Father of injured baby exploring legal options

01:58, Sep 09 2013
Invercargill baby
EVIDENCE: Items of interest are circled by police officers at the house where a baby was injured in a 'violent attack'.

The Invercargill father of a 3-week-old baby whose throat was slashed the day after her mother was turned away from Southland Hospital says he is exploring his legal options.

"I am meeting the lawyer in the next two days," David Milton said from Auckland yesterday.

Mr Milton said he would discuss his legal options with his lawyer in relation to the way his wife was treated at the hospital.

His wife had gone to the hospital early on Sunday morning in "extreme pain" and, after undergoing several tests, she was told she had post-natal depression and mastitis, was sent home and told to see her GP on Monday, he said.

The baby's throat was slashed early on Monday morning.

Police said Mr and Mrs Milton and the baby were home at the time and they were not seeking anyone else in relation to the incident.


"A couple of hours before it happened, she [wife Sucharitta Milton] was begging for me to take her to Thailand so she could speak to a Thai doctor . . . because a Thai doctor would listen," Mr Milton said.

His wife was admitted to Southland Hospital with slashed wrists on the same morning her baby was attacked. She was likely to remain in hospital for several weeks, he said.

Mr Milton said he had received no apology from the Southland Hospital board and was disgusted at the treatment his family had received.

He had, however, received an apology from the police for the way he was treated soon after his baby daughter was injured, he said.

"It was a bit rough at the start but they didn't know what the story was, but they apologised, which I much appreciated."

His baby daughter, Noklair, was now breathing on her own, "and as soon as she hears my voice, she smiles".

"It's wonderful," Mr Milton said. "There's still tests to be done and everything else, but at this stage she's fine."

She was not out of the woods entirely: "There could still be one or two problems".

Mr Milton said he arrived in Auckland at the weekend and was staying at Ronald McDonald House to be close to Noklair at Starship hospital.

However, he would return to Invercargill on Wednesday to be with his wife.

"I wish I could be in two places at once.

"She needs support down there and my baby needs my support up here."

His wife of nine years was not in a good state of mind, he said.

He was unable to put into words what he had endured in the past week, saying no-one could feel what he was feeling.

He feared for his family's future.

"There's going to be ‘CYFs' involvement and everything else, isn't there . . . ?"

He thanked everyone who had dropped off food, cards and messages of support, many of whom were strangers.

But there had also been people who were "trying to find more ways to upset us and put us down", he said.

The Southern District Health Board announced last week that it would review its care of Mrs Milton.

Yesterday, board chief executive Carole Heatly said she would like to again extend her sympathy to those involved in this "tragic situation".

"As we indicated earlier in the week, the DHB is taking this matter very seriously and is undertaking a full review of the care Mrs Milton received." evan.harding@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times