Winnipeg man wrongly told by hospital that mother had died
Published Wednesday, October 5, 2016 8:03PM CST
Daniel Nemis’ 99-year-old mother Sophie lives alone in a senior’s manor and usually lives a healthy and independent life.
“She’s extremely independent,” said Daniel. “She goes on Hand-Transit, doesn’t wait for anybody, winter, summer.”
However, recently Daniel has been helping her out around the house, because she’s recovering from a stay in the hospital. Last month she was admitted into Seven Oaks General Hospital because of the injury.
Daniel said several days passed without an update on her condition until he got an unexpected phone call.
“A gentle voice, soft voice from the nurse, ‘I’m sorry your mother passed’,” he said.
Daniel remembered immediately getting emotional at the thought of his mother’s death and demanded to know how such a minor injury could lead to her passing.
“I remember uttering, ‘What? How? Sprained ankle?’,” he added.
Daniel said partway through the call, the nurse realized she had called the wrong family.
“‘Sorry is this Daniel?’,” said Nemis as he recounted what was said over the phone. “‘I’m sorry but you’re whoops, the wrong person.’”
Daniel said it took multiple people to contain him in that moment.
“The crying stopped and the screaming started,” he said. “It was terrible, I can’t describe it. There is no other pain to describe that.”
Seven Oaks said in a statement:
“A patient passed away during the night and the nurse coming on shift was responsible to call the next of kin. The nurse looked at the wrong page in the chart binder, realized part way into the call that she had the wrong name and apologized profusely.
The Seven Oaks Patient Relations Consultant and the Patient Care Team Manager called as well to apologize, followed by the Chief Nursing Officer, who conveyed her apologies and invited to meet personally with the family member. Seven Oaks has reviewed the patient identifier policies with staff to prevent this from happening again. The mistake was extremely unfortunate and regrettable, and we are deeply sorry for any grief that was caused, even momentarily.”
Nemis said his mother is doing better, now that she is back home. He explained that she is resting her ankle and getting stronger before she turns 100 in December.