Family members of St Jude Hospital fire victim speaks out

By Kingsley Emmanuel

Felixia (left) and Moffat (right) with great grands.

Some members of the immediately family of one of the three persons who perished in the St. Jude fire eight years ago, say the anniversary of the fire which the hospital is currently commemorating means nothing to them.

“We have no interest in their anniversary. No one cares about us…. No official from government or St. Jude Hospital ever came to us and expressed condolences for our loss…”Kshana Moffat, the grand-daughter of Joseph Jn. Baptiste, who perished in the inferno told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview.

His widow Felixia Jn. Baptiste added that no one has compensated them for the loss of her beloved husband, so she has no interest in the activity the hospital will be holding in relation to the tragedy.

The fire of September 9, 2009, which led to the hospital now operating out of the George Odlum Stadium at Beanfield, Vieux-Fort, also claimed the lives of Mernus Vigier and Claudius Soudine.

According to the family, they celebrate the tragedy in their own way. They say they usually get together and reminisce the love and care Jn. Baptiste had for them. Jn. Baptiste, a resident of Pierrot, Vieux-Fort, died at the age of 87.

At the time of the fire the current administration was in office.

His widow said the moments she spent with her husband the last time she saw him at the hospital still lingers in her mind.

“The day before the fire, I powdered him, made coffee for him and kissed him,” she recalled, adding that her husband was due to be discharged from the hospital the day before the fire.

She said when she first heard the news of a fire at the hospital she never expected her husband would have been a victim of it.

Felixia said what further annoyed her was that just over a week after the fire, the hospital sent her a bill which she has no intention of paying.

“I will pay the bill if they give me back my husband,” Felixia said.

Moffat said when she heard the news of her grandfather’s death she was in shock.

“The whole family cried…” she said.

The family say it’s an experience they will never forget and it gets more painful whenever they visit someone at the hospital, or even pass near it. They are now calling on the government to expedite work on the hospital to ensure that it is completed in the shortest possible time.

“I find they are taking too long to rebuild the hospital,” Moffat said, adding that she hope this time measures will be put in place to avoid another tragedy.

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20 comments

  1. The word "celebrate" shows a lack of communication skills, and also a lack of sound knowledge of the English language. "Commemorate" is a much better word.

    People remember. People do not celebrate a tragedy. A memorial mass is quite in order too. However, if the voting district representative never showed up to console each grieving family member, it means that your vote was not valued much. Perhaps, you were on the opposite side of the political fence, and that someone was not big enough to get past this to see the bigger picture.

    (9)(1)
  2. Yes I agree uncle was a loving person. Aunty afai should not have gone through such pain .also the family. The government of st.lucia especially the current admin sucks. The hospital had the courtesy of sending the family a bill after such terrible tradegy.really I would sue the hospital plus the government. Stupidness mue fache. The lawyers st.lucian has is only for bobol.... bobolice. Yhose who can really plead a case has they hand full and not interested in those that are lower class.

    (6)(1)
  3. Where is human rights when you need them?

    (3)(0)
  4. What is there to celebrate, it is more a lamentation than anything else. You lose loved ones
    and eight years later they ask you to celebrate. I would love to celebrate if the contractor
    could come up with any excuse as to why after 8 years, the estimated amounts paid was
    blown up and the job is left like an eye sore, and you talking celebration? who you're kidding?

    (2)(0)
  5. a week atfer the fire you all sent the family a BILL Just like flambeau no heart.

    (1)(2)
  6. AWA AWA AWA anniversary "CELEBRATION"? What is there to celebrate?

    (2)(0)
  7. I hope when the hospital is completed under this administration, a request is made to the family to name a wing after him. They might refuse and then accepts if Musa ever get into government again.

    (0)(2)
  8. It's accepted that it's their right not to go. However, that should not cause the hospital to ignore the anniversary of the fire.

    (2)(1)
  9. Folks, the anniversary is being "observed", not "celebrated". Please understand the difference.

    (0)(0)
  10. I do feel for this and the other families that lost loved ones in the tragic fire. Eight years already and the hospital has not been completed. This is unacceptable and the government should be ashamed that they allowed this to drag on for so long. St. Lucians and indeed the people of the South deserve better than their hospital to be housed in a sports stadium for this amount of time. Come on St. Lucian government, pull your fingers out!!

    (5)(0)
  11. Why has this family not filed a wrongful death law suit against the government of st. lucia? Even more interestingly why has no lawyer or even the law association worked with such familes to file such a suit?

    (18)(3)
    • why the government when st jude is a semi private institution run by a board.

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    • Yes well said ... Why haven't Mary Francis the so called "Human Rights" Lawyer jump in like she always does for the CRIMINALS to bring some relief or seek some redress for this poor family ? Uh ?? This woman gets me sick !!

      (5)(1)
  12. New Testament Verse of the Day:
    After this, I heard what sounded like a vast crowd in heaven shouting, "Praise the LORD! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God."

    – Revelation 19: 1

    (0)(3)
  13. What's there to celebrate after 8years and up to this day hospital can't be built what a shame

    (14)(0)
  14. you right my lady. show them you not one of those foolish st lucians that taking anything that come

    (20)(0)
  15. Is she reffering to kenny as part of they?as a prime minister and one of the major district rep.i would ensure first priority to their basic health facility.."A HOSPITAL!"no pun intent.

    (3)(14)

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