Her granddaughter died in desperate circumstances in 2006 and she feels she was victimized by its administration. Former Nurses’ Aide Shawn Lemoth attended Thursday’s demonstration organized by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) as well as the press conferences and is not satisfied with the hospital’s explanation of its handling of the deaths of 13 babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She believes it could have been prevented. Ms. Lemoth worked at the hospital from 1998 to 2009, the last three years at the NICU after being moved from the General Surgical Ward. Her granddaughter Kimorah Leslie, just shy of two years old, died while the then-administration wrangled over who was to blame. She believes that she was transferred as payback for her speaking out and blaming the hospital for her granddaughter’s death, but worse was to come, as she saw an incident she could not ignore and reported it. Here is her account.
Shawn Lemoth – Former Nurses’ Aide:
While I worked at the NICU I witness a lot of neglect. For four years I tried to get somebody to hear my case, and nobody no hear my case. But now that the babies start to die, people stop to hear.
I came to work the evening shift. When we came to work the evening shift, the manager from the morning shift told the nurse in charge of the evening shift to give the baby a unit of blood. But she never give it till the morning. So we looked for the blood to give the baby, but we couldn’t find the blood. So about six hours after we find the unit of blood in dirty clothes. I went to report this matter to the Infection Control, and Infection Control get vexed because I report to them about the unit of blood, and how when they find the blood they still give it to the baby. Infection Control gone and talk about me, report me to my unit managers.
But her complaint was ignored and she believes the individuals in question conspired to get her terminated, while she was on sick leave in May of 2009. She has since been fighting to get her benefits package from the hospital and even took the case to court, but it was struck out. She insists she wants justice for herself and the babies who died.
Shawn Lemoth – Former Nurses’ Aide:
The main reason I’m here is because I want my benefits to be paid to me.
Injustice has been done to me and I want to be treated fairly, because I haven’t got my increments. I was given three days to respond why I shouldn’t be dismissed, when I was already dismissed on the 11th of May, 2009, while I took my sick leave.
I took it to an attorney. The Mayor Darrell Bradley struck out my case, unbeknown to me.
He represented the KHMH Authority and he struck out my case, before I even get a break to say anything.
Lemoth told us that there was a specific chain of command for the nurses, who reported to the unit manager who reported to the pediatricians who reported to the medical department and so on, but claimed there was fierce competition within the unit resulting in backstabbing and conflict. Today, we got comment from KHMH public relations officer Sheena Garnett, who stated that Ms. Lemoth is free to come in and speak with the administration on the matter and had an opportunity to do so after the May 22 press conference which she attended but did not do so. As for the progress of the current investigation into the NICU deaths, Ms. Garnett assured PLUS News that the hospital has nothing to hide and that the results of the investigation, now spearheaded by the visiting specialists from the Pan American Health Organization, will be released “in raw detail” to the general public when they are finalized.