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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Grieving husband tells of Savita’s tears at losing baby

Greg Harkin and Eilish O'Regan

Published 22/11/2012 | 05:00

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SAVITA Halappanavar wept when she was told her dead baby was a girl, her husband Praveen has revealed.

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"She loved children and she loved girls and she had talked about girls names," he said.

He said he heard his wife cry outside the operating theatre on the day the foetus was removed.

"I could hear Savita crying inside the operating theatre and I went in and I found her in tears," he said. "A nurse had told her it was a girl and she was in shock again," he told RTE's Prime Time.

He fought back tears in his first Irish TV interview as he chronicled Savita's last days.

He praised the support staff at the hospital, describing them as "very kind and sympathetic."

The Boston Scientific worker said Savita had cried 'Why me? Why me?' when she was first told she was having a miscarriage.

He said they had asked a doctor in front of a friend and three other medical staff if they could have a termination but a doctor told them this could not happen "because he said this is a Catholic country."

"She (Savita) saw the foetus heartbeat still going. She could see the heartbeat of the foetus and she said 'please I can't take this'. She still couldn't believe it happened to her," he said.

He said they had planned the pregnancy and were looking forward to being parents.

"We were on top of the world; we were full of joy," he said.

Lobby

But after being told she was miscarrying her baby, Mr Halappanavar said he was told by a member of the medical staff "it will be over in a few hours."

Mr Halappanavar also revealed yesterday that he is to lobby the Indian Government to push for an independent investigation into his wife's death as it emerged the report of the HSE-commissioned probe will not name any hospital staff involved in her care.

He told the Irish Independent that he has contacted the Indian authorities to urge them to put pressure on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to reverse his refusal to grant him an independent investigation.

"What happened to Savita is a huge public issue in India too and I've contacted the Ministry (External Affairs) to ask them to use their influence in this case," said Mr Halappanavar.

His plea came as the Minister for Health James Reilly said the inquiry into Savita's death is to go ahead with the aim of reporting before Christmas.

He admitted however that the report of the private inquiry which Mr Halappanavar is boycotting, may be "incomplete" without his evidence.

And no member of staff in Galway University Hospital who were involved in the treatment of Savita will be named in the report. The inquiry team led by Prof Sabaratnam Arulkumaran from St George's hospital London is to spend the coming days at Galway hospital. They are examining case notes and interviewing staff.

Irish Independent

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