My mother was featured on the cbc mb news in early January 2012 as being the sixty nine year old victim of a facebook fraud scam. This is where the list of incidents starts. I did write the local paper but they chose not to publish anything until CBC Winnipeg featured a week long story about the facebook angle of what happened to her. The real tragedy is how she was treated right in her own community hospital! By doctors who ought to know better!
In short, she was defrauded by a Nigerian man into giving him her money. She hadn’t had enough money to buy food or insulin. She ran out of insulin for a couple of days and by New Year’s day she was in huge trouble. She couldn’t walk to hospital to get insulin, she couldln’t afford a taxi and when I called her, she was already entering into shock. I could tell by her slurred speech. I hung up the phone and called the switchboard at the Flin flon Hospital and explained the situation. They wouldn’t put me through to the emergency room but told me to call the Manitoba toll free number instead. What??? I eventually called Winnipeg and told them what happened and they told me to call ambulance right away to pick her up and take her to hospital. I called ambulance and also my uncle to go over and wait with her until ambulance arrived. For an ambulance to not get there for almost thirty minutes when they were just down the block as they got lost was bad enough. They gave her glucose as soon as they arrived at her apartment and then took both my mother and my uncle up to the hospital. They Dropped them off at the front door to wait in the waiting room!! And they did wait, for four entire hours, all the while my mother just getting sicker and sicker. Then, when they are finally seen, she is finally admitted into the hospital. I might note at this time that she ended up staying in the hospital for almost a month. And what did they do? Instead of calling me to let me know when she was to be released, as they were assuring me they would, they discharged her in the middle of winter, with no one to take her home, no money and luckily she was able to call her sister to drive her home. My mother had just been declared incompetent by and here they discharge her to go home in the middle of winter with no money and no ride and no one to make sure she got home ok. That was in January.
It’s now January 28, 2013 and she was found on her apartment floor by her neighbour who saw her through her window after she had been making noise and he couldn’t figure out what she was doing. She couldn’t get off the floor to help herself so the neighbour ran to my uncle’s two houses away and they came and somehow got into her apartment. She was semi-conscious again, again going into diabetic shock. Her nurse had been there at about 5pm to watch her take her insulin. Mom had eaten a full, normal supper which had been previously prepared by the home care worker. that was about six. And she doesn’t remember anything after that other than suddenely becoming weak. She blacked out. Next thing she remembers is coming to in the emergency room at the Flin Flon hospital. My uncle had immediately called the ambulance and they got there quickly this time. Upon entering her residence they got a blood sugar reading of a little over 1. That is dangerously dangerously low! they gave her a needle right away and rushed her and my uncle to the emergency room. I had made my first call just as she had arrived. The reception desk told me she just arrived and to call back in a few minutes once they established what was going on with her.
I called again in roughly thirty minutes or so. I again got reception. She told me that Mom would be going home??? Pardon? So I asked for the attending physcian’s name. She didn’t want to give it to me. She kept saying to call back and talk to the nurses in a few minutes. I again asked for the doctor’s name and said I had a right to know this. She tersely said his name was Dr. Elias (not sure of the spelling here).
I called again in about twenty minutes, give or take, and the reception answered again. I said who I was, was tersely transferred to the emergency room nurse 9who’s name I will be asking for), told her I was the daughter and could she tell me how my mother was or what was happening. She shortly stated in definite terms she would not because of “patient confidentiality” and quickly transferred me to my mother’s phone. In effect she shut my inquiries down before I could even think to get her name. What is going on with that? I am the daughter and she won’t give me information on my mother? My seventy year old mother who was just rushed into emergency in the middle of winter who was going into diabetic shock? She effectively shut down any questions as to talk to the attending physican, why my mother was being released and what had happened to being with? What legal right did this woman have? any of those women have to withhold information from me concerning my mother? Just because they feel they can????? Why was the doctor letting this elderly woman go home alone to a situation that endangered her again?
Mom’s speech was still somewhat slurred, she sounded bad. And no explanation given to my mother or anyone else as to what was happening and why they were returning her medically unsupervised back to the apartment where she would again be alone. She took her insulin under nurse supervision, she ate her required meal. And she still ended up going into diabetic shock within hours. And there she was pushed back into the winter night via taxi back to her apartment.
If she dies in the night, isn’t that a case against the doctor, nurse and hospital? And shouldn’t the tax paying public know what their hard earned dollars are buying? Is this the treatment that children of non-hospital staff can expect if they are not personally connected to anyone on shift that night?
We know if my mother had someone there who could stand up to this type of “terse bull flung around by smug hospital attendants, then she likely would have been admitted for the night, at the very least. What responsible physician allows a old woman to go home who has a questionable health state?