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Long wait for answers after 14-year-old girl dies suddenly 

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The family of 14-year-old Canadian girl, Talina Rampersad-Husack have been told they may have to wait up to a year to find out what killed their ‘healthy, vibrant’ girl. Talina, from Winnipeg died suddenly on 17 July 2022 in the intensive care unit at the Children’s Hospital. 

Talina’s family were by her side when she passed.

According to a family friend, Talina fell ill on the day of her 8th Grade graduation at the end of June 2022. It was reported that Talina had trouble breathing and was taken to urgent care at Victoria General Hospital on 13 July prior to being transferred to the Children’s Hospital later that day. 

She was admitted on 13 July and given oxygen but her condition worsened. Talina was transferred to the pediatric ICU on 17 July but passed away that day.

Talina’s family described her as “a loving, beautiful, smart, kind, caring, thoughtful and amazing daughter, sister, granddaughter and human being. 

Talina always took the time to nurture the relationships in her life with small gestures of kindness and thoughtfulness. She always bore a big smile and offered an equally big hello to everyone with whom she came into contact – including her teachers and many friends.

Talina loved spending time with her mother just hanging out and being together and camping with her daddy and brother during the summer months…Even in her last hours, Talina unselfishly thought about her dear family: making sure her mother was taken care of and telling her to rest and not to worry. 

Talina’s final words to her mother were ‘I love you’”.

Talina’s dad wrote that “Talina is forever in our hearts, our souls and in the fabric of our lives. We will carry her memory with us forever. In our dreams we will meet again. We love you”.

Talina was laid to rest on Sunday 24 July 2022.

If losing their child was not devastating enough, Talina’s family now have the long wait to find out what killed their beautiful girl. 

In a statement to CBS News, a family spokesperson said “No parent should have to wait one year to find out how their healthy, vibrant 14-year-old daughter died.” 

Family friend, Nahanni Fontaine said “the death of a child is something that none of us would wish on anybody. But to add this to that process…it’s heartbreaking.”

Kathryn Braun, Director of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manitoba advised that some cases require special tests to be performed, meaning it can take time to accurately determine a cause of death.

Some have speculated that the teen’s death may have been avoidable if the Manitoba health-care system was operating at full capacity.

An anonymous source speaking to the Winnipeg Free Press said more diagnostic procedures should have been performed on the girl (Talina) who was diagnosed with pneumonia in both lungs and she should have been transferred to ICU sooner. 

“There’s a lot of us at work that are not doing OK with this”, the source explained. “This is not why we do the job. We know it’s part of the job but it’s never easy to lose a child – especially when they are a previously healthy 14-year-old.”

When explaining why the anonymous source was speaking out, they said it was because “I don’t think the general public realizes how bad it is. They need to know what we’re going through and what’s happening in the hospital.”

Although refusing to speak in relation to the specific case, a Shared Health spokesperson told the Winnipeg Free Press via email that “generally speaking, HSC Children’s has experienced increased levels of patient traffic in its emergency department for the past several months. Inpatient units, including the pediatric intensive care unit, has experienced increased patient numbers since the spring. 

Site and program leaders have been actively reassessing and prioritizing resources across units to ensure patient care needs of all children are met.”

It is hoped that Talina’s family will be provided answers to her death in a timely manner so they can find closure and peace with her passing.

If this story has raised concerns for you, there is help available:

Lifeline Australia 13 11 14

BeyondBlue 1300 224 636

Kids helpline 1800 551 800

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