Woman discharged from hospital in household with COVID-19
It was supposed to be a party weekend for Sasha Walek.
His 65-year-old mother, who was admitted to intensive care in February after suffering kidney failure and multiple seizures, was finally on the mend and is expected to be discharged home on Friday. Walek, who lives in New Jersey, traveled to Toronto early last week. Her plan: to help her mother settle in, stay to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, and return to the United States the next day.
Instead, the weekend turned into a “COVID-19 nightmare”.
On Tuesday, Walek fell extremely ill and tested positive for COVID-19. Then, his stepfather caught the virus. And yet, says Walek, Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital in Toronto’s east end still insisted on having his mother discharged and sent home Friday to a small two-bedroom condo with two cases of COVID-19.
Now Walek says she’s looking for answers and wondering how a facility that saved her mother’s life decided to send her to what she calls a “COVID hot zone.”
“I feel stunned,” said Walek, who works in public health communications. “Having them react in such a deadpan way — with no flexibility to extend her discharge, let alone an alternate discharge plan to protect her — baffles me.”
Although she pleaded with hospital staff to find another option, Walek said she was told there was no workaround. His mother’s bed was needed for another patient, Walek was told. Hospital staff said if she and her stepfather wore masks, her mother would “be fine”.
A spokesperson for the Sinai Health System, of which Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital is a member, declined to comment, citing patient confidentiality concerns. The Sinai health system did not respond to questions from the Star about policies for discharge of patients from the hospital.
A provincial health ministry spokesperson said Walek should contact the hospital’s patient relations office or raise the matter with the Ontario Patient Ombudsman.
At the last minute on Friday, Walek herself decided to book a hotel room for her mother, rather than risk exposing her to the virus at home. But the situation is not ideal, she says. His mother, who uses a walker and received round-the-clock care for nearly three months, will be without caregivers for the next few days – at least until Walek and his stepfather come out of isolation. In the meantime, Walek said she has friends who deliver meals to her mother.
“It breaks my heart,” said Walek, who is his mother’s only child.
She does not blame the medical staff and social workers who cared for her mother, some of whom tried to escalate the problem and felt bad about having to send her mother back to a COVID-infected home, she said. she stated.
“They were all queuing. That’s what it seems like,” Walek said.
Instead, she blames the system as a whole for letting people like her mother down.
“As a dual American and Canadian citizen who works in healthcare, all you have to do is watch the news to see the abysmal failures of the American system,” Walek said. “However, I find it shocking to have gone through what I went through, trying to manage the care here for my mum.”
“I have always been very proud of the health care system in Canada and in Toronto. But now my faith has been badly shaken.
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