Two of my dearest friends had what most people say was a horrendous hospital experience. To say it was an ’experience’ is an understatement, all this from what is considered a premier hospital in British Columbia, Kelowna General Hospital.
To imagine what this senior couple went through is beyond belief. It covers mainly incompetent post surgical for a hip replacement. From this couple’s experience one must assume that this system has flaws that are life threatening at most and life debilitating at the least. My friend, Karyn, needed a hip replacement, an everyday operation. Done incorrectly at the least it could have forced her into a wheelchair for the rest of her life. The worst? Well, anytime a senior goes into major surgery there is a risk to one’s life.
From post-operative care to incompetent physiotherapists to ‘nurses’ who showed little care and lack of empathy for their patients, it makes a person wonder how much of this goes on everyday. It seems that seniors must rely on family to ‘blow the whistle’ on incompetence. Most simple don’t understand their rights and what are correct procedures.
We are talking about a ‘general’ hospital that didn’t even have the necessary equipment to do the second or third hip replacement and needed to send to Toronto for the appropriate hardware, really? What irked me is that my buddy, Gord, the patient’s husband, had to bring food to her daily because of the poor quality of meals the Kelowna General provided. I guess the hospital would say it is in the interest of cost-saving or just maybe it is caused by the fact, according to hospital staff, that all meals were made 50 miles away by a Vernon contractor and trekked to the hospital daily, hmmm – freshness be damned.
Surgical orders, left by the Surgeons involved, were not followed by physio staff and nurses, procedures were ignored, the patient could not eat the food the majority of the 82 days, days unless Gord brought her food, medications were incorrectly given and she sat in soiled diapers for hours – Really?
In a modern setting, hip replacement that should have required a 3 day hospital stay needed 3 hip replacements and a total hospital stay of 82 Days!
This is a system, and a hospital, that has run amok. After Gord presented a litany of complaints, too numerous to post here, to Directors of the hospital, they thanked him expecting him to forget the nightmare. If anything will come from this debacle, patients, especially seniors, must be informed that unless they have a guardian angel or a family member to advocate for every step of their patient care they better go to a more modern, empathy-driven hospital far, far away from Kelowna.
Gord is a retired Professional Engineer. He is observant and lives for details. While caring for his wife daily at the hospital he documented every failure and every mistake on the part of staff and even called them on it at the time. I shudder to think what would have happened to Karyn if he wasn’t there when they tried to move her against the surgeon’s orders.
Gord and Karyn have found a lawyer to represent them in a civil suit, who agreed on a Contingency fee, but wants $10,000 to start with zero guarantees. I recall when a ‘ contingency’ fee was for services provided where the fee is payable only if there is a favourable result. This is just another blatant money grab by lawyers. This amount cannot be risked by these seniors. I will be reporting on this is as it unfolds – stay tuned!
- Bizzo is a global influencer working with conglomerates like Hauweai (Reputation Management), IBM & Microsoft (Brand awareness)