Black Michigan Healthcare Worker Dies After Being Denied Coronavirus Test Four Times

COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, has overwhelmed most hospitals and treatment centers around the country. Now, one family is taking issue with a hospital’s negligence that led to the untimely death of their loved one who, they say, was denied testing.

Deborah Gatewood was a Michigan healthcare worker who recently died from coronavirus after being refused a test four different times at the Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills, where she worked for over 30 years.

Her daughter, Kaila Corrothers, told NBC News that the thing that bothered her the most about the entire situation was that her employer, Beaumont Hospital, had not treated her mother well.

“This did not have to happen this way,” she told the news station. The 63-year-old phlebotomist started feeling ill and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms around mid-March. She then drove herself to her Detroit hospital’s emergency room, requesting a coronavirus test but was sent home. “They said she wasn’t severe enough and that they weren’t going to test her,” Corrothers said in the interview, according to MSN. “They told her to just go home and rest.”

According to Corrothers, the next day her mother went back and started to experience a cough as well. Once again, Gatewood wasn’t given a test and was instead prescribed cough medication. As her symptoms worsened, Gatewood returned to the hospital but this time with a fever that had spiked. She was told by staff that she most likely had the coronavirus, but was still not tested.

The hospital responded to the allegations through a local Fox News station stating, “as patients come to Beaumont for care during this pandemic, we are doing everything we can to evaluate, triage and care for patients based on the information we know at the time. We grieve the loss of any patient to COVID-19 or any other illness.”

Corrothers is now using her mother’s case to encourage people to make sure they get the treatment they deserve, even if they have to go to another hospital.

“If people feel symptoms, go to the doctor. You’re the only person who knows how you feel,” she said. “If you can’t get treated at one hospital, go to another.”

For recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions if you’re experiencing symptoms, check here.