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May 11, 2011

Mother of stillborn devastated that fetus was discarded

Dilma Cano is the young mother from Sittee River who was referred to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan for emergency care when she began having complications with her pregnancy. Twenty four hours after her admission to the hospital on April twenty-ninth, Cano delivered a stillborn after twenty six weeks of pregnancy. But if that wasn’t painful enough, she was later to discover that the stillborn had been discarded in the garbage. On Tuesday she spoke to us by phone, but today we met her face to face in Belmopan. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The heartbreak of finding her stillborn amongst the rubbish inside this garbage trailer hours after searching the morgue where it was supposed to have been stored prior to being given a proper burial is an emotional blow this first-time mother is still coming to terms with.

Voice of: Dilma Cano, Mother of Stillborn

“It’s hell.  I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m disappointed.  It’s hard to describe exactly what’s going on.”

Thirty-three year old Dilma Cano was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan from Sittee River Village on April 29th after experiencing complications during her pregnancy.  An emergency c-section was performed a day later but even with the surgery she had a miscarriage.  Cano’s ordeal was compounded when the hospital staff discarded the fetus in a heap of trash despite a request to have it laid to rest.

Voice of: Dilma Cano

“They’ve been trying to sweet talk to me and continue apologizing and truthfully I see no positive result [coming] out of all of this but I still have hope that something will be done to the person or persons responsible.  And I pray that women out there hear this and be on the alert and if it has happened to another human, another mother that she should come out and say yes it happened.”

The slip-up has forced the Ministry of Health to do damage control in an effort to save face.  On Tuesday, Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts issued a statement on the matter via press release.  He says: “This is the only incident of this nature that we are aware of at this institution.  Administrative actions have been taken within regulations while steps have been identified to strengthen the procedures to prevent reoccurrence.”

Voice of: Dilma Cano

“It’s a press release and they’re trying to recover from all of this themselves.  They don’t want any negative image being nailed on them and if it was not a systematic error and it was one individual error then it should be easy to get to the bottom of it right away.  How hard can it be to pinpoint “oh this is where the problem was, [where] it started and where it’s going to end.”  How hard can it be?  I don’t know why it’s taking so long and I hope they do conclude right, well I wouldn’t say right away but soon and they should stop running around and making things look pretty.”

For her part Cano has been advised to take legal action in the matter.  It is a thought, she says, that is being considered.

Voice of: Dilma Cano

“I haven’t made up my mind so I cannot really answer you anything when it comes to that section of this problem.  I mean everybody is giving me opinions, giving me their side of the story and their point of view and truthfully I’m just trying to take one thing at a time.  It’s hard enough to try to make peace with God and yourself and it’s another thing trying to come out front and let everybody know what’s going on with you and now I’m trying to deal with “okay they’re making an investigation [out of it], I need to know what’s going on.  I need to know the conclusion and I haven’t dealt with that section to jump to the other section which should be should I or should I not take legal action?”

News Five attempted to get a comment from the administrator at the Western Regional Hospital earlier but we were told that she was not in office and will not be for the remainder of the week. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

According to Cano, she is still awaiting the official results of the investigation that the Ministry of Health says it’s undertaking.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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16 Responses for “Mother of stillborn devastated that fetus was discarded”

  1. rod says:

    michael pitts should be fired for having failed at his job if i were you cano id sue him the hospital and the gov. for having incompetent people running the hospitals sue them for millions this is uncalled for worse story i have ever heard of even worse that all the 326 murders that have occured in belize since this gov took over i hope you sue them for every one cents in the gov. coffers. saddest story i have ever heard this gov. never seems to stop amazing me in every corner of this gov. there is eighter corruption or incompetence.

  2. Elgin Martinez says:

    Who knows what happened when this young lady gave birth to her baby.It wouldn’t be surprising to me that this baby might have died as a result of malpractice by these incompitent Nurses and Doctors at this hospital.Kudos to Dilma Cano for bringing this story out.This facility and every other medical facility in the Jewel need to be investigated.These idiots need to be held responsible.They think that everyone living in the Jewel is stupid and don’t know their rights.If i was Dilma Cano i sue the F out of you all.Shame on the Department of Health for trying to cover up such heinous action by the staff at this facility.

  3. belizeanpride says:

    sue the hospital and period make them learn a lesson to act like profesionals not like amatures.

