Cover Photo: Jodian’s Boyfriend, Kenton Senior, and her baby
#JusticeforJodian is a trending hashtag on social media. Jamaicans are outraged after what is widely thought to have been the preventable death of a 23-year-old pregnant woman, who allegedly died due to grave flaws in the healthcare system.
Jodian Fearon died on Saturday, April 25th after she was denied care at the Andrews Memorial Hospital, the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and the Victoria Jubilee Hospital. It is reported that multiple hospitals refused to admit her because she appeared to have COVID-19 symptoms. Her test results revealed that she did not have the coronavirus.
It is widely reported in the Jamaican media that only through frantic efforts from a senior gynaecologist in private practice was she able to eventually give birth to her child at the Spanish Town Hospital. Unfortunately, while she successfully gave birth, Fearon died the next day.
Questions that must be asked: Wasn’t it the duty of doctors to attend to an individual who was urgently in need of their care? Is the focus on COVID-19 detracting from the attention given to others in need of other forms of medical care?
In a statement to the Jamaican Gleaner, Jodian’s boyfriend, Kenton Senior, expressed his agony about her death. He said, “I was trying to man up and play the tough guy, the macho man, but mi nah tell no lie, every time I look at the baby and then look at Jodi’s picture, sometimes mi just break down. It’s very hard.”
Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Hon Andrew Holness, expressed his sympathies and released a statement relaying that he is aware that “the COVID19 epidemic is placing additional strain on our (Jamaica’s) resources and increasingly complicating our (Jamaica’s) response systems” and that “as a people, we must never allow the epidemic to cause us to lose sight of our humanity.”
An investigation has been launched into the incident surrounding Jodian’s death but as of today’s date (May 1st, 2020) no further information has been released to the public.
We can only hope that this horrible experience serves as a lesson to the authorities and medical practitioners — protect and defend every life. We join the people of Jamaica in pleading #JusticeforJodian.