NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A mother in need of surgery has been bedridden at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for more than two months as the hospital deals with the significant backlog of patients in need of healthcare services.
Nell Williams, who has three children, was admitted to the hospital on February 8 after experiencing elevated blood pressure.
Doctors advised that her kidneys were failing and she needed to be placed on dialysis.
A peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter was placed in her groin.
She remained at the hospital under the advisement of doctors, who she claimed told her that there was a greater risk of infection if she returned home with the catheter.
But after a few weeks of treatment, she began experiencing severe pain and eventually could no longer walk.
As nurses bathed her last week, blood emitted from the area where the catheter was placed – the area had become infected.
Williams’ sister, Kristine Mitchell said when she video called her sister on Friday it was clear that her pain was unbearable.
“Last week, she said she can’t walk and I said what you mean you can’t walk,” Mitchell told Eyewitness News.
“She asked for a walker. When they did a scan on her leg, let’s say they did a scan last week Sunday, they got the results back on Wednesday and they noticed it was fluid.
“A female doctor apologized and said the port got infected. She was in so much pain. She was crying. I said this is enough.
“She said these people don’t check for you. She said she called the nurses and they slammed the door at one point. I had to call PMH because she was saying she can’t take the pain. The port was supposed to be removed from her groin. It was just removed on Saturday.”
Mitchell said relatives were fearful that Williams would lose her life waiting on surgery, despite being pushed up on the waiting list since the infection.
“They didn’t want to send her home because they said without the proper care it would get infected, but it got infected under their watch,” she said.
“She was supposed to have surgery to put the port in the chest area. But they said there is a waiting list. She is on the waiting list. They said she might have to spend three months in the hospital because the list is so long.
“She is on a drip. She is not doing dialysis now. I think they’re saying now that she had the infection that she has been pushed up on the list. I’ve seen her cry a million times in there, and she is a strong woman. She has chronic sinus.
On Wednesday, the Public Hospitals Authority and PMH advised the public that only emergency cases were encouraged to use the Emergency Department at PMH, while non-emergency patients have been asked to seek care from their primary care physicians or utilize community clinics.
Earlier this month, PMH expanded its visitation for elderly patients to two visits per patient, but visitation on general wards remains limited to patients aged 60 years and older.
Mitchell said not being able to visit her sister, who is 55, has compounded the issues.
Relatives take turns collecting her clothes to wash and drop off fresh garments and other items as needed.
“Friday was just the breaking point for us,” she said.
“I video called her Friday, but I got so scared. When I video called her, she said she can’t take the pain no more. She said ‘help me father, help me Father’. You’re there to get help, but you’re in constant pain. She can’t walk to the restroom. She can’t go to bathe. Their job is to serve and help people.”
Mitchell said: “They’re only giving her pain medication. When I asked her what’s the level of her pain from 1-10, she said 100.”