A WEEK ago today, Isimeli Tuivaga was looking forward to cradling his firstborn son. His 19-year-old wife, who was admitted at the Nadi Hospital for three days, was being rushed to the Lautoka Hospital.
Sereana Leba was two weeks overdue and was experiencing labour pains so the newly-wed thought the next phone call would be one that would announce the birth of his child.
News of the death of both mother and child never entered his mind.
"So you can imagine how shocked I was when I was told after midday the next day, Wednesday March 5, that my wife and child were no more," he said.
Yesterday, Mr Tuivaga was at his parents' home in Namaka, Nadi, having just returned from Suva where he buried his baby and young bride.
"She was admitted the previous Saturday after complaining of body pains.
"That Tuesday she called my mum and told her they were transferring her to Lautoka because she was having labour pains.
"We all thought she was just going over to give birth. I last spoke to her that Wednesday.
"She called to say her legs were paining so I went and gave her a massage.
"She was fine when I left for work and I planned on returning during my lunch break. When I was told a few hours later she had died I was shocked.
"My mother had taken all the baby's clothes down to Lautoka the Tuesday she was transferred.
"And then later we were given the post mortem results and in both dengue is listed as one of the causes of death. I was confused and I am still looking for answers."
His mother, Ana, said she was distraught because she was looking forward to enjoying her time with her first grandchild.
"We also had a very good relationship with Sereana. It's a very sad situation," she said. "
Last week the Health Ministry said eight people had died from dengue fever.
As of February 28, 9825 of suspected cases were reported nationwide.
Of those, about 3802 have been confirmed with laboratory testing that they have the disease.