaches, excruciating abdominal pain and fainting spells. It got so bad, Petillo said, that Martinez was unable to care for their newborn, and there was a sharp stench that began to emanate from her body.
The couple travelled to Teakettle Village, Cayo, to Petillo’s mother and on the Saturday after Boxing Day, Martinez, now weak and in tears, told Petillo that she couldn’t bear the pain anymore and asked him to check her to see if there was something causing her severe pains.
Petillo said he told Martinez to lie down and when he looked, what he saw shocked him out of his wits.
“I see wa piece ah cloth in my girl’s vagina and I start to pull it out and I realize dem people left this thing inside her at the hospital when she had the baby.”
Petillo said he washed his hands and pulled out what he described as a piece of cloth measuring about the length and width of a letter-sized typing sheet.
He said the cloth was heavy with blood and it stank so badly that it polluted the entire house. He said he has since secured it as evidence in a bottle with alcohol. Petillo rushed Martinez to the Western Regional Hospital for immediate treatment.
Irked by the incident and the thought that he almost lost his young wife and his baby’s mother at the hands of a careless team, Petillo said he and Martinez have tried to get an audience with the hospital’s officials to discuss the matter, but they have been frustrated in their attempts. Every time they go to the KHMH they find themselves unable to see someone who can address their concerns.
Petillo says he remembers the woman who attended to Martinez and does not wish to speak with her because he is still very angry over the incident.
He says he is suing the hospital for negligence and for the treatment that his wife now has to undergo to rid her body of whatever poisoning it endured.
Further to that, he is also suing the facility for damages caused to Martinez which have left her unable to conceive again for at least three more years. Their baby must also not breast-feed since she could be poisoned.