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Anne T.'s Story

Gilbert, AZ

We will never know if she might have survived Covid because Dignity Mercy Gilbert provided her no dignity and gave her no mercy.

They gave her morphine and Atavan before her transfer, denying her the opportunity to enjoy a last meal at home.

No Care Or Dignity

“She was upset about her rights being ignored.”

Our mother died on December 16, 2021, after a horrific eleven-day ordeal at a hospital whose murderous protocols ensured her death. We will never know if she might have survived Covid because Dignity Mercy Gilbert provided her no dignity and gave her no mercy. Our mom, Mary, was a fighter and fought every day to get home to her loved ones. She was the beautiful, independent, loving, and much-loved matriarch of our family. She was a mother to 6, grandmother to 7, and great-grandmother to 6 young children. This word map provides merely a glimpse into how we feel about her and what she meant to us.

Despite the desire to avoid the hospital, her O2 stats were low on December 5. After check-in, her daughter was not allowed to accompany her. She was upset about her rights being ignored: an unwanted DNR; isolation; the refusal of food and water; little to no help to move about or toilet; and all blamed on "Covid protocols." Medical Records show Intake paperwork signed by verbal agreement, without witness signature, stating she didn't want her family notified and placing a DNR in her chart. She gave them the names and phone numbers of three children, not the action of a woman not wanting her family notified. But certainly convenient for a hospital not wanting the interference of family as they provided less than substandard care.

Denied Rights And Lied To

Code Status: She called upset after learning about the DNR. We provided MPOA paperwork and got the DNR removed. She called panicked five days later about a reinstated DNR. A nurse lied, saying she had simply overheard her talking to a doctor about another patient. Medical Record: A doctor reinstated a DNR 5 days after it was removed, over her and her MPOA's stated and recorded wishes. The staff never informed us.

Isolation and Disability Rights Violated: Only one 30-minute visit a day was allowed. The incredibly loud noise made phone calls extremely difficult. Staff were informed of her hearing loss but made no simple accommodations. No communication board or paper/pen was provided. When her daughter left paper/pen so she could write and conserve energy and breath, it was found out of reach, covered in water the next day. She was able to write in coherent long sentences with clear penmanship as of 12/14/21. She clearly could have used this to communicate with staff. Instead, they let her remove the mask and yell while chastising her for removing it to try to get a drink of water. Medical Record: No note regarding her hearing loss and need for communication assistance.

Starved And Dehumanized

“Staff failed to chart requests for food/water/IV fluids/temporary feeding tube until one-note day 9.”

Starvation/Dehydration: She called and texted daily that she was hungry and thirsty. MPOA/family requests for a temporary feeding tube and IV fluids were denied. Her granddaughter found a breakfast tray sitting out of reach. When asked why it would cruelly be left in her room if she was NPO (nothing by mouth), we were told there was no standing NPO order; it was left to the shift nurse to determine if she could tolerate eating/drinking. Medical Record: She had NPO orders on/off. She was given only 13.4 cups of water over 11 days! No food was given until 5% of dinner on the 4th day! Only 25-75% of breakfast and lunch, days 5-7. Food was again withheld from days 8-11, except for 10% of breakfast and dinner on day 10. Nursing consistently charted they were encouraging food and water to avoid bed sores; likely a QC report affecting funding rates and also fraud. Contradictions within the medical record bring into question its validity. While food and water were withheld for days based on the possibility of aspiration pneumonia, they frequently charted she was performing her own oral care. Not likely as they kept water out of reach and chastised her for removing her oxygen mask to take a sip of water.

Dehumanization/MPOA Interference: Her rights: to humane care; family input/advocacy; to seek appropriate care and treatment; and the right to try were denied. The hospital committed failure to treat, denying medication reconciliation by denying such alternatives as Ivermectin and IV vitamins. Upon admittance, a doctor wrote: "-She is DNR. Palliative care consultation to discuss further goals of care with family and patient as her condition may not be survivable at this point." No one contacted the family. MPOA/family were not given the phone numbers and agencies to reach out to with concerns/complaints. Medical Record: Staff failed to chart requests for food/water/IV fluids/temporary feeding tube until one-note day 9; requests for Ivermectin/IV vitamins uncharted; Remdesivir was ordered initially, a later note says she did not meet their criteria, no note shows our mom and MPOA refused it, despite a nurse saying he would chart it. They failed to chart her MPOA’s name/phone number until day 10.

