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'We left happy baby at creche, now he's dead'


A young couple have been left desperate for answers following the mysterious death of their baby in a creche.

Christopher and Nicole Lakay were the proud parents of three-month-old Chadleigh when they left their happy little infant in the care of the Protea Heights Daycare centre in Brackenfell on December 1.

But they never saw the baby alive again.

The owners of the daycare centre were unavailable for comment this week, as they left soon after the incident for England, where they are on holiday.

However, a woman who only gave her name as Marelise, who said she takes care of the infants at the creche, told the Cape Argus that she had been instructed by the owners not to discuss the matter with the media.

She could only say that the owner, a "Mrs Moore", had taken the child to a nearby surgery where he was certified dead.

But nine days after the incident, the Makays are still very much in the dark as to what occurred between the time they dropped their child off and the phone call informing them that their child was dead.

"When we dropped our child off at the creche that day, he was happy, he was laughing and giggling and he was in good spirits," said Christopher Lakay, Chadleigh's father.

"At about 1.10pm, I received a call from Dr Ferreira of Ferreira and Goosen medical practice in Brackenfell, informing me that Chadleigh's dead and it appears as if he may have choked."

Lakay stated that he went to the surgery where he saw two women from the creche in the waiting area.

One of the women he said, was Mrs Moore, the owner of the creche and wife of the pastor of Die Kerk op die Rots (The Church on the Rock) from which the daycare centre conducts its business.

After establishing that his son had indeed passed away, he left to inform his wife, Nicole.

They returned to the surgery and later to their home nearby.

Reconstructing the pieces of information she has been able to gather since her child's death, Nicole Lakay recounted: "I was informed that my child had been fed at approximately 11am and that a few minutes after 12pm, Chadleigh was blue in the face.

"It was way past seven in the evening when two policemen came to our home and told us that our child had finally been taken to the mortuary."

She said that the police officers told them a social worker would come to provide some form of counselling.

"To this day no social worker has come to our home and no policemen have ever come here to interview us or take any statements from us," she added.

Dr C Ferreira, who fought to revive the child, said: "It was approximately 1pm when a car pulled up outside the surgery.

"Two women who looked very upset got out of the vehicle and came running in with the child. I found that the baby was already blue and rushed the child into surgery."

Ferreira said that he immediately examined the infant for vital signs.

"The baby was not breathing, he had no pulse and he had no heartbeat. I immediately attempted to resuscitate the child, and a few minutes later two medical rescue teams arrived and they also assisted, but after a half an hour, we were unable to bring the baby back to life."

The doctor went on to say that at approximately 1.30pm, he finally wrote out the death certificate on which he noted that he "could not definitely say that the infant's death was due to natural causes".

Dr Sindisa Potelwa, registrar of forensic medicine at Tygerberg mortuary who conducted the initial tests, said they were still awaiting the results.


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