GB Widow English critical of Rand Memorial service

Dear Editor,

My husband (Philip English) was taken to the Rand Memorial Hospital because he needed blood. I was told by a doctor that if I took him home, he would die in two days. So, even though he wanted to be at home, my son and I begged him to remain in the hospital. We left him there to receive blood. Every day, I went to the hospital, but could not see him, because of the Covid-19 pandemic protocols.

I was informed later that he never received blood, because his blood type was not available. When I was told he needed blood, some donors went to the hospital, but were turned away. We questioned a nurse regarding the expected process, and was told he was not receiving blood. I was terribly upset and I later called the hospital many times but got no answer.

He was kept in for four days, and I recall, on that Friday, when I finally got through, he said to me ‘honey I want to come home, because they are not doing anything for me.’ I did not believe him. I called back to the hospital, around 2 am on the Saturday and was told he was asleep. Later that morning, I received a call and was informed that he was found on the floor unconscious, and they tried to save him but because he did not have enough blood, no oxygen was going to his brain. He died.

I don’t understand why, when it was discovered that his blood type was not available at the hospital, I was not contacted. I could have reached out in search of his blood type. Because of what seems to be lack of care and communication, he died alone, on the floor, his dignity taken away and his family left in a lot of pain.

I am of the view that the system is broken at the Rand and has been that way for years. Someone has to speak up. Such a situation is not acceptable and we must demand better medical care. Someone needs to take responsibility for what happened to my husband. I Think doctors should do more, because we the people deserve better. Our healthcare system is not what it ought to be.

I say to all of those who lose their loved ones, like I have, speak up. My husband was deprived of the love and care from his family during his final days.

Why?

I strongly submit that what I consider to be negligent action should be brought into question.

Yours etc., Gina English

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