A day after his one month-old baby boy died under questionable circumstances, 30-year-old Silverson Greenidge is still anxiously awaiting word from the infant’s former caregivers at the Divine Day Nursery & Pre-School, St Stephen’s Hill, Black Rock, St Michael, on what exactly went wrong.
The infant, Kaiden Dacosta Greenidge, was pronounced dead on arrival at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) yesterday, after the parents were summoned by the nursery to pick up the child.
“They contacted me yesterday telling me, ‘come fuh my child and take him to the doctor’, that he didn’t look right. I was like, ‘how you mean he ain’t look right, wuh happen?’ So the auntie that called me, she was like, she doesn’t know, she ain’t sure. I was like, ‘what happened with him then?’ She was like, ‘come and take him to the doctor’ [but] she isn’t telling me exactly what’s wrong,” the distressed father told Barbados TODAY earlier this evening.
With the question of ‘why?” playing over and over in his head ever since then, Greenidge keeps returning to yesterday’s phone call to which he reacted immediately by picking up the child’s mother, 21-year-old Petra Rouse, and “flying straight” to the nursery.
“When I got there now, I saw one auntie got him in her hands and the boy looked dead in she hand. Dem trying to hold he like he still alive and the boy done had blood coming from he mouth and he nose and the blood was dry,” he said, with a mixture of anger and despair clearly identifiable in his voice.
“He look lifeless, and this is before I move wid he from there to carry him to the hospital, [but] all them [the caregivers at the nursery were] telling me is to carry him to the doctor quick,” he added.
Greenidge also recalled telling the auntie that his son looked dead and asking her over and over what had happened. However, he told Barbados TODAY that all the caregiver was insisting upon was that the child be rushed to a doctor.
“I felt the boy and he was cold . . . his face look pale and blue. You could have seen the blood dry . . . the boy’s mouth dry and crack up . . . his mouth was opened wide all the time and you could have seen blood on his tongue.
“I say, ‘wuh happened here Pat?’ She was like, ‘take he to the doctor . . . I don’t know wuh happened’,” said the father, who was admittedly feeling very “offset”.
Up to this evening Greenidge was still struggling to maintain his cool, even as he insisted that Kaiden, who was the younger of his two sons, was dead by the time he got to the nursery.
“We son did done dead time [before] we got there. I believe he did dead a little while too, cause for he to be cold, he had to be dead a while. You don’t get cold so fast. The body done brek down. It’s not like in there has AC [air condition],” Greenidge insisted, while speaking on Rouse’s behalf.
With both parents equally mortified over the mysterious death, police are currently probing the matter and have so far reported that based on their investigations, the child was taken to the nursery around 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
Six-and-a-half hours later the parents received a call from the preschool around 3:40 p.m. informing them that the baby appeared to be ill.
On arrival, the parents took the child, who was unresponsive at the time, and rushed to the QEH, where the child was pronounced dead, a brief police statement this afternoon said.
Asked how he was coping with the loss, the pain was obvious as Greenidge replied: “I just here, . . . I just here brother boy. I just trying to be cool, otherwise I would lose it.”
What makes the current situation even more baffling for him is that his first son, now three years old had attended the same facility and “everything was fine”.
“My first little boy, I carried there. So I know these people . . . Me and these people got a history,” he said, adding that “she [the owner] never treat my child bad nor nutten so [and] I never had no bad vibes wid she nor nutten. Everything was good.
“That is wuh surprise me when she called me yesterday . . . she had me good,” Greenidge said.
This evening Barbados TODAY visited the nursery and was met at the door of the adjoining home by a woman who immediately returned inside and refused to answer our persistent calls. However, Child Care Board Director Joan Crawford confirmed to Barbados TODAY that some of her officers had visited the nursery yesterday to hear first-hand what had occurred from the staff.
But with the matter now under police investigation, Crawford was tight-lipped on the visit.
She however disclosed that the facility would be allowed to remain open for business “until we hear from the police”.
“The police have the lead in this matter,” Crawford stressed.