The death of a 29-year-old graduate teacher from Kelaniya, reportedly after surgery by a doctor who has been accused of causing the deaths of a number of patients, has caused much anxiety among her parents and relatives.
The deceased was Kalani Irosha Perera, a resident of Simon Mawatha, Nathuduwa, Kelaniya.
She was a teacher in physical training and sports at Museus College, Colombo.
Her parents say that she suddenly developed abdominal pain and was admitted to the Ragama Teaching Hospital, where she underwent surgery.
This was just five months after she received her new appointment as a teacher at Museaus College.
She was in critical condition for more than one and a half years in the hospital after undergoing surgery to remove gallstones and stones in the bile duct.
She died after receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit and Rehabilitation Hospital of Ragama North Colombo Teaching Hospital for one year and seven months.
After a year and seven months of gall bladder surgery, the parents returned home with the lifeless body of their daughter and are still searching for answers to the question of with whom the fault lies and the circumstances under which the unfortunate death of their daughter occurred.
Chandrani Nanayakkara, Kalani’s mother, told the media everything that unfolded from November 25, 2021, to the 18th of this month, when Kalani passed away.
“We want, even after the untimely death of this child, the health authorities to open their eyes, initiate an investigation to ascertain where the fault lies, and take appropriate action against the doctors and medical staff responsible for her untimely death.
“On October 25, 2021, my daughter complained of abdominal pain. A doctor visiting a private hospital in Ragama was channelled since she was complaining of breathing difficulty. On the 26th, the patient (My daughter) was examined by the doctor concerned. That’s when I found out that the doctor was working at Ragama Hospital.
He prescribed some medicine. But it did not subside. On the morning of the 27th, my daughter had severe pain. We immediately took our daughter to Ragama Hospital, where she was admitted to the emergency Treatment Unit and a scan was conducted. She was told that there were stones in her gall bladder and bile duct. As we mentioned earlier, our daughter was admitted to his ward. An endoscopy was done, and gallstones were removed on the 25th. Two anesthesiologists assisted in this operation. After the surgery, the daughter was put in the intensive care unit. But the child did not regain consciousness. When I asked the doctor, he said that she was well and was put in intensive care to give her additional care, and he said that she would recover soon. We were with the child both days and nights. The child was kept in intensive care for three months. We later learned that the child had been admitted to the intensive care unit due to a cardiac arrest due to a lack of oxygen to the brain after the operation.”
“On January 25, 2022, the daughter was transferred to another ward under the care of a neurologist. She stayed there for one and a half months. Then, on March 18, 2022, she was transferred to Ragama Rehabilitation Hospital for physiotherapy treatment. During this period, only fluids were given to this child through a tube.”
“After November 5, 2022, my child suffered immense pain. The child was only given liquids. We were heartbroken to watch an active sports leader become a skeleton and beg for life on a bed due to a careless operation by doctors.”
“When the gallstone was removed, a temporary tube was used, but we later found out that it was not removed at the proper time. We learned that at the clinic. After doing many X-ray scans and finally with the help of an anaesthetist, on May 6, 2023, we searched for this tube with great effort. The patient who was in trouble after being removed was cleared in one day. The doctors themselves said that it took a long time to find and remove this tube.”
“I am asking if the doctors who placed this tube on my child can get rid of that responsibility. They never informed us about such a thing. If they did, would we allow the tube that was removed after six months to remain for more than one and a half years? On May 8, 2023, my daughter returned, but she was in difficulty. We again admitted my daughter to Ragama Hospital. She had fits two or three times. We requested that the director of the hospital put her in a bed in the intensive care unit. Even the director did not get her a bed in the intensive care unit.”
“Finally, we watched my daughter struggling between life and death and looking at us, begging for life. What else can ordinary people do in a hospital ward? My daughter, who suffered the pain of death, breathed her last on the 18th in the intensive care unit of Ragama Hospital.”
“My daughter is a graduate teacher. We, as parents, have made immense efforts to teach her. For now, my child is just another patient. But the country has lost a priceless asset due to the untimely death caused by the fault of these doctors. We demand a fair investigation from the Minister of Health. It is not a temporary Band-Aid solution. We have already submitted letters to the Ministry of Health and other departments asking them to launch a fair investigation before taking several more lives at the hands of such doctors.”
“When we went to ask if the child would suffer this kind of disaster if the surgery was successful, the director of the hospital, as well as the doctor who performed the surgery, and even the security personnel who were there, spoke to us in a very low manner. The two doctors who administered the anaesthesia never confronted us.”
“Even though my child was sick, she taught online lessons to the children who learned from her while sitting in the hospital. Today, the country lost a mother teacher who was so devoted to service because of this doctor.”
“I retired from government service to stay with her for the wellbeing of l my daughter. I worked as a managerial assistant in the Colombo Regional Education Office for 34 years. My husband worked for a private company.