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Woman who lost mom believes she got COVID while in hospital

On August 16, Carol Gates’ 74-year-old mother became the 19th person to die from COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

She believes her mother contracted the novel coronavirus while at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

According to Gates, her mom died 17 days after being admitted following a stroke.

“On Thursday, August 13, the doctor called to tell me that she had tested positive,” said Gates, adding that she was “livid” upon hearing the news.

“I am so angry at myself that I actually had her admitted.

“I should have kept her at home. I shouldn’t have let her go to PMH. I hoped that by having her admitted that they would give her TPA or something else that would’ve [gotten rid of] the clot or helped with the effects of the stroke, but what I ended up doing was sending her there to die.”

Recalling how she learnt of her mother’s passing, Gates said, “[A] doctor called at about 1:30 a.m. (on August 16) to ask that the family come down to the hospital to speak to them.

“I demanded that they tell me what was going on and that is when she told me that mummy was dead. She said she was assuming it was from a brain bleed.”

Gates said she was “still stunned” by the turn of events.

“I was not ready to lose my mother,” said Gates, who was an only child.

“My daughter was not ready to lose her grandmother.”

Gates said August 5 was the last time she spoke to her mother.

“It is the worst thing knowing that she was in there all alone,” she said.

“We only had two days we could speak to her on the phone and then after that she was totally on her own. I don’t know if she knew what was going on. I’m sure she felt abandoned by us. It was just awful. It is the most awful feeling in the world.”

She said her mother turned 74 in hospital all alone.

Gates is arranging for her mother to be cremated.

The current COVID-related restrictions imposed by the prime minister are preventing the family from having a service.

“We’re going to keep her ashes for a little while because we’re not ready to let her go yet,” Gates said.

“Then, eventually, when we can have some kind of memorial or something that her friends can come to. We’ll bury her with her twin girls who were stillborn.”

So far, 1,765 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

Twenty-nine of those individuals have died as a result of the virus.

There were five instances where people, who had contracted COVID, died from non-COVID-related illness.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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