Grandma didn’t have to die - Family of woman who was set on fire angry at hospital treatment

April 30, 2019
Evelyn Blair

The immediate family of 74-year-old Evelyn Blair, the woman who was doused with gasolene and set on fire by an unidentified man in Lima district, last Thursday, are now lashing out at what they claim to be poor treatment dished out to their loved one at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

“My grandmother was a very decent person, and I am very upset with the treatment she got at the hospital,” Blair’s eldest granddaughter told the WESTERN STAR. “When I went to visit my grandmother, I was shocked to see the condition she was in, and yet she was just lying there at the Accident and Emergency ward. My grandma had severe burns all over her body, and it was clear to see that she was fighting to live, but she got very poor support from the hospital.”

No beds available

The granddaughter said the family was looking to see her placed in intensive care, or even transferred to an upgraded facility that was better equipped to deal with the burns that she suffered.

“At one point a nurse turned to us and told us that there is nothing they could do, and also that there were no beds available. She said the only way my grandmother could get a bed was if another patient at the medical facility died,” she said. “It is so cold-hearted to think that we could ever be praying for somebody else’s family member to pass on, in order for our grandmother to get a bed at the Cornwall Regional Hospital; that is so barbaric.”

THE WESTERN STAR caught up with Errol Greene, director of the Western Regional Health Authority, who stated that he learnt of the incident after reading about it in THE WEEKEND STAR, and said that he sympathised with the family members.

“However, we did everything possible to get Mrs Evelyn Blair admitted to the Burnt Unit at the University Hospital (of the West Indies) in Kingston, but we were unsuccessful,” he said. “Also, since the construction is being carried out on the Cornwall Regional Hospital, there has not been an Intensive Care Unit at the facility, and more so, in truth and in fact, the facility has been experiencing a shortage of beds. That day in particular, we were experiencing a serious bed shortage.”

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