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Warriors in mourning: Marvin Phillip loses 10-month-old son

The Trinidad and Tobago national football team was thrown into mourning today as 29-year-old goalkeeper Marvin Phillip received word from home that his 10-month-old son, Maitai, was found dead at the Anointed Angels daycare in Edinburgh, Chaguanas. Police are investigating the incident.

Phillip, a Point Fortin Civic goalkeeper with 44 senior full international caps and 19 clean sheets, will leave Brazil this evening to return to Trinidad accompanied by team co-manager Peter Rampersad. He will not be available for the “Soca Warriors” when they meet Iran on Sunday in a friendly international match in Sao Paulo.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national goalkeeper Marvin Phillip gesticulates during his stint with Central FC. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national goalkeeper Marvin Phillip gesticulates during his stint with Central FC.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Initial reports from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service suggest the child died from suffocation. Maitai’s mother, Leslie Halls, is a part-time SRP attached to the Gasparillo Police Station and is also employed with the TSTT Internet Support Division.
Sergeant Wayne Mystar told the Trinidad Express that the baby began crying at around 7 am and was placed in a car seat available at the nursery.
“They put the safety harness on the baby,” said Mystar. “About ten minutes past seven when they went to check on the baby, the baby was unresponsive. The baby was rushed to the hospital at Chaguanas District Medical Facility.

“It is suspected that the child probably suffocated or at least he strangled himself by tangling up with the seat belt. We are awaiting the autopsy result.”

The British Medical Journal, as referenced by PNM MP Dr Amery Browne, warned parents against leaving babies unchecked in car seats due to the possibility of breathing problems. Nine breathing deaths in New Zealand between July 1999 and December were believed to be linked to babies sleeping in upright positions.

“They found the babies’ heads tended to loll forwards, pressing the jaw into the chest, which made it harder for them to breathe,” stated the Auckland Cot Monitoring Service report. “Also, the muscles of the throat tend to relax when a person is asleep, narrowing the airway further.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national football team goalkeeper Marvin Phillip (right) and his 10-month-old son Matai. Matai Phillip was found dead at his daycare today.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national football team goalkeeper Marvin Phillip (right) and his 10-month-old son Matai.
Matai Phillip was found dead at his daycare today.

Maitai’s death follows on the heels of the sudden passing of Phillip’s former girlfriend and mother of his first child, Aldella Gill, who succumbed to heart complications last month.

National head coach Stephen Hart expressed his sadness at the tragic episodes that his young goalkeeper has endured over the past month.

“This is a tragic moment in Marvin’s life (and) he has faced some traumatic moments in the last month,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “Our hearts go out to him and the family. This is such a sad moment; I cannot even begin to understand what he must be going through emotionally.

“All this really places life into perspective for myself personally and us as a team.”

Phillip was Trinidad and Tobago’s first choice custodian at the Under-17 2001 World Youth Cup and has represented the Warriors consistently over the past 13 years at every age group. He was on the substitutes’ bench on Wednesday night when the Warriors lost 3-0 to Argentina.

The national team landed in Brazil at 2 am today and Phillip awoke to the tragic news at 10 am. His teammates are said to be distraught.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago national football team prays for teammate Marvin Phillip during practice today at the Corinthians training ground in Sao Paolo, Brazil. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/TTFA Media)
Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago national football team prays for teammate Marvin Phillip during practice today at the Corinthians training ground in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/TTFA Media)

Phillip used team captain Kenwyne Jones’ cell phone to make the call that stunned him and the entire team.

“It’s a very difficult time for him and all of his right now,” said Jones. “I am a father as well. There are a lot of fathers in the team and no one wants to go through something like this. Our prayers and thoughts are with Marvin and his family.”

Hart has decided against summoning a replacement for Phillip, so Central FC’s Jan-Michael Williams will be the only goalkeeper in the squad on Sunday.

The national team trained this morning in Brazil and will try to keep its intensity, despite the tragedy, for the upcoming international fixture.

“The sessions will not be intense because we had a game just a little more than a day ago,” said Hart, “but we’ll be looking to do everything as right as we possibly can in relation to the match on Sunday. It’s good to be here and again it’s all part of the experience for our players.

“There is a lot happening football-wise right now. We are in the football capital of the world at the moment so there’s a lot to absorb at the same time.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Lester Peltier (right) vies for the ball with Argentina defender Marcos Rojo (bottom) and forward Rodrigo Palacio during their friendly international on Wednesday. (Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Lester Peltier (right) vies for the ball with Argentina defender Marcos Rojo (bottom) and forward Rodrigo Palacio during their friendly international on Wednesday.
(Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)

Jones said the Warriors will try maintain the buzz in the camp following their contest with 2014 World Cup contenders, Argentina.

“We were coming off a good experience in Argentina,” said Jones. “I think there has been a bit of a buzz in the camp and everyone was looking forward to Sunday’s match.

“We have to get our heads together again and channel our energies onto the football field as continue our preparations for Iran.”

 

Editor’s Note: Wired868 offers its condolences to Trinidad and Tobago national football stand-out, Marvin Phillip, and our prayers go out to him at this traumatic time.

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73 comments

  1. Amanda Aguilera-Lobin

    My deepest condolences go out to this family. It is possibly his worse nightmare come to life. I pray that God gives him the strength to go through this tough time.

