Frustrated mother says Sandilands has been unresponsive in her bid to learn of son’s condition

A Bahamian woman whose son is a patient at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) claimed officials at the facility have been unresponsive as her family seeks to determine his condition.

The mother, whose name The Nassau Guardian has decided not to publish to protect her son’s privacy, is worried that he might have COVID-19.

She said her other son received a phone call about three weeks ago informing him that his brother tested positive.

“My son called me and told me that somebody called him to tell him my son has the virus,” she said.

“He asked him how he got the virus. They told him they couldn’t give him any information. I didn’t speak with them.

“It stopped my breath. I was so in shock when he was telling me. I couldn’t talk to him. I had to take two pills and drink some water.”

The mother said she usually kept in contact with her son while he was in the facility, but has not heard from him since she got the news about him contracting the virus.

She said she has been calling for weeks.

“I’ve been calling and calling,” the seemingly distressed mother said yesterday.

“They used to put him on the phone to speak with me too. They stopped putting on him on the phone.”

She said she is tremendously frustrated by the lack of communication on the part of officials.

“What I think is normal is that they get in touch with the family,” she said.

“Let the family know what’s going on with their relatives. They aren’t doing that. This done happened four weeks ago. This [is] from last month. You can’t get any response. There’s no one to speak. If people have their relatives there and something happens, the family should be the first to know, not other people calling you telling you.

“I am very upset about it because that’s my son and I would like to know what’s going on with him.”

Her other son, who initially brought the matter to The Guardian’s attention, said, “This has been a very frightening and frustrating ordeal for my family. I find the lack of communication at the center to be very concerning. There must be a way for family members to get timely updates as to the health and safety of their loved ones affected by this disease.

“It is my humble ask that this lack of transparency be placed under the scrutiny of the general public. There has to be some measure of accountability for the lack of empathy displayed by the officials at the Sandilands Centre.”

The Guardian reached out to SRC Administrator Mary Walker, who said the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) will release a statement on the matter.

The PHA confirmed two weeks ago that 23 individuals on the Male Ward at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) tested positive for COVID-19.

Bernadette Rolle, who was a nurse at Sandilands for more than 14 years, died on Friday after contracting COVID-19, officials said. 

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Italia Clarke

Italia Clarke joined the Nassau Guardian in August 2020. Clarke covers national, human interest and social issues. Education: University of The Bahamas, BA in Media Journalism

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