A baby, born during the nurses’ strike had been pronounced dead. However, it had been resuscitated after six days at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.
Chandani Jayatilake of Anamaduwa had given birth prematurely, and her baby was pronounced dead by the hospital authorities. The parents were notified accordingly -- and had even held the seventh day almsgiving on May 6.
The baby’s mother said, “I was transferred from the Anamaduwa District Hospital to the Kurunegala Hospital on April 26. I gave birth on the morning of April 30. Since the baby was born after only 26 weeks, the doctors said it had been aborted. They had told my husband the same thing on the following day. Then they discharged me from hospital.
We even held an almsgiving ceremony for our dead baby.
After that, we got a call informing us that the baby was alive. I was asked to come and suckle the baby. I rushed to the hospital. I saw my baby son in the ward. I was very happy. I thanked the doctors for managing to save my baby’s life despite the nurses’ strike.”
Hospital Director Dr. Palitha D. Yapa said, “This woman gave birth after 26 weeks gestation. Normally, a baby born 28 weeks after conception is considered healthy. Births less than 28 weeks after are conception regarded as abortions.
However, he said this premature baby had been saved due to the commitment of pediatrician P. N. Siriwardane.
“All the nurses were on strike at our hospital. We are glad that we could save the baby despite these obstacles,” he said. (Pushpakumara Jayaratne and Thilini Ranasinghe)