Sibratee Boodram in better days

KEVON [email protected]

Five days after retired Petrotrin estate police Chabindranand Boodram pleaded for someone to save his wife of 42 years, she died awaiting surgery.Sibratee Boodram, 62, died around 2 am at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH), mere days after her family learned that what doctors first diagnosed as a benign pituitary adenoma turned out to be a deadly neuroendocrine tumour in her brain.

Boodram told Guardian Media that a few days ago, doctors told the family that her condition was grim and gave her two to three months to live. However, Boodram heard that she died from a heart failure and was awaiting confirmation from his daughter. Although doctors at a private hospital advised that she needed surgery, Boodram said the doctor the SFGH refused to operate. “I do not know why they could not do it. The man said he was not doing it because it was not an adenoma and if he went in, she could go into a coma,” Boodram said. During a visit to the optician last September, Sibratee began experiencing double vision in one of her eyes. They followed the optician’s advice to see a specialist physician, who referred them to the SFGH. Boodram said doctors carried out tests and found the adenoma in Sibratee’s pituitary gland, which caused pressure to a blood vessel, resulting in her impaired vision. Weeks later, doctors operated to remove the adenoma, but Boodram said it was unsuccessful because the tool they used to go through the nasal pathway could not break the adenoma. He said the doctors said it was too hard, and they would have to do another surgery. He said in the following weeks, they scheduled surgeries three more times, but postponed each. The reason was that there were more urgent surgeries and the department could only do one surgery per week because of COVID-19. Following the surgery, Sibratee could no longer walk and often fell ill and unconscious. Chabindranand said he applied for the medical notes from his wife’s surgery, but the hospital cannot find them.

He reported his issues to the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) complaints desk and wrote to the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, but without success. He said the last excuse he got from the hospital was that the surgeons need equipment, which the State has to purchase. The SWRHA has since initiated an investigation into Boodram’s claims. He said the surgery and post-operative care at the private hospital cost over $450,000, which he does not have, especially having already spent thousands of dollars on laboratory tests. With Petrotrin closing down in 2018, retirees and their families no longer have access to the Augustus Long Hospital.