x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Parents tell of grief three years after boy's death

Hospital and doctors deny negligence over bicycle tragedy.

Hospital and doctors deny negligence over bicycle tragedy.
Hospital and doctors deny negligence over bicycle tragedy.

DUBAI // Two grieving parents spoke yesterday of their struggle to cope with the loss of their "exuberant and lively" son more than three years after he bled to death after falling from a bicycle.

Jitendra and Monika Saini look for solace in a book of poems compiled by schoolfriends and teachers after the death of their son Prakhar, 12.

Three doctors - PS, 60, KS, 64, both from India, and AA, 68, from Lebanon - yesterday denied charges in the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours of causing Prakhar's death. Their hospital also denies responsibilty.

Prosecutors say the doctors failed to attend to the boy's condition according to their professional obligations.

"Every night I think to myself, 'If only I could turn back time, I would have prevented my son from getting on that bike and we would still have him with us'," Monika Saini said yesterday. "I keep thinking what we could have done differently that day that would have saved his life."

The family, who have lived in Dubai since 2005, were visiting a friend in The Gardens when the tragedy happened on November 29, 2007. Just as they were planning to return home, Prakhar asked his mother's permission to ride the family friend's bicycle.

As Mrs Saini was loading the car, she heard her son scream for help. The bicycle’s handlebar had cut into his left thigh after he lost his balance, and he fell on top of it, piercing an artery.

His mother rushed Prakhar to hospital, where he died a few hours later. The family say his death was the result of medical negligence by the hospital staff.

The charges allege that the boy’s condition was stable when he was at the emergency unit of the hospital, and that the doctors did not refer him to the operating theatre for surgery that could have controlled the bleeding.

They also allege that the procedure the doctors used to stop the bleeding was not medically correct, and contributed to Prakhar’s death.

The case was adjourned yesterday until March 21.

Prakhar’s parents say his death has affected his younger brother Kushagra, who witnessed the accident, particularly deeply. They did not tell Kushagra, who was 10 at the time, that his brother had died until they were leaving for India to perform the final rites.

“We didn’t want him to know about his brother’s death since we were not sure how it would affect him. It was when he refused to board the flight to India without knowing what had happened that we had to tell him,” Mrs Saini said.

Since the tragedy, the parents have tried to focus their attention on the needs of Kushagra and their third son, Shikar, who was born shortly after Prakhar’s death.

“I was devastated and under the circumstances I was worried that I would not be able to give the baby any time,” his mother said.

The parents contemplated naming Shikar after their first son, but ultimately decided against it.

salamir@thenational.ae