  4. i told you so says:

    how can a wire man run the ministry of the wire man, the english man and dr. pitts for covering up for them

  5. Sasha says:

    Cano, don’t wait till the investigation is over, sue them right away because they will come up wih the same story they are sorry and took care of it. Do not settle out of court either, let these SORRY PEOPLE pay you for pain & suffering, who knows if the baby was really STILLBORN. These people are in this type of PROFESSION should be PROFESSIONALS/COMPASSIONATE but they are just their for the MONEY,

  6. The Educated One says:

    First of all, Fire ALL the individuals involved in the discarding of the fetus. Next, the hospital should be held financially responsible so the Patient should be awarded some money! While all of this is being accomplished, the policies and procedures need to be reviewed, rectified and adhered to.

    This incident is UNACCEPTABLE.

  7. CEO says:

    This is so bad and embarassing and should have never happened and as the press release says it should never happen again. Ms Cano has a right to be hurt and should be compensated fully for pain and suffering but let’s think before we start getting too crazy and start firing personnel!

    They are still cutting off the wrong leg and taking out the wrong body part in America and they have been doing this beter then us for much longer. Now this does not make it right but if these situations can occur in the “First” world then…Belize has a long way to go yet so let’s start from this point and make the necessary changes.

    The level of care Belizeans receive in Belize FREE OF COST is not available in the US. What I am saying is a certain level of care is available in the US but not for free! If you do not have the money or the coverage you will be left to die! While everone gets attended to in Belize regardless (national health care).

    Let’s fix what we have and move on!

  8. Carr says:

    To hell with saying that it is a systematic errorr!!!!!!!!!! This is a life…how can you not be careful with see what you are doing. What was wrong with the person that actually had the guts to put the baby in garbage. hellooooooo what that person drunk? high from drugs? what kind of people do this government have working in the hospital. How can we trust anyone in the hospital when serious mistakes like these are actually happening.

  9. sue says:

    Let me say this… First of all the staff have no kind of “PR” I’ve notice when women are having babies they treat them like s^%^%# .at night u hear them laughing and chatting and making a lot of noise .. when u call for assistance they then want to lash u if they could …so then what di hell they are there for… i have experience that ….we have all kind of nurses Cuban belizean they feel upright in their uniforms but their brains are blank……..I think ministry should put great effort into this , we don’t want talk we want action……and you know if many women who are reading this and have had this experience will agree ! Another things nurses like to tell the woman when they are in pain “when u di do it i no hurt, so teck u licking” yes those are the same words we get insult instead of comfort…… lady sue them cause of negligence my first born died too!
    but i was foolish not to report it ITS TIME WOMEN STAND FOR UR RIGHTS!!!!!!!

  10. Earl Grey says:



  11. NATURAL MYSTIC says:

    i think it is wrong that people are trying to cover up this crime but all these ridiculous comments about politics drive me crazy one because if u put in the other party they do the same damn thing………….. Belizeans are so stiff headed they only vote RED or BLUE……they are never open to change….Dr. Pitts is the Director of Health Services but this was an individual act this wasnt his doing…..He should tho!!!!!!! take necessary actions and have that individual fired and any individual who is negligent when it comes in the line of treatment of patients at hospitals…..Because it is true that there are some Nurses and Doctors that treat you like animals and they are only in it for the money….however more people need to come and speak out about the treatment towards patients by Doctors and Nurses……..

  12. sweetie says:

    What if dah di woman throw it away!! who knows maybe da croc tears she di cry!!

    Guys we all know we have some facey and selfish employees at the hospital but the people in charge of the morgue section and so on have been there for years i really don’t think they could have made such mistake worst with a new born!
    I got pregnant for the very first time i had a miscarriage my baby was six months and the first thing the nurses and the people from the morgue did was prepare my baby’s body immediately so i cud burry it! right at the Belmopan Hospital!
    am not trying to justify them but right so how we have silly nurses and doctors we have stupid and selfish cold blooded people!
    I smell something fishy and it’s definitely not coming from the hospital side!

  13. ANY says:

    O come un administrater is hideing it dos’nt want to face the problem,Mrs cano ,go and take legal actions now ,or tomarrow it will be to late.

  14. Wala says:

    @ sweetie : Right on sista , lady conscience must the bother her. Or maybe they just tek the fetus fi wa big Charley price !!!!!

  15. asdfj says:

    Is that a polo shirt?

  16. Broken Mom says:

    laides: Sweetie and Wala
    I forgive you. I pray this does not happen to you.
    Sweetie, I am sorry you lost your child, my sympathies. And just like I forgive you both, I forgive the attendant who was on duty that fateful morning. I just pray that this world would be a better place and that people instead of thinking negative things should pray and ask that the world changes for the better not the worse.
    I am still dealing with the loss of my child. I miss her very much and I cry everyday. It’s until today that I got the courage to read the news of my ordeals. If any of you readers come across a woman who has lost a child – please give her a hug and say a tiny prayer for her and the family. God bless you Sweetie and Wala

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