Almost a month after they lost their mother during Level 4 lockdown, Jodi and Mike Conway still want answers, after feeling let down by the health system.
They believe no strategies were put in place for non Covid-19 palliative care scenarios in the hospital, or other traumatic events.
When Covid hit New Zealand, hospitals were concentrating on keeping patients safe by closing their doors, but the Conways felt this was disproportionate compared to the actual risk.
The Southern District Health Board had a zero visitor blanket policy implemented.
“The whole hospital was shut down to cater for the pandemic risk situation, but what about non Covid situations?” Mike said.
Instead they sat outside a window at the hospital watching Josephine in the rehab ward, eventually holding a Zoom family Tangi with her five children – two of which were overseas.
The mokopuna were still getting to grips with the fact they couldn’t say goodbye to their grandmother.
“It was the most challenging time for our whanau, and our thoughts are with the many other families throughout New Zealand who were placed in the same situation,” Jodi said.
They had no choice but to cremate their mother with nowhere to hold a service, and felt that their human rights had been taken away from her and them.
Mike and Jodi said if there was ever a review into Covid-19 and the health system, they would like to be sitting around that table, to make sure someone was accountable – and to have a voice.
“We have lost that time with mum where she could communicate, because we were too busy battling just to get in to be with her.”
Petition of Linda Manning: Accountability and Compensation for families bereaved during Lockdown Sign the petition here