To the Jewish General Hospital Complaints Commissioner
April 23, 2009
THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
I am home right now, Rosemary, but I don't know if I'm coming or going.
Dr. Very Stern said he wanted another test done today but he would not let me stay overnight. I had to go home and come back in spite of the stress and the cost of taxis. Dr. Stern told me that if I could not come back for the test, it was my own problem. He said, "You are responsible for your own life."
A male nurse named Yannick pulled the painful catheter from my wrist leaving me with blood running down my arm and onto my gown, the papers and the floor.
As I was leaving Number 33 Red in Emergency, an older nurse with long blonde hair grimaced at me and said, "You have the best doctors here. Why aren't you satisfied?"
I said I was satisfied with my doctors.
She said, "Then why don't you just go home and stop complaining?"
I told her she doesn't know my circumstances. I live alone and I am very weak.
She told me to ask my neighbours to help me.
I do not impose upon my friends and neighbours. They all have their own problems.
The nurse told me to go out into the neighbourhood and do good for others and then maybe someone would help me.
I needed that !
It took me about twenty minutes to walk from the taxi to my apartment yesterday. I arrived at about 8:00 PM. I was so totally exhausted it was after 10 AM when I woke up and I have been too tired to do anything but sleep all day.
My appointment for the "duplex" test was at 10:45 AM and there was no way I could go. I phoned the coordinator nurse. She rescheduled for tomorrow. It will be an ordeal to walk to the taxi but I will do it somehow.
I've lost track of time. I've been bounced around so much and tortured with needles and catheters.
I had an appointment at 1:30 in nuclear medicine. It would have been Tuesday, the 21st.
My brother dropped me at the door at Legare. When I started walking the pain that I had in my left shoulder blade increased and a new pain started in the chest, left side. I couldn't walk anymore and it was hard to stand.
That's when I asked the young security guard to get someone to bring a wheelchair and take me to my appointment in nuclear medicine or to the emergency.
He said there was nothing he could do. He refused to do anything or call anyone. I managed to walk over to the room nearby where you get the hospital cards and I told one of the registrars I had a pain in my chest and I needed help.
She told me to ask the security guard. I told her that he said he can't do anything. She said something like, "What does he mean, he can't do anything! Go tell him to call Emergency."
I went back to the security guard and he said there are no porters and he is not allowed to leave his post and Emergency doesn't answer and... and...
By that time I was lying on the floor and one of the crowd said, "The woman is going to die right here in front of us! Do something!"
The guard complained again, "I can't do nothing!"
I said, "Then call 911!
And the security guard said, " I can't call 911. You are in the hospital."
And people just kept walking past me, even a few in white coats. There were people selling jewellery nearby and people selling coffee. Nobody paid any attention.
I heard the security guard, apparently talking on the phone. In French he said I had a pain in my estomac. (stomach). I said, "I have a pain in my chest," and again he said he couldn't do anything. He said he would lose his job.
If you want another perspective, I invite you to contact the one person who acted and took it upon herself to get me to the emergency.
This wonderful person ordered the guard to help her and they both pulled me from the floor to a wheelchair. Then Bonnie, a patient herself, I learned later, wheeled me to Emergency.
It reminds me of the story of Sodom and Gemorrah where Abraham argues with God appealing with Him to spare the sin cities ... if there were even ten good men ...
There was one decent human being in the Legare lobby of the JGH that day. Her name was Bonnie Fraser - a gift from God.
September 16, 2010. Of course, excuses were made. No one did anything wrong. No one was responsible. The young guard is still working at the same job to this day.