Daughter Speaks Out About Her Mom's Death After Contracting COVID-19

whitney and mum

Whitney Lesiuk feels keeping people in the dark about COVID-19 infections simply isn't working.

Her 65 year old mother Patsy, who had been getting cancer treatments since last October, passed away from COVID-19 related pneumonia in Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital three weeks ago, 19 days after leaving Kelowna General Hospital where she caught the virus.

Whitney said her mum's passing came with a cruel irony.

“We as a family throughout the pandemic, not just since October have been treating it very seriously, trying to keep mum safe, and she still ended up getting it (COVID-19) at a place that’s supposed to be safe,” said Whitney.

She said the family didn’t know about the presence of the virus on the floor where her mum spent a week at K-G-H, until hearing from a friend, who learned about it through media reports.

Lesiuk said they waited a couple of days to get confirmation from contact tracers and took action when that notification never came.

She said she then had to convince a health official her mum needed to be tested for COVID-19.

“She said my mum could only get tested, though not my dad, even though he drove for the four hours next to her on the way back from Kelowna,” said their daughter who added her dad did get tested later so he could visit his wife at K-B-R-H.  

Whitney admits lying about having a headache to get her own test.

Patsy passed away 16 days after testing positive and 19 days after leaving Kelowna General with her family outside her isolated hospital room.

“It was awful,” said Whitney.

“The way she looked in the end, I don’t think I’ll ever get that image out of my head and not being able to be there with her.” said Patsy’s grieving daughter who pleads with Kootenay residents to be vigilant against the novel coronavirus.

“Stop reading into conspiracy theories, and stop being so ignorant and selfish and just work as a team, we’ll get through this in the end, but if people just keep doing what they want, then we’re never going to get through this."

Lesiuk added Interior Health is not giving people enough information about infections in their communities.

“I’m really disappointed with how things are being handled and I just worry that it’s just going to be repeated and more people will die unnecessarily,” said Whitney who remains most upset about the outcome.

“How she went, how fast she went and how unfair it was.”