The trouble was the by-pass on her legs – exactly 10 years after the operation – was no longer working. She needed a further operation. She was transferred to St Mary’s Hospital on Monday evening. I arrived on Tuesday morning – the consultant and his team were visiting her ward and her foot was much better and normal – not blue anymore. The consultant in charge explained to me the situation and her life was not in danger. She had a scan on Tuesday and I was told she would need an operation for a new by-pass. Wednesday she was OK, her face normal. On Thursday morning she was OK.
On Friday morning she was dying. I arrived there and had a shock that they hadn’t bothered to call me? To my enquiry as to why she no longer had the drip I was told by the Asian doctor that she had taken them out. Them I realised that my mother could not possible have taken the needles out as she was paralysed. What they had done was suspended the drip, medicine and, of course, she was dying.
That was completely wrong: discriminating against an elderly lady assuming that she had lost her quality of life. I am feeling awful, I AM DEVASTATED AS I DIDN’T SEE what was going on and feeling I let my mother down. But if I think of everything that went on during those last few days I question the NHS system. For heavens sake! Didn’t they know that I existed? Didn’t they have any consideration to tell me that they had suspended the drip and medicines? I should have been told and my permission asked for. My mother was a vulnerable invalid – they didn’t have to tell her anything but they should have told me as I went there every day.
I think the doctor was playing-bullying with my feelings when he told me she had taken out the needles as he knew I couldn’t react being absolutely shocking and horrified realising my mother was dying. I was not prepared for a death like that: I always hoped for a natural death. I could no longer do anything. I accused them of not operating on her the two days before everything had got to that stage but I knew I was too late. In all the years that I made my dreadful pilgrimages between ST MARY’S, ST CHARLES and PRINCESS LOUISE HOSPITAL and I realised that I didn’t count for NOTHING! Don’t ever get old and ill under the NHS in England.
They didn’t even have the decency to give me back my mother’s personal clothes – they told they had been put in the rubbish. I found it a terrible violation of my late mother’s rights and mine. All this has left devastated.
In order to see mother after her death I had to wait three hours for someone to open the Mortuary Chapel.
On Monday after her death she became solely my problem and my personal mother once again for the funeral because up until then I had no say regarding my mother’s illness.
Disgust between me and the NHS concerned the BUGS – I was not told when my mother had a bug
(I discovered this myself when I found vomit and faeces on her clothes that I was going to take away to be washed). I will never understand their complete lack of responsibility not to mention hygiene! I developed a phobia after being infected twice with a bug caused by visiting the hospital. I went back to Italy – with the help of my Italian doctor it took five months to get myself together and get myself rid of the bug. Francesca my daughter got the bug too when she visited her granny in hospital – Easter of two years ago. After these experiences with the bug I found the staff very hard to talk to and couldn’t really cope with them. I felt I could not visit the hospital for more than a certain time as I was terrified of getting infected again. I started saying: “I have to go! I have to go! “.
Obtaining the Death Certificate was another tragedy. My mother was supposed to have had the operation on her leg for the by-pass, before she died and it was pronounced satisfactory (by phone). (How can you operate anyone without dripping and medicine? Why this repulsive farce?) But the doctor declined to write the word OPERATED on the Death Certificate as requested by the coroner. After much coming and going and many telephone-calls the word OPERATED appeared on the certificate. The coroner spoke to me about all the illnesses that my mother had as the cause of her death but which she didn’t have five days before.
I cremated my mother. I feel I would like to spread her ashes in Regent’s Park – her favourite park. Even if I was thinking of taking the ashes to Brazil but I don’t think it is possible. I left Brazil before I was eligible to vote and it was a military dictatorship government. It means you couldn’t vote; now in Brazil if you don’t vote you can’t do anything. I really don’t know what kind of democracy is this? Which other country in the world if you don’t vote you can’t buy a place for your mother’s ashes? The vote in Brazil goes with your Tax Number. As if that’s not enough they ask me for my European passport to prove I haven’t voted. I cannot see any European country asking me for my Brazilian passport if I haven’t voted in Europe. I find it intriguing that the country I was born in is not happy to have my Brazilian passport identification. I left Brazil 38 years ago all this for my mother’s ashes it is so pathetic! I will never vote anyway.
-I must leave London my favourite town and the city that I have loved most in my life – a place I adore, which stimulates me, the city that has given me so much but has become painful. I cannot see bus number 7 which took me to Princess Louise Hospital for eight long years without crying!