Lai-Mai was rushed to King’s College Hospital, London, but her serious head injuries were so extensive doctors said she had no chance of recovery. Lai-Mai’s husband called the couple’s sons, who live in Hong Kong, and they immediately booked flights so they could be with their mother.
Unfortunately, according to Lai-Mai’s husband, the hospital insisted on switching off the ventilator and life-support system that was keeping Mai-Lai alive because of ‘tight resources’. The husband begged that Mai-Lai be kept alive until her sons could arrive the next day to say goodbye to their mother. Sadly, the hospital was apparently unable to accede to the request and Mai-Lai’s machinery was turned off only a matter of hours before her sons arrived to bid her farewell.
On the face of it, this sounds like a tragic story of a heartless hospital administration. However, having spent five days in intensive care myself last year, I know from my own family’s experiences that the nursing staff are highly skilled, dedicated and sensitive.
The report sounds uncharacteristically harsh and uncaring. But could it be true? I really hope not. However, if it does turn out to be the case, then reform of the way the NHS is both financed and managed must be the top priority for the next government.