THE husband of an Indian woman who died eight days after giving birth alleged today that his complaints that she looked jaundiced were dismissed by a medic ‘because she was Indian’, an inquest heard today
Dhara Kivlehan died in September 2010 at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, eight days after giving birth to her son Dior at Sligo General Hospital. Dior was four last Saturday
The manager with fashion retailer Next was 29 when she died. The High Court awarded her husband Michael and son Dior €800,000 in damages last December.
At an inquest into her death at Carrick on Shannon Court today, Michael (35), recounted how he had raised concerns with medical staff in Sligo over the care of his wife in the hours after she gave birth by caesarean section on September 20, 2010.
He said he and his wife led healthy lives, exercising regularly and eating only home made organic foods.
However in mid-August 2010, he said his wife began suffering severe pains and had attended the hospital
They were delighted, he said, when Dhara was confirmed pregnant in February 2010.
In his statement to the hearing before Sligo/Leitrim Coroner Dr Eamonn McGowan, Mr Kivlehan said his fight to have an inquest had left ‘a bitter taste’ and that he had ‘struggled’ to find out even small details about his care at Sligo General.
He praised the care given to his wife at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after Dhara was airlifted there, adding: “They were professional from the moment we arrived. I cannot praise them highly enough.
“Doctors and medical staff did their best for us, even contacting me in the days and weeks afterwards. I never heard anything from Sligo General.”
Mr Kivlehan said that he was surprised to find his wife in a room on the maternity ward in Sligo after the birth of Dior, saying he had been told by a member of medical staff that she was being transferred to ICU for treatment.
He said he complained several times about his wife’s care.
He said Dhara was swollen and her skin looked jaundiced and complained his wife hadn’t been moved to ICU
“He (the medic) said it was hard to know if she (Dhara) was jaundiced because she was Indian,” said Mr Kivlehan.
His evidence to the coroner’s inquest in continuing.
Mrs Kivlehan died from HELLP syndrome, an extreme case of pre-eclampsia.