Family robbed of precious last moments with dying father after hospital restricts visitors

A Gold Coast mother has tackled cruel Covid hospital restrictions that prevented her family from properly saying goodbye to her dying husband and father of their three children.

Angel Elliott, 41, told Daily Mail Australia she is still in shock after being told by staff at Robina Hospital that only two people should be in the room with her husband, Jason Gallagher, 43, at a time.

Ms Elliott said one of the nurses even tried to clarify the situation, saying it would be like tag and tail, with two going in while two were waiting outside.

“I was absolutely disgusted by the lack of compassion and empathy,” she said.

“If he died, one of them (the children) would miss his last breath with their father.”

Angel Elliott holds her husband before his death from stomach cancer. Ms. Elliott says the hospital prevented the family from being in the room until the last time.

Due to strict covid limits, only two members of the family could be in Jason's hospital room at a time

Due to strict covid limits, only two members of the family could be in Jason’s hospital room at a time

“We all wanted to be there and make music and make it as beautiful as possible.”

Ms. Elliott said the madness lasted for three days until an hour before Jason died of stomach cancer on Monday, when the hospital finally relented and let the family into the room.

She said her husband was denied much rest in the last hours of his life.

Severe restrictions have been placed on hospitals in Queensland following the latest Covid outbreak.

Mr Gallagher arrived in an ambulance at Robina Hospital at approximately 6pm on Friday, July 2, but Angel says he was not transferred to the palliative care unit until 1:45am and was not seen by a doctor until 2pm on Saturday. was seen.

Ms. Elliott said they had been promised a family room, but despite Jason repeatedly asking when he would be moved to a room, he was not moved until Sunday evening, before passing away Monday.

“He kept asking and asking about his kids and what was going on with the family room,” she said.

“All he wanted was that room, which opened onto the garden and where the children could sit outside and see through the door.”

Even with the larger room, Mrs. Elliott said they were told only two people were allowed in at a time.

As the days ticked by and her husband’s health deteriorated, Ms Elliott said her family had finally had enough on Monday, with her sons Jack, 16, and Daine, 14, refusing to be prevented from spending any longer with their father. .

“I had to stop Daine from breaking the wall. They were very close to him. They were playing ball,’ she said.

“Ella just didn’t understand what was happening.”

Jason Gallagher was desperate to spend time with his entire family in his last days.  Pictured here with daughter Ella

Jason Gallagher was desperate to spend time with his entire family in his last days. Pictured here with daughter Ella

In happier times: Jason Gallagher and Angel Elliott had three children together before cancer struck

In happier times: Jason Gallagher and Angel Elliott had three children together before cancer struck

Mr Gallagher wasn’t diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer until early June, so the close-knit family had little time to process what happened and Angel says every moment they left together was precious.

At one point, Ms. Elliott said nurses, police and security harassed her and tried to force a mask on her face as she tried to help Jason, who was nearly dead and had fallen to the floor.

“They shoved a mask in my face as he lay all twisted on the floor,” said Mrs. Elliott.

The kids got upset when they couldn't see their dying father

The kids got upset when they couldn’t see their dying father

‘They said ‘put on a mask’. I said I couldn’t because I felt like I was going to have a panic attack and was exempt from masks.”

Mrs. Elliott stayed by her husband’s side, determined to be with him while he died, but claims the hospital treated her with a complete lack of compassion and Jason as if he didn’t matter because he was dying.

“It was as if I wanted to see a prisoner,” she said.

“Even after he passed away, the nurses argued about the number of people there.

“I said how can a dead man get covid?”

A spokesman for Gold Coast Health told Daily Mail Australia they were unable to comment on individual cases.

“As a health service, we are focused on providing compassionate care to all end-of-life patients and family members. Our palliative care department at Robina Hospital is regularly praised for its facilities and the high quality of its staff.

Gold Coast Health manages visitor and mask wear requirements as directed by the Chief Health Officer to ensure the safety of all our patients and staff.

“We understand that health guidelines can be troubling for families with loved ones in palliative care. Our team exercises discretion and compassion, especially with regard to visitor guidelines, as patients are nearing the end of their lives.”

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