Fear and anger for woman whose 95-year-old mother got COVID-19 at Maui Memorial

Coronavirus

A Maui woman is angry at Maui Memorial Medical Center. She says the lack of safety protocols led to her 95-year-old mother getting infected with coronavirus.

Lillian Seiser was admitted to Maui Memorial on February 29 after getting an infection. Her daughter says six weeks later, a nurse told her that Seiser tested positive for COVID-19. The daughter says it’s unacceptable and wants the hospital to make it safer for patients and its workers.

“Because of the fact that management there is so lax and the protocol for safety is practically non-existent, my mother contracted COVID. And at 95, that’s very serious,” said Barbara Carlson.

She says her jaw dropped when she was told that a staff member infected her mother with the virus. Her mother then got pneumonia, and the fear and anxiety was hard for Carlson to imagine.

“I was told by a nurse that she had an anxiety attack, where she was found clutching the bed rails and screaming ‘make it stop, make it stop, make it stop!'” said Carlson.

Because visitors aren’t allowed at the hospital, Carlson can only comfort her mother with daily phone calls.

“I can tell her I love her, I can reassure her. But not to be able to see her and stroke her hair and her face and just let her know, mom it’s gonna be okay, we’re here for you, is just horrible for her and horrible for me,” said Carlson.

The state Department of Health says 56 people have been infected in the cluster of cases at Maui Memorial, 36 staff and 20 patients. Workers have complained about the lack of safety measures and Personal Protective Equipment. The hospital has since made improvements but Carlson says it’s not enough.

“The morale of the staff appears to be very low and apparently there’s a lot of mistrust. This is tragic. It’s tragic for my mom, for my family, and for everybody else who’s affected by this,” she said.

Maui Memorial sent a statement saying: “We understand the fear and concern for patients and their families who are struggling with COVID-19 disease. Due to patient privacy, we are unable to discuss additional details.”

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