(MENAFN- Newsroom Panama) Details of the case of the Panamanian migrant girl who died in US custody were revealed in a report released by the US Border Patrol about her death.
Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez, the 8-year-old migrant girl born in Panama to Honduran parents, who died while in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, was treated for influenza, and had symptoms for several days before she died in a Texas hospital, says a report from the CBP investigation into her death and that has been published by media such as CNN, BBC Mundo, The New York Times, among others reports TVN.
The internal investigation suggests that the girl did not receive adequate care in a timely manner.
"My daughter was killed because she spent almost a day and a half without being able to breathe,", Anadith's mother, told local media as published by BBC Mundo. "She cried and begged for her life and they ignored her. They did nothing for her."
On May 17, the minor died after a nurse who saw her four times in the last 24 hours denied "three or four requests from the girl's mother to call an ambulance."
The entity said the minor's family arrived at the center on May 14. That same day, her mother went to doctors at the facility because the girl had flu symptoms, fever, and was in pain. Between May 14 and 17, medical personnel "reported having had approximately nine meetings with the girl and her mother" and treated the little girl with medication, ice packs, and cold showers, details the RT Actualidad outlet.
"Despite the girl's condition, her mother's concerns, and the series of treatments needed to manage her condition, staff did not transfer the child to a hospital," the office said.
On May 17, the mother turned to medical personnel again when the child appeared to have a seizure. Soon after, the girl became unresponsive, CPR was performed, and she was eventually hospitalized. She was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m. (local time) by staff at the Valley Baptist Medical Center in the city of Harlingen, Texas.
According to the BBC, it appears that none of the medical staff were aware that Anadith suffered from sickle cell anemia, a condition that usually requires lifelong treatment, nor that she had a history of congenital heart disease.
The parents say they reported the girl's medical history when they were first detained at an immigration facility a week earlier.
The rules of the US patrol indicate that detention should not last more than three days, a period that is often exceeded because immigration processing at the border has been drastically prolonged in recent years.
The closed circuit television at the Harlingen border station was not working when the girl died and only three medical consultations were documented and investigators were forced to reconstruct the case from interviews with border patrol personnel.
"Despite the girl's condition, her mother's concerns, and the series of treatments needed to control her condition, contracted medical personnel did not transfer her to a hospital for higher-level care," the report said.
The report suggests that the medical personnel who treated the girl never called on the doctors on duty, including a pediatrician, to report Anadith's case.
The girl's mother, Mabel Álvarez Benedicks, said in an interview that her daughter no longer had vital signs when she received help and that the people who cared for the minor were aware of her background. "They killed my daughter because she was unable to breathe for almost a day and a half. She cried and begged for her life and they ignored her. They did nothing for her," Benedicks said in statements to the Associated Press.
In a statement issued on May 21 and quoted by CNN en Español, CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic death" and announced a series of actions aimed at "reinforcing existing policies and continue to ensure adequate care for all medically fragile individuals.”
“The Department of Homeland Security medical director will immediately initiate a review of healthcare practices at CBP facilities and ensure the deployment of additional medical personnel as needed,” Miller says.
Anadith, 8, was born in Panama and was the daughter of Honduran immigrants who had been living in Panama for several years
In a note published by the Los Angeles Times, Honduran consul Leonardo Navas explained that the girl was born with heart problems and underwent surgery three years ago in Panama.
The family was at a center in Harlingen, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, one of the busiest corridors of migrant border crossings.
On May 19, the Panamanian Foreign Ministry responded to TVN Noticias that it had initiated ex officio proceedings regarding the case.