Deborah Gatewood worked at the Beaumont hospital in Farmington Hill, Michigan, for 31 years drawing blood. So naturally, when she developed a cough and a fever by the third week of March, she turned to her hospital for help. However, after repeated attempts of treatment, the 63-year-old passed away with COVID-19 symptoms, according to Fox 2.
“They sent her home saying you are showing signs of COVID,” said Kaila Corrothers, her daughter. “So they were confirming that she most likely had COVID, but they did not test her.”
Corrothers took notes in her calendar the days her mom went to the emergency room. She says that her mom was sent home with cough medicine four times and told to rest. Each time, her fever spiked even higher and her symptoms worsened.
“The fact that she got infected by doing the job she did for 31 years and she couldn’t get taken care of by her own family, meaning Beaumont it’s sad,” said Corrothers. “It is disheartening to say the least.” By the end of March, Gatewood had withered away and developed bi-lateral pneumonia.
“All of this time when you’re telling her to go home and rest it off how do you really rest off bi-lateral pneumonia other than cough medicine to cough it out, it’s too severe at this point,” Corrothers explained.
Eventually, Gatewood collapsed and was rushed to Sinai-Grace Hospital, which was inundated and understaffed at that point. This is where she spent her last days.
“I just went up to the hospital and sat in the parking lot. If this was as close as I can be to her if this is going to happen, I’m going to sit in my car until I get that phone call,” Corrothers said.
Gatewood was two years away from retiring when she died and she had planned to be a full-time grandmother. “She said she’s going to hang in there for a couple more years and she said she going to retire and be the greatest nanny I need her to be,” her daughter explained.
A month ago, when Deborah first went to Beaumont’s ER, the coronavirus outbreak was serious, but many hospitals across the country weren’t nearly as prepared as they could have been with proper testing being scarce. Beaumont didn’t speak to this. However, when asked what their protocol is now for admitting people, Beaumont said, “As patients come to Beaumont for care during this pandemic, we are doing everything we can to evaluate, triage and care for patients based on the information we know at the time. We grieve the loss of any patient to COVID-19 or any other illness.”