Hospital's COVID-19 rules prevent mum from seeing son

A mother has made an impassioned plea to see her teenage son who has been hospitalised with a severe head injury after a car crash in Victoria.

Hospital's COVID-19 rules prevent mum from seeing son

A mother has made an impassioned plea to see her teenage son who is in a Melbourne hospital with a severe head injury after a car crash.

Candice Freego has been denied visitation at The Alfred hospital due to tough COVID-19 rules in place, meaning her 16-year-old son woke up from a coma without seeing his family.

Zach Freego was airlifted to hospital last month to undergo emergency brain surgery following the crash in Shepparton.

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Despite waking up from a coma three weeks ago, he still has not been able to see his family.

Ms Freego told 3AW Zach was suffering from post-traumatic amnesia and did not understand why his family was not by his side.

She fears he will have to celebrate his 17th birthday alone on Wednesday.

"The major problem is because of lockdown, we haven't been able to see our son since he woke up from his coma," she said.

"He hasn't physically seen any of us.

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"They won't let us come down and see him even if we go to an isolation room.

"They're pretty much saying that because he's in a higher care ward that there's no visitors whatsoever to the hospital."

The family calls him daily, but he struggles to recall conversations, Ms Freego explained.

They are holding onto hope that they may be able to visit him once he is transferred to a rehab centre.

"We just want to hug our son."
https://omny.fm/shows/mornings-with-neil-mitchell/mums-plea-after-being-barred-from-seeing-teen-son/embed?style=cover

Health Minister Martin Foley today said hospitals were "high-risk" settings when questioned as to why the boy's mother could not visit him.

"We want to make sure that we keep coronavirus out of high-risk settings," he said.

"I understand that is sometimes a difficulty for people, particularly who want to visit, but our healthcare professionals, our nurses, our doctors and everyone else do go to pretty long lengths to use technology and other forms of keeping families engaged in that process."

Exemptions apply for end-of-life, but they are "determined on an individual and case-by-case basis", Mr Foley said.

The Alfred in a statement said restrictions were in place to protect vulnerable patients and staff.

Restrictions were sometimes in place due to other factors besides COVID safety.

"While there are visitor restrictions common across Victorian hospitals right now, due to the COVID outbreak, we have always restricted visitor access to protect vulnerable patients or staff," an Alfred Health spokesperson said.

"During these times, our staff work hard to maintain the connection between patients and loved ones, and to ensure loved ones are up-to-date and involved in care decisions."

Source : 9 News More   

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