Treated With Cruelty Not Care

“Critical information was withheld, interfering with our mother's/MPOA's right to make choices for her care.”

Staff cruelly communicated to each other within her room, leaving her scared hearing only snippets: "nothing more can be done; nothing more we can do," etc. Finding our mother in urine-soaked sheets, her granddaughter refused to leave until she was helped, 35 minutes later. Another family member admitted at the same time, showed staff pictures of his young children in an effort to humanize himself. He was refused food and water for three days; left in a hallway with no medical response for fifteen minutes when his oxygen ran out; and had restricted access to the restroom. They bullied and tormented him, "If you have one more bad night, we'll have to put you on a ventilator and you'll only have a 30-40% chance of surviving." A steroid medicine given at night kept him awake so they gave him Ambien to sleep which caused hallucinations. It took his wife's repeated intervention to get Ambien stopped and the dosing time adjusted. We are thankful he made it home to his family.

Lack of Communication/Transparency: Timelines and decisions regarding care were affected by a lack of transparency. Critical information was withheld, interfering with our mother's/MPOA's right to make choices for her care. We spoke to a doctor only once, after demanding it, who refused to provide the requested information, until a friend working in a covid ICU out-of-state requested it. Severe pneumonia was identified on day one but not shared with the family until day 10. We were led to believe she was improving and could not leave until her oxygen needs decreased. On day 9, my brother was told she was receiving therapies critical to her care when she had not received any therapies following initial evaluations. There were no attempts to see her until days 9/10/11, at which time nursing declined as inappropriate d/t her status. She needed to be up and moving to clear pneumonia; advocacy for her ability to tolerate food/water or be provided a temporary feeding tube and hydration; ensure her mouth was being cleaned prior to water/ice chips; and to observe her communication difficulties and advocate for accommodations, especially as nursing staff continued to insist she did not need a MPOA.

Every Attempt To Kill

Discrimination: We believe her rights were also violated due to: Multiple notes negatively referencing vaccination status; age; unwanted DNR; and monetary gain/Covid incentives.

Interference Leaving the Hospital: A nurse called to discuss plans, including home health and/or hospice, in the event things took a downturn. The next day another nurse said, "No, Covid patients don’t go home. What happens when they’re ready to be done with treatment is that they have their last meal here and die here." When informed, "No, you're wrong and our mother will be coming home," she admitted, “This isn’t my specialty. I’ll refer you to palliative care." Due to her hearing loss, I specifically stated no palliative care member should speak with my mother until I was present, and I was on my way to the hospital. They did not honor this and tried to tell me once again she didn’t need a MPOA. When I got there, I was told my mom understood what coming home on hospice meant and I had to sit at her bedside as the palliative care "provider" reviewed again the plans to bring her home and realize the miscommunication that had occurred and see the reaction as my mother realized what was being discussed. This was avoidable extra pain for both my mother and me. Simply exercising less arrogance and following family wishes would have made for a far different, more compassionate conversation.

Pure Evil

“ In what were some of our mom's final words, she described what is transpiring as, "Evil, evil, evil…" ”

Escaping the Hospital: Four of her children fought their way in past the front door "guards" to be with her, after staff had scared us by telling us she might die in the process of transfer. She was made NPO as soon as we had arranged for hospice. She wasn’t released for almost 21 hours and no one told us that they were once again starving and dehydrating our mother. She was dehydrated, significantly weakened, and being refused an ice chip by a nurse who said simply, “It’s the protocol when they’re going home.” She did not even offer to swab her mouth with liquid for comfort. She denied a dying woman's verbal request for comfort care and the request of her four children for a single ice chip and then had the gall to delay our mother's departure by stepping between our mother and transportation staff, to put her face in our mother's and say it was a privilege to take care of her. Medical Record: They gave her morphine and Atavan before her transfer, denying her the opportunity to enjoy a last meal at home.

God had his hands on our mom and family, as we got her home the afternoon of December 15. She passed on to our Father in Heaven on December 16, surrounded by her family in the peace of her own home. We know she is at peace with our Father. We pray for protection for those still facing this evil and those trying to heal from it. We must connect the dots...the provider relief fund is funding murder and it needs to be ended. According to some sources, Dignity Health is the number five recipient of the Covid provider relief fund in the country. In what were some of our mom's final words, she described what is transpiring as, "Evil, evil, evil…"

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