Hartlepool woman who was sent home to die proves medics wrong

Irene Magee with her daughter Denise Norman.

Irene Magee with her daughter Denise Norman.

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A woman who was send home to die by hospital staff has made a remarkable recovery.

The family of Irene Magee, 92, were given the option of having her taken back to the Sheridan Court Nursing Home, in Warren Road, Hartlepool, with an “end of life” package after she failed to respond to treatment for pneumonia and a water infection at the University Hospital of North Tees.

You have no idea of the hell we have been through. We discussed my mam’s funeral arrangements and informed all the family.

Denise Norman

Her daughters, Denise Norman and Jeannette Smith, sat with Mrs Magee all night last Sunday and Monday.

On Tuesday she was discharged with a package which include advice forms and a slow-release morphine pump after the family decided she should be allowed to die at home.

But Mrs Magee had other ideas, and by teatime on the Tuesday, she was sitting up in bed and ate two cooked meals.

She has since been taken down to use the day room in Sheridan Court.

Her family are delighted at her recovery, but feel medical staff were wrong to conclude there was nothing else that could be done for her in hospital.

Mrs Norman, 51, of Durham Street, on the Headland, said: “You have no idea of the hell we have been through.

“As a family, we discussed my mam’s funeral arrangements and informed all the family. It has been the worst time of my life.

The drama began at 6am last Sunday when Mrs Norman got a call to say her mum was being taken to the hospital in Stockton because she was unwell and was not responding.

She arrived at the hospital to be told that her mother, who also suffers with dementia and Alzheimer’s, was very ill.

Later that morning, doctors told Denise that due to her mum’s age and ailments, nothing else could be done for her, and that she was in the “end of life” process.

After that, she did not leave her mum’s side until she was taken back to Sheridan Court.

Mrs Norman says she feels staff at the hospital gave up on her mother too easily.

She added: “I dread to think what would have happened if she had been given the morphine.

“I was shaking and crying, all the family was called, all the grandkids and everything.”

A spokesman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are sorry for any distress that this has caused the family and we would encourage them to contact our patient experience team to discuss their concerns.”