Isata's Story

Isata* was referred to TSH by the main hospital in Freetown. She was suffering from advanced AIDS and, although physically occupying a bed, she had apparently been discharged from the hospital two days before as no-one was paying the bills (i.e. they had withdrawn care). Her relatives, for complex reasons, were not supporting Isata.

She had no sheets, pillows, water or food and was curtained off in the far corner of a large hospital ward. The main priority for TSH was to re-involve her relatives and encourage them to have her home. Meanwhile, the patient support fund was used to buy 2 sheets, pillow, water and food, at an overall cost of around £8.

Subsequently, TSH did manage to persuade Isata’s family to have her home by promising to visit every other day, pay for an ambulance to transfer her (around £10) and provide some rice, again using the patient support fund.

Isata died peacefully and without pain in her home village with her family around her. Thanks to the intervention of TSH this was a very different scenario to being left to die alone on a plastic mattress hidden away in a corner of the hospital?

*Patient's name has been changed

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