KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 – Parents of the late Revnesh Kumar have expressed dissatisfaction with the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) failure to identify what killed their teenage son, more than a month after his death.
However, Vijayarani Govindan and her husband, L. Naresh Kumar, are willing to wait until their son’s autopsy and test reports are presented and discussed by forensic experts in a peer review session on March 7.
“We are not completely happy and satisfied with the explanation,” Vijayarani told CodeBlue in an interview yesterday, after meeting Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin at the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) headquarters in Putrajaya.
“It was just a short session in the ministry with the minister, Health director-general [Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah], and a forensic expert.
“Until now, we don’t know the cause of my son’s death. We in fact asked YB (Khairy) why my son died. He also doesn’t know the reason.”
Revnesh died suddenly last January 16 at age 13 after collapsing in an apartment lift, 18 days after receiving his first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine on December 30.
Vijayarani added that the forensic specialist who conducted her son’s post-mortem, Dr Emizam Mohamadon from Serdang Hospital, also attended the 30-minute meeting.
“The forensic expert told us that my son’s organs and cells had no issues, but was unsure about the cause of death.”
Vijayarani confirmed MOH’s plans to conduct additional tests on internal tissue samples that MOH said may need to be sent abroad for further analysis to get an “accurate result”.
However, Revnesh’s parents said they were not informed when this process would be carried out or what exactly would be done.
“We were not told to which country the samples would be sent and the procedure. We are just required to wait until March 7 to get the reports.”
Yesterday, Khairy announced that Revnesh’s post-mortem and results of all tests that have been conducted so far, including a histological examination, will be discussed by forensic experts in a peer review session on March 7.
Vijayarani said she is unable to accept MOH’s explanation because she believes that current health technology in Malaysia can easily identify the cause of her son’s death.
“Why is my son’s cause of death not identified yet? Is our country’s health technology not developed?”
Vijayarani told CodeBlue that the health minister expressed his condolences to the family and enquired about her son’s health condition to re-confirm Revnesh’s health status.
“Dr Noor Hisham explained to us that vaccine side effects would have been seen within 48 hours,” she said.
“I don’t agree with him. Will it only take 48 hours for the vaccine side effect symptoms to occur? I have read that the side effects will appear within 30 days after vaccination.”
National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) pharmacovigilance division head Dr Azuana Ramli told a press briefing last Wednesday that side effects from Covid-19 vaccination usually occur within 30 days. NPRA did not categorise Revnesh’s death as a case of serious adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) with the coronavirus vaccine.
Vijayarani clarified that the forensic specialist who conducted Revnesh’s post-mortem was not available when they claimed his body. Instead, another health care personnel who claimed himself or herself as a forensic expert explained that Revnesh’s body parts and organs, including the brain, were “perfectly fine”.
“If the Milo that he drank that morning was able to be detected during the post-mortem, then why wasn’t the cause of death not identified? That day, the forensic expert also explained to us that the tissue on the wall behind his heart was hard,” said Vijayarani.
“Khairy said there was no infection and it was not because of Covid-19. My 13-year-old son had no medical history. So what is the cause of his death? We want to know that.”
Vijayarani also urged MOH to reveal the actual reason behind her son’s death, without falsely attributing it to diseases.
“Just give us a direct answer. Don’t tell my son had some sickness. As a mother, I know how healthy my son was,” she said.
“We don’t want those in authority or power to simply come up with reasons that do not exist in the first place. My son has died. He is not going to return. So please don’t simply give reasons.”
My Son Was A Healthy Boy
Vijayarani explained that her son was an active person without any underlying health conditions and hospitalisation history. She said Revnesh was not allergic to medicines either.
Revnesh was also active in sports activities and had completed the preliminary stage in karate by earning a white belt and he was about to get ready for upgrading his level in that sport.
“I took care of my son carefully for the first two weeks after receiving his first jab. I did not allow him to do any chores,” said Vijayarani.
“Then his karate master called my husband and asked to send my son to the class. On January 16, my husband sent my son to the class and he didn’t even enter the class.
“He held his chest, vomited, collapsed inside the lift and died there.”
Vijayarani expressed her heartfelt thanks to CodeBlue and other media for raising her son’s case to the nation’s attention.
Naresh Kumar works as a driver in the Ministry of Finance, whereas Vijayarani is a housewife. The couple, who resides in Putrajaya, has a daughter younger than Revnesh.
“We don’t belong to a rich family. We are from a normal family. We don’t want similar incidents to happen to other parents out there. We don’t want to see them suffer like my husband and me.”