A Detroit health worker for 31 years was turned down for COVID-19 testing four times before succumbing to the illness on April 20.
Deborah Gatewood’s employer, Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills, denied a coronavirus test to the phlebotomist even after developing symptoms.
The hospital released a statement at a local news station, which 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.”
Gatewood’s only daughter, Kaila Corrothers, said her mother started displaying symptoms on mid-March, and drove herself to the hospital’s emergency room to request a test.
“They said she wasn’t severe enough and that they weren’t going to test her,” Corrothers said, “They told her to just go home and rest.”
The 63-year-old health worker went back to the hospital on March 19, after developing cough, but the hospital simply “gave her a prescription for cough medicine.”
Her mother’s symptoms only worsened, and she again drove to the hospital on March 21, as her fever spiked, but on that visit, she was told that she most likely had COVID-19, but still has not been tested.
Gatewood again tried her luck on March 23 to get tested, but little did she know that it will be her last attempt.
Corrothers went to her mother’s house on March 27 and found her in bed, unresponsive when called her name, so she decided to bring her mother to another hospital.
Sinai-Grace Hospital took Gatewood by ambulance and had her tested for coronavirus.
By then she had a fever of 106 degrees, developed bilateral pneumonia and was intubated for more than two weeks.
It only went worse after that, as Gatewood’s kidneys began to fail, then her heart, and succumbed to the illness.