A grieving husband who switched off his wife’s life support machine discovered three days later she was alive when he called the hospital to make funeral arrangements.
Malcolm Greenhill, 62, had said his goodbyes to wife of 41 years Marilyn and turned off the machines helping her to breath.
He was told she would be dead within minutes.
Mr Greenhill left the hospital and started the unmanageable duty of telling his family.
However, when his son Craig, 41, rang Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich, West Mids, three days later to make funeral arrangements, he was given the heartbreaking news Marilyn was still alive.
Craig stated the mistake simply surfaced after personnel couldn’t ascertain where Marilyn’s body was in the mortuary.
Her machine was turned off on Saturday Bank Holiday and then we were told to call back on Tuesday but when they talked to the mortuary at the hospital they said that they couldn’t locate her, and it turned out she was still on the ward.
The family raced back to the hospital, however, Mrs Greenhill passed away 24 hours later.
Hospital managers have promptly set in motion an inquiry into what took place.
Mr Greenhill had to watch his wife die twice, and he stated he would never have left his wife’s side for her continuing four days if he had been aware that she was alive.
He was informed it was merely the machine keeping her going and there was no point drawing out the unavoidable.
They were made to understand there was nothing more that could be done and she would only live for a few minutes once the machine was turned off, so Mr Greenhill said his goodbyes.
Grandmother Marilyn, 65, had been hospitalised after stumbling down the stairs of her home in West Bromwich and sustained a bleed in the brain.
She was rushed to Sandwell Hospital at 12.30pm on May 3 after her husband discovered her lifeless body at the base of the stairs.
Doctors told her desperate family that nothing could be done to save her life, which left Mr Greenhill with the unbearable decision to turn off her life support which was keeping his wife alive.
They didn’t know that for three days she had laid there alone. She was still breathing.
Nobody called them to tell them their mother was alive.
It was an unforeseen turn of events, that they went home thinking she had passed away simply to discover days later that she was in fact still alive.
This is an unexpected situation, and there appears to have been a huge breakdown in communication between the hospital team and the family.
I hope there is a full inquiry into what has taken place on account of, something has gone dangerously off balance and it needs to be looked into.
This must have been unbearable for this poor family, and the ineptitude of the hospital is unfavourable. The running of a hospital should be superior to anything else, but it seems to get more and more that it’s a destructive place to be, where we wait around and linger, and then vanish from sight.
A hospital should know the location of their patients, dead or alive.
This is a single occurrence, and we are optimistic that this should never happen again, nevertheless, when funds are limited, and finances are taut, we appear to have medical personnel rushing about like witless roosters on account of, there’s clearly not sufficient government funding to look after the sick, and it appears that it actually doesn’t matter anymore.