The family of the woman Kermit Gosnell killed in a botched legal abortion testified today at his murder trial.
They were questioned about the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who is sometimes forgotten amid the national controversy that has erupted over Gosnell’s abortion business. Mongar died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the abortion practitioner.
A political refugee from the country of Bhutan, Mongar went to Gosnell on Nov. 19, 2009 for the abortion and, prior to it, was given numerous doses of pain and sedation drugs by an individual who was not a licensed medical practitioner. She went to Gosnell because other abortion clinics referred her to him.
Massive amounts of drugs found in the victim’s system led authorities to suspect Gosnell was illegally prescribing pain-killers. He temporarily lost his medical license in both Pennsylvania and neighboring Delaware. Pennsylvania officials suspect Mongar died from the botched abortion in part because she had been treated by unlicensed personnel.
The State Board of Medicine says Gosnell had the unlicensed staff member give vaginal exams and administer the drugs Demerol, Promethazine and Diazepam. He was eventually fined $1,000 for the violations.
She experienced severe cramping and asked for additional pain medication. The unlicensed assistant contacted Gosnell, who instructed her to administer more doses. Near the end of the procedure, Mongar began losing color and had no pulse.
Forced from their home in Bhutan, Mongar, her husband and three children lived in a hut in a refugee camp in Nepal for 18 years. She lost one child in the refugee camp from poor living conditions. In June 2009, the family was given the opportunity by the United States government to relocate to this country United States to begin new lives.
During the hearing today, Mongar’s son, Yashoda Gurung, said he tried to talk his mother into having the baby, according to one news report:
“She said, ‘We’re just getting started here,'” Gurung testified today.
So, about 16 weeks pregnant and rejected by two women’s clinics in Virginia and one in Washington, Mongar, Gurung and her mother-in-law, and Mongar’s brother Damber Ghalley headed for Philadelphia on Nov. 19, 2009 to the clinic of Kermit Gosnell.
By the end of the day, Gurung told a Philadelphia jury, the abortion was done and her mother was in a coma.
Mongar died the next day in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and prosecutors allege she was killed when Gosnell’s untrained staff gave her too much Demerol to anesthetize her.
Gurung, who testified through a Nepalese translator, wept when Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore displayed a photograph of her mother and father Ash Mongar – smiling new immigrants posing inside the Smithsonian’s air and space museum.
Gurung was followed to the witness stand by Ghalley, who told the Common Pleas Court jury how he drove his sister and family to Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society at 3801 Lancaster Ave.
Ghalley, who has lived in the United States since 1999 and speaks English, described the chaos at the clinic as firefighters and paramedics arrived to transport his unconscious sister to the emergency room. He said firefighters had to use bolt cutters to open the emergency exit leading to a ramp to the sidewalk.
Ghalley testified that he saw Gosnell standing in the open door to the clinic and asked what happened.
“He said the procedure was done but your sister’s heart stopped,” Ghalley testified.
The next day, Ghalley continued, he accosted Gosnell in the hospital parking lot and Gosnell repeated his earlier answer, adding, “I didn’t do anything wrong. I’ll be able to answer any question anywhere.”
“We want justice, this doctor has to be out of that clinic or he should not be treating anybody,” Damber Ghalley told CNN Monday. “And the things that happen to my sister, I don’t want to happen to anybody in the future.”
He told CNN “the clinic was so dirty, filthy with blood stains and a dirty floor, everywhere dirty, I cannot describe how dirty it was.”
“It’s unforgettable, my sister will never come back and it’s sad,” Ghalley said. “All the happiness is gone, they miss their mother every day and night,” Ghalley said, referring to Mongar’s four children.”
Karamaya’s daughter Yashoda Gurung is also speaking out and said the abortion turned bad when the overdose of anesthesia kicked in.
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“We were waiting but it was a long time and my mom was not outside,” she told NBC Philadelphia, saying she began to panic when an ambulance pulled up to the abortion facility.
Gurung said an abortion center worked told her nothing was wrong: “She said, ‘your mom is good, don’t worry about that.’”
She said Gosnell’s staff moved the family to another room away from Mongar and would not give them updates on her condition. She finally saw her mother as emergency workers took her to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where, hours later, Mongar was pronounced dead.
“I want justice,” says Gurung.