Daughter claims her mother who died from Covid-19 was 'failed' by health chiefs

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Gail and her mum Margaret Credit: Family photo

A woman whose 83-year-old mother died after contracting coronavirus in hospital claims she was "failed" by health bosses.

Margaret Baylock suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and had been shielding since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

COPD covers a group of lung conditions which cause breathing difficulties.

Despite shielding, Margaret developed a lung infection and her family were told to take her to hospital after she saw a doctor.

Her daughter Gail, who is a former nurse, said, "I had to encourage my mum to go to the doctors and she was petrified of leaving the house. She kept saying ‘I will catch it, I will catch it’.”

After seeing a GP, Gail was told to take her mother straight to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Upon arriving at hospital, Margaret, who was from Connah's Quay, was told she had pneumonia, not coronavirus.

Margaret Blaylock (centre) with two of her daughters Credit: Family photo

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has seen a large spike in hospital-based transmissions.

It said despite the number of confirmed cases being generally low across north Wales, "over the past couple of weeks, there has been an increase" in the Wrexham area.

Between July 20 and 26, there were 61 confirmed cases of the virus reported in Wrexham.

Wrexham has had more coronavirus cases reported each week than any other area in Wales since the first week of June, according to data from Public Health Wales.

A spokesperson for Wrexham Maelor Hospital said there were currently around 60 to 70 patients there with coronavirus.

Margaret was given oxygen for several days and appeared to be recovering until July 15.

“I got a phone call saying they've got some good news and some bad news,” explained Gail.

“They said the good news is she has passed all the tests and the bad news is she has been in contact with somebody who is positive for Covid.

“I said 'oh my god, how the hell did that happen?' I was absolutely appalled.”

According to Gail, instead of keep her mother in hospital to see if she developed symptoms she was discharged.“I took Mum home and to start with she was great but after a few days she went downhill and was a bit tired.

“On Saturday, July 18, she was OK in the morning. By lunch time, she had gone really downhill. I called the ambulance and they were here for about 45 minutes. She was very confused.

“As she left for hospital I said ‘I love you Mum’ and she said ‘I love you too love and I will see you soon’.”

On Sunday, July 19, Gail got a call from the hospital with the news her mother had tested positive.

Gail also developed symptoms herself and tested positive for coronavirus.

Margaret with her great grand daughter and two of her grandchildren. Credit: Family photo

On July 25, Gail was informed that her mother had died.Gail said: “When she rang on my birthday she said ‘I'm so sorry I'm not there for your birthday, when I come out I'm going to make it up to you - I hope you have a lovely day and I'm going to buy you a cake’.”

Gail said she is frustrated her mum, who had an underlying health condition, was exposed to the virus - and that she was discharged from hospital.

“I can't believe that I will never speak to her again,” Gail said.

Gail is now calling on the health board to do more to prevent the spread of the virus inside their hospitals.

She added: “I feel that there is a case to answer. They failed to keep my mum safe and my mum has had her life taken from us before it should have. They also put my life at risk as well.”Gill Harris, executive director for nursing and midwifery at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Mrs Blaylock during this difficult time.

“We are unable to comment on individual cases, but would urge the family to contact us directly to discuss their concerns.”