Hello, my name is Nicole Jackson. My fiancé Cornell Gunter and I decided to start our process of conceiving using fertility test sticks to be overjoyed when our family of four would soon be a family of five. We were overwhelmed with joy and happiness throughout my pregnancy and patiently waited to meet our beautiful baby boy, Cairo. On Sunday, April 18th, 2021 after arriving at Winnie Palmer Hospital our world took a turn.
Upon arriving at the hospital at 11:55 pm and checking in at 12am, I informed the nursing staff that Cairo has had minimum movement for the past 10 hours and that he passed meconium. For those of you who are unaware as to what meconium is, it is the early stool passed by newborns soon after birth but in some cases, the baby passes meconium while still in the womb which happens when the baby is under stress due to decrease in blood and oxygen supply. The clerk in the triage had the nerve to tell me “I’ve been getting a lot of folks whose babies aren’t moving lately” with no regard towards my worries or fear that something was wrong. So they told us to sit and wait, we waited for 25mins.
We go back to the triage around 12:26-12:30am and a nurse asks me what’s wrong to which I answer her “our child hasn’t moved in 10 hours and my discharge is Meconium. The nurse actually asked me “HOW DO YOU KNOW IT’S MECONIUM??“. Unfortunately, my judgement was questioned because I have no degree in the medical field. As a mother who has been carrying for almost 40weeks, I tried my best to express to the staff that I KNOW my baby is distressed. I was confident in saying so because my sister is a well-respected midwife, we have been consulting with her throughout my pregnancy and haven't been wrong about anything; when I explained to my sister what I was feeling at the time she confirmed my baby’s status. 15 minutes passed and the staff realized that it was indeed meconium so again, I stressed that my baby needed to come out immediately; it is now 2am, the nurse leaves the room then comes back. I pleaded that my baby needs to come out but they denied my request and said I needed to take a covid test first.
It is now around 2:35am, they FINALLY decide to hook a monitor up and proceed with an ultrasound. The nurse only checked and saw that our son’s head was down, turned off the machine and left the room. Moments later, she comes back into the room and says “The baby is in distress. We need to get you to labor and delivery” but first, we must wait for a bed. So, we waited. Upon arriving at Labor and Delivery instead of first checking on the baby, they decided to give me an IV. I asked the L&D nurse to move the IV to my hand or another place because it was causing discomfort. She then blew two of my veins and then tried to move the IV while it was inside my arm. I expressed to her how much it was hurting me so she got another nurse to do it. 3 women walk in, 2 young women and 1 older woman. One of the young women adjusts my IV and says “I don’t like to do this in front of an audience”, the nurses laugh and the older nurse says she would do it and succeeds.
The anaesthesiologist arrives and asks me to sit up to apply the epidural. I’m struggling to move because I've been diagnosed with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction). This is when the pelvic bone is separated and causes great discomfort when suddenly moved. After they applied the epidural, we asked “How is the baby?” Moments after just being told that the baby is fine, is when my world came crashing down. Alarms started going off, nurses started running in the room, yelling, and flipping me in bed. The staff waited 6 mins to page a doctor once they realized my baby had no heartbeat instead of paging immediately. Seven to eight minutes passed before Doctor James ran in. She grabs a baby monitor that goes inside to find his heartbeat (at that moment we found what they were looking for.) . Unable to find the heartbeat, she tried the audio monitor, but the cords were not connected to hear. She says ultrasound and within a split second of looking she screams “We got to go NOW.” Once in the O.R I remained awake throughout my C-section. I immediately knew something was wrong when Cairo was born because I never heard him cry. The doctor then walks up to us and says “Cairo doesn’t have a heartbeat. I am so sorry. We’re going to keep trying.” As they finished up my C-section the doctor came back and said, “We have a heartbeat, but Cairo went without oxygen to the brain for 8 mins which is a heavy blow and injury to the brain.” She then told my fiancé to take out his phone and take photos. Our son was then transported to NICU. I was bothered about billing and insurance before my child even made it safely out of NICU. I was disrespected by the staff and was even asked to pull the plug on my child that was fighting for his life.
After an outpour via all social media platforms, pleading for the CEO of the hospital to come see the condition that my son was in due to the negligence and incompetence of his staff. We were finally graced by the presidents David Strong and Kelly Nierstedt of the hospital as they watched my sweet Cario take his last breath in my arms as I held him for the first and the last time.The lack of protocol, urgency, negligence and incompetence of Winnie Palmer staff resulted in the passing of my sweet baby boy, Cairo. We will continue his fight and justice will be served.
We go to hospitals because we have been led to believe their top concern is to keep ourselves and loved ones safe/healthy. We are led to believe that they will successfully deliver our children and make the best decisions for the baby and mother. No hospital should give a “no answer” response with absolutely no remorse to blanket all their wrong doings .
We were excited to extend our family and start planning our dream wedding. Instead, I was released to plan our son's memorial. Picking up our son's birth certificate and death certificate at the same time broke my heart all over again.
I will not let my son’s life be forgotten and his pain will not be in vain.
We need answers and we need change. Change and justice for my son, my family and all women that had to endure similar pain due to the negligence that I have experienced at Winnie Palmer Hospital.
All donations will be going towards general expenses. If you are unable to help monetary but still wish to support us in our fight for justice please like and share our story with the hashtag #JusticeForCairo. Thank you in advance for all the love and support. Our family is forever grateful.
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