This morning, Cornell Gunter and his significant other, Nicole, are experiencing pain that many hope to never endure. As documented in an extensive social media thread, Gunter has accused the staff at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies of contributing to his son's death.
Gunter's visual documentation of what took place begins at approximately 11:55 p.m. on April 17. He stated that he and Nicole checked in at the hospital at midnight on April 18 and told staff that their unborn child had not moved in 10 hours despite being extremely active during the first 9 months of the pregnancy. Concerned for their son's wellbeing prior to visiting the hospital, the couple reached out to Nicole's sister, who is a midwife. Gunter's sister-in-law told the couple that the child may be dealing with meconium, a thick substance that lines an infant's intestines. After conveying this information to the hospital staff, Gunter claims the nurse asked if they were sure it's meconium.
After checking in and informing the nurse what the issue was, doctors performed a COVID-19 test on Nicole and prepared for an ultrasound. After performing the COVID-19 test and ultrasound, the nurse seemingly leaves the room with Nicole and Cornell Gunter still inside. Then, Gunter explains that the nurse returned to the room to inform them that the baby is indeed in distress and he needs to be delivered immediately. However, there were no beds available at the time. Therefore, Nicole and Cornell Gunter were forced to wait an undisclosed period of time.
When a bed did open up, the couple was moved into the labor and delivery area of the hospital. At that point, Gunter recalls a nurse attempting to move Nicole's IV from her hand to her arm. During this process, Gunter stated that the nurses were joking around and blew two of her veins. After the IV was situated, Gunter tweets that an anesthesiologist arrived to administer an epidural. Initially, Gunter says that doctors told the couple that their son was doing "fine." As the couple waited to make sure the epidural was working properly, things became even more frightening.
"[I] literally take 10 steps to grab another blanket and before I made it far from the door I hear an alarm going off. Nicole asked me was that her [alarm]. I said, 'No, it’s not coming from in there.' So, next thing you know doctors are running by me. I [asked], 'What is going on?' I turn around and there [are] 6 nurses in our room," Gunter tweeted.
"Nicole is scared and says, 'I don’t know what’s going on.' The nurses are literally barking at her like a dog and clapping their hands. [They were] demanding [that she] to turn every which way quickly. [This is after] she’s told [them that she] can’t move that quickly [because] of her condition. Then, they start moving her themselves. Then, two nurses start debating on how many centimeters she’s dilated. Still, nobody tells us what's wrong. So, they’re flipping her and doing all that for 7-8 mins before Doctor James runs in."
After Doctor James entered the room, Gunter tweeted that she attempted to find out how far Nicole had dilated. From there, she worked with the staff that was already in the room to get a handle on the child's heartbeat. Unfortunately, there were several failed attempts at hearing the heartbeat and Nicole was rushed into an operating room six hours after the couple arrived. At 5:20 a.m., Cornell Gunter said he was told to wait in a separate room. Once the surgery was completed, Gunter says a nurse told him that Nicole and his son, Cairo, were "fine." It is at this point where Gunter explains how the situation became fatal for Cairo.
"As I turned around, a doctor walked over and said 'Cairo doesn’t have a heartbeat I'm so sorry. We’re gonna keep trying' I just grabbed my fiancé as she cried so hard while still being in [the] middle of them finishing up her C Section. The doctor comes back and says we have a heartbeat, but Cairo went without oxygen to the brain for eight mins. That’s a heavy blow and injury to the brain, but come [to] see him. So, I get up and walk over to my beautiful son on a table lifeless," Gunter wrote.
"I broke down immediately. It hurt so bad, but the doctors said, 'Take out your phone and take photos.' I was so hurt, but I did it anyway and I don’t know why. I sat back down with my fiancé and we cried together. My son was then transported to the NICU where he currently is now."
Not long after tweeting that his son had been transported to the NICU, Gunter shared the tragic news that Cairo had died. He later accused the hospital of utilizing student and graduate nurses during the delivery when Nicole had asked that they do the opposite.
"If the nurses at Orlando Health would've listened to my fiancé then none of this would've happened. Treat and respect black mothers who come in and express fear and worries. Black women are neglected and never treated equally in hospitals," Gunter tweeted.
Orlando Health was contacted for comment, but declined to address Gunter's accusations directly.
"At Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, the health and safety of our patients is our top priority, and we provide every patient with expert medical care during their stay. Due to federal privacy laws, we cannot address a specific case," a spokeswoman for Orlando Health told Black Information Network.
At this time, it is unclear if Gunter or his fiance will pursue legal action against Orlando Health.
***The tweet below may contain graphic images***
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