Left alone in an isolation room with, for sole support, the infernal noise of the ventilation system: this is how Louise Giguère spent the last 33 days of her life while she was hospitalized in the COVID zone -19 intensive care at a hospital in Quebec.
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His daughter Sara Pelletier wanted to recount the tragedy and suffering that her mother went through, insisting that the dedicated staff was not involved.
“The circumstances of COVID make it very difficult for the patient to be accompanied by his relatives,” she explained in an interview with LCN.
Louise Giguère, 72, was in good health before contracting the coronavirus, probably during a bingo night in Quebec. Her only risk factor was being overweight.
“She did not have any cholesterol, diabetes, nothing,” says Sara Pelletier.
Seriously ill, she had to be intubated and placed in a coma for 9 days. The extubation went well and Mme Giguère was doing better, but the disease has come back in force, a scenario observed in several COVID-19 patients.
“She relapsed into the disease, unfortunately. Finally, she ended up dying of COVID, ”says her daughter, who is still severely affected.
- Hear from the head of intensive care at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, the Dr François Marquis, at QUB radio:
Difficult end of life
Even more difficult for Sara Pelletier to accept: her mother did not leave in serenity.
“She often told us that she was on her own. The intensive care staff were excellent. It takes a lot of equipment to enter a COVID room and it is lacking a lot of staff, from what we have seen as citizens. We were able to accompany him for the last three days. We have heard, on several occasions, that they did not have as much material as we said on television. They were often afraid of running out. ”
She adds that due to the difficulties of the isolation and the complex precautionary measures for the staff, her mother could wait sometimes four hours for a glass of water, she laments.
“Myself, one day, I knocked on the window for a glass of water, I waited half an hour,” she recalls.
Very noisy ventilation
In addition, the ventilation system was so noisy that it was hardly bearable for the relatives who went to the bedside of the lady.
“We took turns every two hours, and after two hours, we came out of there with such extreme liberation that the noise was hellish. It was impossible to stay there longer than two hours! It was like the fan of a factory. I’m sure factory workers who were unionized would have to wear ear muffs to stay in there. My mother was in there for 33 days with an infernal noise that never stopped ”, details Mme Pelletier.
Conscious, but ill, Louise Giguère was alone without a television and had to spend most of her time “looking at the clock”. She also did selfies that she sent to her relatives.
Very badly affected morally, she even called 911 to be taken out of there shortly before her death.
“My mother would have preferred to die than to stay there. That night she wanted to go out. It’s to show how much she was in distress, ”she concludes.
Louise Giguère died of the disease on October 25th.