A U.K. family has been left shocked after a hospital failed to tell them their godmother died on Christmas eve.
On December 23, 92-year-old Lily Green checked into Basildon Hospital with an ear infection. Her goddaughter, Gill Lewis, and her family planned to visit her once they returned from out of town over the holidays.
On December 26, Lewis and her family returned home to find a number of voicemail messages on their home phone from the hospital. The messages did not reveal any specific details about Green, they only asked the family to get in touch with the hospital.
Lewis’ son Scott did just that. Upon calling the hospital, Scott was told Ms. Green was in stable condition and was scheduled to be assessed by a doctor the next day.
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"He phoned me back and said, 'Mum, don't worry. Lily is stable and because you're not here I'll go and see her tomorrow,’” Lewis told the Brentwood Gazette.
But when Scott arrived at the hospital the next day, he was asked to sit down and wait to speak with hospital staff.
"They said come in and sit down in a room and then told him that Lily had died on Christmas Eve,” Lewis said. "My son was mortified. He said to me on the phone 'I don't know what to say, she's dead.’”
Lewis is now understandably upset at the hospital’s failure to tell her son that Lily had passed away before he came to visit.
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“She couldn't have fought the infection and the hospital tried to tell us while we were away – that's fair enough,” Lewis said. "But my issue is my son going to visit – how did that happen? To be told Lily is stable and being assessed and to find she had died. That's the distressing part. This is why the hospital gets into problems.”
The hospital says they are investigating the miscommunication.
"We are very sorry for the distress caused to Lillian Greeno’s family, and have offered them our sincere apologies,” a spokesperson for Basildon Hospital said."The matter is being fully investigated and we will be inviting the family to meet with us so that we can explain what happened and answer their questions.”