Page 2 - NWC Winter 2012 newsletter
P. 2

A Cry in the Dark


A Daughters frantic e-mail plea for help

Sent: Friday, August 26, 2011 01:09 AM
To: Petrowski, Andrew
Subject: Since my mother entered the niagara health care system.

Hello Andrew, we spoke very briefly tonight at the Niagara Health Coalition meeting at
the Legion. I had the baby with me.
I want to let you know what has happened to my mother.

This is her story.

My mothers name is Patricia. She is a wise cracker, salt of the earth kind of woman.
Born in Cape Breton, started her new life in Ontario.
Mom has suffered terribly from rheumatoid arthritis for the past 12 years. She used to
keep the house in working order, walk to the Lock to see the large ships whenever she
heard the horn blow, knew everything there was to know about local birds.
She was admitted to St Catharines General hospital on May 10th for a knee replacement.
On May 11th we were told that the surgery was a success. I visited mom and asked her how
she felt. She commented that her upper body felt strange, and partial paralysis was the
reason. This was very confusing. She was not capable of raising her arms to feed her-
self. My family had a schedule, since the nurses were not responsible for feeding her.
Two weeks turned into three. Mom complained about extremely bad pains in her stomach, a
fever, and diarrhea. She told me that she has to wait 15-20 minutes once she calls a
nurse to go to the bathroom. Dignity out the window.
This was before the outbreak was announced. Eventually a month passed, and mom was
left alone in a room, with warning labels on the door. Then they shipped her to the
Shaver. For two days.
And then shipped her back. Shaver couldn't handle her complications.
During the first 4 weeks, the lack of communication was frustrating.
"Tomorrow" was always the answer.
It took complaining to find out that mom was going for a serious spinal fusion opera-
tion at Hamilton General hospital.
The surgery was on a Monday. I visited on the Tuesday. When I walked into the I.C.U
room and saw her, my stomach felt like it was punched. I was in shock. I couldn't recog-
nize my own mother. Her face had swollen to three times it's normal size, her tongue was
purple and hanging out, I had never seen a person attached to so many wires, drips, ma-
chines. The nurse told me that this was normal for a patient who was face down for 8
hours during surgery.
I walked outside and cried. It was a nightmare. And then I had to put on a smile for
my 15 month old daughter watching me.
The VERY NEXT day a particular doctor whom I will never forget, decided that it was
fine to take out the breathing tubes.
Mom went into cardiac arrest. CPR was performed. Her heart stopped for
2 minutes. I will never forget being stopped in the hallway of I.C.U by him, as he ex-
plained that he personally performed the CPR and brought her back. I was crying, scared,
so grateful to him at that time. So grateful, what a joke. What a sick, horrible joke.
After the first cardiac arrest episode, mom went downhill. She had to be re-intubated
3 times. Her heart stopped two more times. She had fluid. She needed a tube inserted to
remove it. Pneumothorax.
She was covered in bruises. Her hearing was gone. Her eyesight was bad. She couldn't
communicate with us. The huge uncomfortable tube down her throat made it impossible. She
caught pneumonia.
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