Ashmoon Khan, the distraught mother of WPC Anisa Khan, 35, who died from COVID-19 ten days after giving birth to her third child via C-section, said hours before she died, her daughter asked, “Mum, am I going to die?”
Without thinking twice, both Ashmoon and her husband, Ramnarace Dwarika, Khan’s stepfather, replied, “No, you’re not.”
Since her passing, however, Ashmoon and Dwarika have blamed the doctor who advised that Khan be intubated at “too late of a stage.”
Ashmoon told Guardian Media yesterday that she strongly believes the timing of the intubating was wrong. She felt that if they were told of the procedure and what it entailed earlier, they would have been able to convince Khan to agree to it earlier, which probably would have saved her life.
Khan, after having the C-Section at the Women’s Hospital in Mount Hope on September 2, was transferred that same day to the ICU at the Couva Hospital without getting a chance to see, hold or even breastfeed her newborn child.
Ashmoon said she spoke to her daughter at 11.45 am on Sunday and by 4.30 pm, she was contacted by the doctor and told Khan passed away at 3.30 pm, after she was eventually intubated and had suffered a cardiac arrest.
“They wanted to intubate my daughter and she was not in agreement because she was not sure of what it entails, but every day they would tell us they may have to do that and then they explained as to why it would have to be done. We were trying to trust what they were saying to us. So, yesterday morning (Sunday) when I spoke to my daughter and my husband, and I spoke to her as to what they were saying about the intubating, she said OK, she will agree,” Ashmoon said.
She disclosed that since the day Khan was admitted to the ICU in Couva, she was not happy with the treatment and didn’t know what medication they were administering to her.
Khan’s stepfather Ramnarace Dwarika, who considered Khan to be his own daughter, said in light of Khan’s death, he is planning to start a support group for families that have been through the same experiences.
“The ministry just have hotlines for people over phone. I have been in the counselling business for 20 years to know otherwise, but we have to have a platform where people could meet each other, to hug each other and to cry and give the much-needed support,” Dwarika said.
Dwarika called for a commission of enquiry into COVID-19-related deaths, as he alleged that there could be instances of medical negligence.
“You know what’s the hardest thing about this, Anisa asked her mum if she was going to die and of course we said no you are not going to die, only to find out minutes after they called to say she had passed away. Even her death has taken our faith because we were praying for her recovery when we got the call that she passed. So even God comes up for scrutiny right now,” he added.
Khan, who was last assigned to the Cunupia Police Station, was the 14th police officer to die from COVID-19.
Acting Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob has extended condolences to the family and colleagues of Khan.
Jacob assured that counselling will be offered to her colleagues and close relatives through the TTPS’ Victims’ Support Unit.
Jacob urged all police officers to be vaccinated, especially those on the frontline who are involved in confrontations with members of the public and who carry out interviews.
He said, “I understand that some officers because of reasons, would not be able to be vaccinated but those who can please go to the sites and get your vaccinations.”
A release issued by the T&T Police Service described her as determined, willing and always helpful.
“She continually strived to do her best and was a person you could depend on for anything. She was loving and caring both at home and at work,” the release said.