A four-year-old baby is dead, and her mother blames the social workers that took her away from home. Deriana Ah had been suffering from hydrocephalus, a disease that is presented at birth that causes a fluid buildup in the cavities within the brain. The condition causes a child’s head to swell, and stunts their growth, as well as their ability to see and talk. Since their brains are so fragile, accidents such as a fall can have fatal consequences. Such is the case with Baby Deriana. Reporter Courtney Menzies spoke to her parents and learned her story.
Courtney Menzies, Love News: Deriana Ah would have been five years old next month. The young baby, suffering from a disease known as hydrocephalus reportedly fell while in the care of social workers causing her young life to be tragically cut short. Her tearful mother, Adelia Ah was conducting a dollar drive in Belmopan about two weeks ago when she got the call that her children had been taken away. She has been fighting tooth and nail for days to get them back and she is adamant that if her daughter was left in her care baby Deriana would still be alive. Ah told us about the moment that she got her child back after the fall.
Adelia Ah, Mother of Deceased: “The social worker from Dangriga all she told me was that they kept in touch with the lady who is taking care of my disabled one. From there she told me to get ready 7 o’clock Tuesday to pick up my kids. So 7 o’clock she came to pick me up and we drove here to Belize and when we reached 3 o’clock in the evening the social workers from Belize spoke to me and told me that my baby swallowed one of her teeth and she fell down on the floor. So they told me they would pick up my baby but I will only get the disabled one and the two year old baby. So when I held my baby that is what I saw my baby was not in the condition I new my baby was in.”
Courtney Menzies, Love News: Even after she got her daughter back Ah stated some issues they were having. First it seemed that the baby had not been eating well in the social worker’s care. Secondly Deriana almost passed away on Thursday after she seemed to have stopped breathing, even turning purple. Ah took the child to the Southern Regional Hospital and then to Northern Plaza in Orange Walk. When she saw that Deriana was not eating again she took her to KHMH.
Adelia Ah, Mother of Deceased: “When I reached here they told me I had to get admitted- the neurosurgeon Andrew Vasquez the neurosurgeon for my baby, he told me that he couldn’t do anything with my baby. Before I left two months that he told me that I could not hit my baby’s head and that I could not do anything with my baby. So in my care my baby I took care of my baby. In the morning 4:30 my baby looked like she got a seizure and when I went to pick her she could not breath by herself, when she breaths from here [close to the neck] sinks in and she could barely catch her breath. Dr.Murrillo contacted me in a private room and he told me that my baby woundn’t make it and that she could pass away at any minute. Four hours in the room then Dr.Murrillo came to tell me that she started to breath by herself. So I went spoke to my baby and she moved her eyes. My husband arrived 4:30 and my husband went to speak to my baby and twenty minutes to six she passed away- she only waited for her daddy and then from there she just -“
Courtney Menzies, Love News: Deriana’s father Mathias Ah told us that he doesn’t believe that the social workers should have taken the child without first investigating their living situation.
Mathias Ah, Father of Deceased: “Apparently they just received a call stating that these kids were abandoned at home and if they had reached home and tried to see, or waited for them other or waited for the parent to reach home and then question the mother herself because even me if I am in a job like that and I see this baby bed ridden I wouldn’t have taken the chance of picking up this baby because what if this baby is broken up ? You can’t just jump to conclusions and say ‘well these kids are abandoned let me take them.’ My little baby, my daughter, if they didn’t drop her if they had taken proper care of her she would not have passed away. I spoke to her she doesn’t see, she doesn’t walk, she doesn’t talk but she can listen; she knows my voice.”
Courtney Menzies, Love News: Kaylia Nunez, Founder of the Belize Brain Awareness Society had been working closely with the family in order to help them treat the little girl. She told us that the mother was doing her best in taking care of her daughter.
Kaylia Nunez, Founder, Belize Brain Awareness Society: “Deriana had done six brain surgeries with shunts and the shunts all failed so she could not have gotten any more shunts but she had to be under care 24/7. Throughout the year the mother had been getting, she did a course to better off herself as well. We also did in home nursing for the child whereby the parent was taught how to take care of the baby and her ailments. The mother had been attending and getting multiple assistance through this organization. This lady literally tries, like literally she tries. She comes to the office in Belmopan, she gets equipment, she gets certain things, she had been given help from time to time from not only myself but from other persons that are members of the organization, back to school supplies as well.”
The AH family is considering taking legal action to get justice for Deriana Ah. The family is asking for the public’s assistance in funeral cost. If anyone would like to donate, they can contact Deriana’s parents at 606-6763.