  2. my condolences to the phillip family.

  3. My Condolences to You and your Family. May his Soul Rest In Peace.

  4. Heartfelt condolences to Marvin and his family……. words can never really convey the sadness that I felt on learning of this….. be strong, and may God give you the courage you need……

  5. It is so sad my condolences to you and your family

  6. So so sad.My condolences to the family

  7. O god it’s so sad condolences to the family

  8. That is horrible so sorry to hear this. My deepest condolences to Marvin and his family…..

  9. From Allah we came to Him we return……

  10. This is so sad well what next

  11. a friend of mine posted the video on her page. what she captioned though was shocking to me. If it is inappropriate here, just delete it. but i did want to share it…what do you all think. Now mind you, before i saw this…I had posted on my page…a question about a biblical allegory…either how children are consumed for all the iniquity of the adults about them and or remember the painting of doors so the maester of death would “passover” that house!! and then this…

    Marcia Smith Cpc shared C News Live’s video.

    “I think people are beginning to realize somebody is sacrificing the nation’s children.”

  12. Wtf this is damn shit now!

  13. Sorry for your loss Marvin.

  14. So sad, condolences to the family, and God’s guidance and peace.

  15. Horrible!!!! And in Trinidad, u cant even sue and win!! Messed up!!! I can begin to imagine Marvin’s flight back!!! Sickening to my gut. Hope he finds the strength to stay strong…

  16. My God, that is horrendous and horrific, Lasana. May God rest his soul.

  17. seek god first he will give you the strength to deal with this situation,

  18. Extremely sad story. Sending Peace, Light, Love to a grief-stricken family.

  19. Very sad news Lasana. As a Parent I feel for Marvin and empathise with him. My prayers go out to him and his family. Also thanks to Amery Browne for the informative article.

  20. So sorry to hear this.my heart goes out to him and his family

  21. what you just wrote there is it eh Raul. Vigilance. but what are trinidadians as a people, society and country vigilant about, toward?

    that is a trick question.

    smh

  22. So very tragic! Rest in peace!

  23. And still, Maven, we have things like the little boy being left in the car happen. Eternal vigilance.

  24. Raul. and that is what it takes you know. i see it in my own family. Individuals decide we are not leaving ours to the wolves, this is what is required.. but i realize what a privilege and a grace that is…it is so rare..

  25. They should be liable imo, they should know the dangers if they are actually in the business of taking care of children

  26. You can never pray enough to prevent things like this from happening. I am at home now baby-sitting my first Grandchild, and I would have it no other way. Having had five children myself, I have a very good idea of what can go wrong and I am determined to be there if anything were to happen.

    My heart and prayers go out to Marvin and his family.

  27. My condolences to the young warrior! Blessing and strength!!

  28. Oh no!! 🙁 RIP little one. And my condolences to his family!

  29. So very sad! Deepest condolences to the family!

  30. the article said suffocating. my minds eye makes me think they covered that baby with something after they harnessed him in the car seat.

    lets think about it. if you have sense, patience, love, and interest, as well as skill to care. when a baby crying is that the logical or emotional response. to tie it down> not in my book.. and no way ever could i put a child in a seat to die, suffocate or entangle themselves.

    But…i thought i was wrong to write this but i see my sister Quianna right on point>> This is sad and regrettable– people have children ;minin’ they children who should not even be mining dogs

  31. I will add that to the report.

  32. Condolences to the family in these awful circumstances. Car seats should NOT be used to accommodate babies outside the car, especially sleeping babies. There are the dangers outlined in the link I shared above, and there is the additional danger of strangulation if the restraint straps are not fastened and secured in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

  33. Very relevant. Thanks Amery Browne

  34. oh Lord,stay strong MARVIN

  35. …this sounds like neglect! A baby isn’t placed in a car seat unless he is going in a car…especially not a ten month old that’s very active and moving around (the car seat becomes very unstable when it isn’t secured in a car!)…this is ridiculous. Condolences to the young man…this has definitely been a trying time…may he summon the strength to carry on.

  36. Douglas, maybe it became part of the course work for those training to ‘care’ for infants?

  37. Okay, WHAT THE HELL! Did ‘carelessness with infants’ become a contagious disease while we weren’t looking?

  38. Lord, lord I feel so emotional with all these kids passing …..!!!!!!it really is making me feel ill.

  39. T&T children dying without any adult in charge of their care facing the consequences of irresponsible child caring. The children are paying the ultimate price and adults let in their care are going about their life as though all is good. How more ridiculous can T&T care-caring become? Geezzz…

  40. I’m waiting to see what the authorities will do. So far law enforcement has done nothing in the case of the 5 year old who drowned

  41. Well..the other was 5 but still a baby

  42. Second baby?!? What in the world is going on?

  43. Second baby for the week that died at the hands of the daycare

  44. This is awful and heartbreaking

  45. This is too tragic. May his son find peace. 🙁

  46. So sad Warrior. Keep the faith, because God is in charge.

  47. It makes you see how fragile life is. Really sad and scary at the same time.

  48. Dear Lord, please shepherd these parents through their trauma and distress.

  49. nah man, nah man, and look at the little fellow like he is ready to play football, really sad my condolences and prayers goes out to Marvin and his family.

  50. Lawd Jesus!! *sigh* Condolences, love, and support to the young man and the team…..