A week after their mother died of COVID-19, family still didn’t know where her body was

 Replace: Barbara Paquette’s household realized late Friday afternoon that her physique has been transferred to a funeral residence. Examine their ordeal under. 


“The place is our mother? Is she in a refrigerated truck? A crematorium?” Wendy Paquette says not realizing the reply is stopping her from sleeping.

A full week after her mom, Barbara Paquette, died of COVID-19 on the long-term care facility at Montreal’s LaSalle Hospital, Paquette’s household nonetheless has no concept the place her physique is.

“It is nightmarish. I am unable to get the imaginative and prescient of the truck out of my head.”

The LaSalle Hospital residence is likely one of the CHSLDs — the acronym by which long-term care houses are identified in Quebec — listed as being in a essential scenario, with greater than 50 per cent of its residents having examined optimistic for COVID-19.

As of April 16, 66 residents within the 115-bed facility have confirmed circumstances of COVID-19 and 15 others have died. 

Guillaume Bérubé, a spokesperson for the well being company for the area, CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, confirmed refrigerated vans have been put in exterior the LaSalle, Douglas and Lakeshore hospitals.

“If there is a lack of house within the morgue, the refrigerated truck is an extension of the morgue exterior the hospital,” he stated.

He wouldn’t affirm whether or not the vans are getting used to retailer our bodies now.

At Friday’s day by day provincial briefing, Well being Minister Danielle McCann stated the ministry would look into the Paquette’s scenario.

“What we’ve harassed from the start is the significance of communication with the households, particularly to know the place their family members are,” she stated. “We have to present assist — ethical assist — to the households who’re going by way of what they’re going by way of.”

A refrigerated truck sits behind LaSalle Hospital as a contingency plan ought to the hospital’s morgue refill. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)

No likelihood to say goodbye

Barbara Paquette had been a resident of the LaSalle Hospital residence since 2018. She had Alzheimer’s and wanted round the clock care.

Wendy Paquette stated that apart from her mom’s cognitive decline, the 84-year-old was in nice bodily well being, with no different underlying situations.

Barbara’s daughter describes her as a lover of music and a dancer. (Submitted by Wendy Paquette)

On March 30, workers referred to as Paquette to let her know her mom had examined optimistic for COVID-19.

“We actually felt that she was wholesome, and he or she might struggle it naturally,” Paquette stated.

The subsequent time workers referred to as, nonetheless, it was to inform the household to arrange to say goodbye. 

Paquette stated the procedures concerned in getting permission to go to her mom’s bedside had been defined to her. Even with all the private protecting tools, workers knowledgeable Paquette that she herself had an 80 per cent likelihood of contracting the coronavirus.

“We stated, ‘Possibly we might FaceTime,’ and once more, we had been discouraged towards that,” Paquette stated.

“It was described to us as, ‘Do you actually need to see her in that state?’ And [we were] advised she was not lucid.”

Ultimately, Paquette and her household didn’t see her in individual or by way of FaceTime.

Barbara Paquette died on April 9.

‘Closure’ not possible

Within the eight days since, Paquette says the household has not heard a single phrase about her mom’s whereabouts.

“We’re phoning and phoning and making an attempt to get by way of to individuals, however they do not choose up,” stated Paquette.

“We’d like info to maneuver ahead as a household — for closure.”

Bérubé stated the regular process is to tell the household instantly following a loss of life and to ask if they’ve a contract with a funeral residence, earlier than the physique is moved to the morgue.

Both the hospital administration or the funeral residence then calls the household to make additional preparations.

Wendy Paquette’s mom Barbara died every week in the past, after contracting the coronavirus in a Montreal long-term care residence. Paquette nonetheless does not know what occurred to her mom’s physique. 1:00

Nonetheless, Paquette stated when workers referred to as to tell them of their mom’s loss of life, they had been advised Well being Canada can be the one issuing the loss of life certificates, and that the household can be contacted.

Within the confusion surrounding this pandemic, it now seems the household both misunderstood or had been misinformed by the one that referred to as them.

“We do not have a funeral residence. We do not have a loss of life certificates. We do not have stays!” Paquette stated.

“It’s extremely disturbing for us to even think about that she’s someplace in a refrigerated truck ready. We do not like to consider it like that, however it could actually very effectively be the truth.”

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