Justice came at warp speed for one family maligned by St Jude’s Hospital back in March this year. But the family of Samantha Atkins is still undergoing a painfully slow process, which is yielding more questions than answers. In February Atkins died hours after giving birth to twin boys earlier than expected. Something went horribly wrong, and less than a day after welcoming her newborns, Atkins was gone. Since then, relatives have been on a quest to find out exactly what happened on the operating table.
There appears to be a sliver of light being shone on the case. This week the deceased’s daughter Jeannique Edward and mother, Agatha Atkins, accompanied by Samantha’s brother, met with two doctors from the hospital. Edward said they were contacted by the officials for the sit down.
“They just wanted to know what was on the autopsy and all that. They showed us the signature where my mother signed the consent form.”
But despite the extension of this olive branch, Edward remains skeptical.
“What they’re trying and say is not really making any sense.”
Agatha is equally as suspicious. Especially after hearing the hospital’s findings.
“What I noticed is that they’re hiding something. They want to hide St Judes and the doctor. They said sickle cell killed my daughter. Our family never had sickle cell.”
She also shared some of the details that have started to emerge about her daughter’s ordeal.
“Dr. (Stephen) King didn’t say that’s what killed her. She bled to death. They didn’t monitor her on the Wednesday. As I always say, she didn’t go for an operation. She went for an ultrasound and observation overnight. And the doctor went and do what she did there. She did three operations. They said the first one went okay. Now the other one, she went and did a TL (tubal ligation). She didn’t go for a TL.”
The still grieving mother said she made it quite clear to the officials present at the meeting that she has several doubts about their account of the incident.
“I asked them for Samantha’s documents. We didn’t have them. And plus I wanted to see if Samantha signed for the operations.”
And as for those signatures? Well, that has now come into question as well.
“There’s one of them that does not look like hers.”
The family said that they did receive an apology from one of the doctors, and a promise that the hospital is “trying to do better.” But they are still seeking a resolution. Recently, they secured the services of attorney Vern Gill, who has already has his own meeting with the hospital.
Edward and her grand-mother’s time is split between seeking justice for Samantha and raising the two youngsters she left behind. The task has become more arduous now that their father has shirked his responsibilities as well. Even with limited means, they are pressing on.
“They’re okay,” said Edward. “They’re trying to crawl and they play and laugh.”
Agatha admitted that it really does take a village to raise a child. Or two.
“They’re holding on. What to do? People come and give milk, little donations, giving pampers, giving clothes.”
An effort was made to get a comment from hospital brass, but both Dr. Sylvester Francois and Dr. Cherry Poyotte were attending meetings. We can only assume that the Atkins matter was on the agenda.