The picture Sarah Fleming took of her husband Stewart is one that will haunt her for ever. Taken on her mobile phone, it shows him sitting in a hospital cubicle, a hand clutching his stomach, his face a vivid reflection of the agony he was in, as he waited to be seen by doctors. Tragically, that picture is a heartrending reminder of the circumstances leading up to the railway signalman’s death. It is also a vivid illustration of the turmoil unfolding in overstretched hospital emergency departments.Sitting in a hospital cubicle, clutching his stomach… The picture that shows a father during the six-hour wait to be seen in A&E before he died
For the father-of-two, 37, from Rainham, in Kent, had to endure a six–hour wait to see a doctor in A&E at Gillingham’s Medway Maritime Hospital. He had a letter from his GP asking him to be admitted immediately. He had been to see his GP that day because the antibiotics he had been taking for flu-like systems had failed to work. He was referred straight to hospital. But when he arrived, on December 15, 2008, the hospital was facing an unusually busy period. Staff sickness, a cold weather snap and an increase in GP referrals meant the hospital was under pressure.
He was admitted at 5.30pm, but was not seen until 11.15pm. By then, the mystery virus Stewart had contracted was attacking his heart, kidneys and liver. Despite being transferred to London’s Harefield Hospital, where he was placed into a drug-induced coma, he died on December 27. ...Full story at Daily Mail (U.K.)