We lost our son Brandon on the 9th of Feb 2006. He died of asphyxia and during the care of a lady who operates a childcare centre in Jalan Changgai, Petaling Jaya (opposite of Assunta Girls Secondary School), Malaysia. We are deeply saddened by the death of our son within such a short time. He was a healthy boy, weighing 6kg and drinking 5oz at 2 1/2 mths. You may have read about it in the papers, Malay Mail, Harian Metro and most of the Chinese dailies.
Initial findings were that he choked on his own milk and by the time he was sent to the hospital, he already died. At first we did not want to allow an autopsy, because we couldn’t bear to see our child being “cut-up” but after discussing it with family members, we agreed to it as we needed to know the actual cause of death. When the results were out, the doctors concluded that there was a lump of curdled milk impacted within the esophagus. How could this have happened, if proper care and first aid was given immediately??!! It soon, struck us that he could have been left alone after his feed and may not have been burped properly; therefore he may have vomited and choked on the back-flow of the milk. Till today, the babysitter has not said anything on the incident and we still do not know what actually happened. She only cries when we ask her for the details. Maybe she is too scared to respond or feels guilty; we will never know.
It is being investigated by the police now, as well as the Selangor Welfare Dept and MPPJ as initial findings by the Malay Mail was that the babysitter is operating without any form of license from the proper authorities. But so far there is no conclusion whatsoever. To the authorities, this is considered an accident and the case would just be like any other case to them. We were quite disappointed, because before we sent our child to her, she quoted so many proficiencies and skills in managing a child care centre and infants. That’s why we agreed to give it a try. Now we feel as if we were somewhat responsible for our child’s death by sending him there.
Ironically, this was only his 8th day at the babysitter’s care. And suddenly, he is gone, just like that. It was very traumatic for me, as I was the first to arrive at the hospital. The scene plays over and over in my mind. Our pain and suffering is being shared by all who are around us and through this sharing we have learned to cope with the loss, although I still cry anytime of the day, at work, in my sleep, while driving etc. We searched for support through some local website for grieving mothers who in one way or another lost their child but, sadly, there weren’t many active sites and we had to turn to CBS (S’pore) and one site which were operated locally by Lillian Chan.
I hope to join other grieving mothers to share my feelings. I believe that it is easier to speak to someone who has had experience of losing a child as she would understand how I feel right now.
We decided that through the local media and the internet, we would be able to inform and educate those parents-to-be to be more prudent when it comes to selecting babysitter and child care centres. Do not just go for economical, locality and because someone says the babysitter is good. Through our plight, we generated some focus from the Ministry of Women, Family & Community Development to provide some form of guidance and regulations for these child services and to act on them if they flout the laws.
Here, I would like to thank those who have provided us with the care and support throughout our bereavement and with the grace of God, we will overcome this experience but never a day forgetting our beloved son Brandon.
In loving memory of Brandon Teh.
11th November 2005 – 9th February 2006.
“ You brought us Joy & Happiness,
A beloved Gift from the Lord above,
We will forever Love & Remember You,
United with the Lord….An Angel You are now”
Death of Infant: Is Nursery to Blame?
Couple to sue owner
Welfare Department to check on illegal babysitters
Nursery has no permit
Government plans to license babysitters, childcare centres
Children must be cared for in a safe environment
Bayi disah tercekik susu (in Bahasa Malaysia)