An Adelaide grandmother who died in hospital before her family were granted an exemption to see her has been remembered as the “glue” that held them together.
Patricia Woods’ story came to light after her granddaughter Paige Carter, 28, made an emotional plea to Premier Steven Marshall to see her hospitalised grandmother before her death.
Despite her family’s desperate efforts, the 95-year-old, who had dementia, died in the early hours of Saturday morning in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) before they could say goodbye.
The great-great-grandmother has today been remembered as a “funny”, “prim and proper” woman who “swore like a trooper”.
“She was a real fiery woman and would tell anyone what she thinks,” Mrs Carter told NCA NewsWire.
“She made the best roast lamb and potatoes and gravy I’ve ever tried in my whole life.
“She was the glue to our family. We’re all so different but she brought us all together.
“She had Christmas at her house every year … she loved everyone being there and big celebrations. She was just amazing”.
Mrs Carter, from Adelaide’s north, described a special bond with her grandmother, remembering how she looked after her each day as a child and took her to school.
“When my mum went to work, I went to my nannas and sometimes I’d go there just because. It was like my safe place,” she said.
“I have memories sitting on her lap and she’d sing me nursery rhymes and we’d do the actions with our hands.”
Ms Woods was first admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital on January 1 after a fall before she tested positive to Covid-19.
Once she recovered from the virus, she was moved into a rehabilitation facility but was later admitted to the QEH with a possible clot on her lung.
After being denied entry to the hospital, Mrs Carter took to social media late last week pleading to see her grandmother who had not seen any of her relatives for about a month.
On Monday, the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) — which is responsible for the hospital — issued a statement saying Ms Woods’ family were contacted to arrange a visit “but unfortunately this didn’t occur”.
“And we apologise to Mrs Carter and her family,” the statement read.
“We will work with our team to ensure that we are proactive in granting compassionate or wellbeing visits for patients across all CALHN sites.”
Mrs Carter later responded, saying the family received a phone call at about 7pm on Friday night advising them their exemption was granted for Saturday morning, but it was too late as Ms Woods had already died.