In today’s interview, I’m featuring sister duo and Janet De Boer and Susie Persaud. They have been advocating in what has been a failed attempt to see their mother, Ursula, at the Markham-Stouffville Hospital in Markham, Ontario.
Initially, Ursula was transferred to this hospital due to the need for intubation, where she was placed in critical care and put in a medically induced coma.
Ursula’s husband of more than four decades and her children have not been able to be by her bedside in her ailing moments due to the hospital’s mandatory visitor vaccination policy.
This is in spite of (un)clear stipulations that there are exceptions to the indiscriminate policy. These exceptions include those experiencing imminent end of life and in critical illness on an apparent case-by-case basis.
I reached out to the hospital's patient relations specialist, Michele Coscarella, to ask what determinants were used on a case-by-case basis to establish visitation or deny visitation. And, based on the conversation with Janet and Susie, I also wanted to know what protocols were in place to treat COVID-positive patients, and if physicians were also allowed to select from those patients also based on a case-by-case basis. A response was never garnered.
The one thing the family was successful at advocating against was the use of Remdesivir, an anti-viral approved by the FDA under emergency use authorization in COVID patients, which has actually shown to provide questionable benefit and has been observed, but not thoroughly studied, in it’s relation to acute renal failure otherwise known as, organ failure, when used in COVID-positive patients.
However, the hospital did accidentally administer Ursula an extra dose of intravenous antibiotics, which damaged her kidneys. Her family, being unable to visit and advocate for her properly, claims this could have been avoided if an extra set of eyes were allowed in hospital.
Ursula then had to undergo a round of dialysis to help her liver process and excrete the medications that kept her in a medically induced coma.
Now that Ursula is awake, is off of the ventilator and breathing on her own, she has been allowed fully-vaccinated visitors. Although her immediate family hasn’t been able to visit, she has had visitors with her every day since.