Many families in New South Wales are heart-broken and in deep anguish and pain as they struggle with hospital staff to let them be with their old parents in their last moments. Aged parents in hospitals due to Covid have nobody by their side due to strict covid protocol.
People are sharing their stories of grief on radio talk shows.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Health Minister Brad Hazzard both rang Gayle Roberts to apologise after she was made to sit for five hours in a foyer at Campbelltown Hospital on January 31 while her mother Shirley Foster died.
Ms Roberts told 2GB’s Ben Fordham her mother was nearing the end of her life and had been taken to a palliative care room the day before.
Ms Roberts said she was told to leave by a security guard that evening.
“I begged to stay, I asked him please make a phone call. My mum was gasping for breath,” Ms Roberts told the radio station.
The next morning, Ms Roberts was told she needed to reapply for an exemption to see her dying mum.
“I just didn’t want my mum to die alone,” she said.
“She was the sweetest, kindest, most loving person you could wish to be and she went to the end of her life without having a loved one there to hold her hand, stroke her face, run the fingers through her hair and kiss her on the cheek.”
Ms Roberts said she was grateful for the kind and compassionate care of the frontline healthcare workers at the hospital, adding that it was not their fault because they were stymied by the rules.
“We are not robots, we have hearts, the systems don’t have a heart.”
Another 2GB listener, Joanne, also called in with a similarly heartbreaking story.
Joanne said she was denied the chance to say goodbye to her COVID-19 positive father as he lay dying in Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital last month.
“We know that he was afraid, we know that he was alone,” Joanne said.
After waiting seven hours, Joanne’s mother was briefly allowed to visit her father, but she was not given another opportunity the next day before he died, she said.
Joanne was not allowed in to see her father at all and said goodbye over FaceTime.
Campbelltown Hospital is now investigating the complaints from Ms Robert’s family.
A Campbelltown Hospital spokesperson has told 2GB, “Ms Roberts should have been allowed to remain with her mother for compassionate reasons”.