Michigan hospital worker dies of coronavirus after being denied care four times

Deborah Gatewood, a hospital employee for three decades at Beaumont Hospital, was denied testing there

Deborah Gatewood (Credit: Gatewood family)

A sad story from Michigan, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus.

Hospital worker Deborah Gatewood will never get to celebrate her hard-earned retirement. The phlebotomist, a health professional who draws blood, was just two years from retiring from her job of 31 years at Beaumont Hospital in Farmington Hills in Detroit, Mich. Instead, she passed away from complications of the coronavirus earlier this month according to NBC News.

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Gatewood’s daughter, Kaila Carrothers told NBC that her mother started feeling bad in the middle of March. She drove herself to the ER.

“They said she wasn’t severe enough and that they weren’t going to test her. They told her to just go home and rest.”

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Gatewood developed a cough and returned to the ER the next day, and again she was refused a COVID-19 test. A few days later, she returned with a fever but was told she was still not sick enough to be tested.

By the time Gatewood, who her daughter found in barely conscious in bed on March 27th, was able to take her mother to another hospital, her fever was 106 degrees. Gatewood was hospitalized with double pneumonia. By April 17, she was dead.

Carrothers, her mother’s only child, is saddened that the hospital didn’t respond to her Gatewood’s symptoms, already known to be associated with COVID-19, given that her mother was employed there for so long. She advises people with symptoms not to wait to seek help and if they are rejected at one facility to go to another.

“This did not have to happen this way,” Carrothers said.


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