Canadian mom-of-three died in agony while waiting nearly SEVEN HOURS for help at emergency room

Canadian mom-of-three died in agony while waiting nearly SEVEN HOURS for help at emergency room after getting thrown off a horse: Doctors later discovered she had internal bleeding

  • Allison Holthoff, 37, died after waiting seven hours for treatment in Canada
  • She was screaming in writhing in agony in the ER, but nurses brushed her off
  • Holtoff finally went into cardiac arrest, and doctors found internal bleeding
  • The mother of three had fall off a horse in September and had back pains since 

A Canadian mother-of-three died in agony while suffering from internal bleeding and being forced to wait for seven hours in an emergency room on New Year’s Eve.

Allison Holthoff, a 37-year-old from Nova Scotia spent hours writhing in pain on the floor of the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst while nurses brushed her off and asked her husband Gunther questions like ‘is she always like this?’

Staff finally attended to Allison after she descended screaming into cardiac arrest, only to discover she had been suffering from internal bleeding all along. Doctors told Gunther they could operate to save his wife, but that she had a less than one percent chance of survival, and that a ‘normal dignified life’ was unlikely even if she did survive.

Gunther made the heart breaking decision to not operate, and after he and his three children said their goodbyes she died a full twelve hours after her arrival at the hospital.   

It remains unclear what caused the bleeding, Allison was thrown off a horse back in September and had been complaining of back pains ever since. Gunther said the hospital has still not released his wife’s cause of death to him, and he is demanding answers.

Allison was thrown off a horse back in September and had been complaining of back pains ever since

Allison was thrown off a horse back in September and had been complaining of back pains ever since

The Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Nova Scotia, where Allison died

The Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Nova Scotia, where Allison died

Allison woke up on December 31 complaining about what she assumed was an upset stomach. Her pain worsened throughout the day, and after taking a bath to try to soothe her body she was left doubled up in pain on the floor. 

Gunther rushed her off to the hospital at about 11am, and had to carry her into the emergency room because the pain was so severe she couldn’t stay on her feet.

‘I did tell the triage nurse and the lady behind the desk that it was getting worse,’ he told CTV News said. ‘She wasn’t doing good and was in pain.’

He said after nurses took urine and blood samples – which proved difficult because of Allison’s agonized writhing – they were told to sit in a waiting room. Allison soon was lying on the ground in the fetal position because sitting proved too painful.

Gunther Holthoff and his wife Allison. Gunther had to carry Allison into the ER because she was in too much pain to walk

Gunther Holthoff and his wife Allison. Gunther had to carry Allison into the ER because she was in too much pain to walk 

Allison, 37, was a mother to three children. Her family is demanding answers after her death

Allison, 37, was a mother to three children. Her family is demanding answers after her death

Security guards came by with a cup of water and gave her a blanket, and then she began telling her husband she thought she was dying. 

‘She said, “I think I’m dying. Don’t let me die here,” Gunther said.

Around 3pm she was taken into an exam room for the first time, and more blood samples were drawn.

Holtoff told CTV News he went to the nurse desk five times to tell staff that his wife was in serious pain, and they continually brushed him off. 

After her eyes began to roll back into her head the nurses asked Gunther if his wife was on drugs, to which he said no. Allison continued to tell Gunther she thought she was dying.

Allison was left screaming in agony on the floor of the emergency room waiting area

Allison was left screaming in agony on the floor of the emergency room waiting area

A memorial for Allison. The Nova Scotia Health Authority has launched an investigation into her death

A memorial for Allison. The Nova Scotia Health Authority has launched an investigation into her death

When 6pm came around – seven hours after arriving at the hospital – Allison began to scream in pain and beg for help.

Nurses took Allison’s vitals and found her blood pressure had dropped and that her heart rate was high.  

‘Everything happened quickly after that, everyone started picking up the pace,’ Gunther said. ‘That was the first time I actually felt like someone was paying attention to us.’

Finally a doctor looked at Allison and gave her painkillers and took an EKG and an X-ray. Gunther said he walked away for a moment, and when he came back his wife was screaming ‘I can’t breathe. I’m in pain. Don’t move me.’

Her eyes rolled into her head again and staff was alerted she was suffering cardiac arrest. After attempting to resuscitate Allison three times, doctors told Gunther about the odds of a successful surgery, and he elected not to operate.

‘They had a 1 percent chance of keeping her alive with surgery, but at that point, there was not much chance of her ever having a normal or dignified life,’ he said.

Doctors said they found that Allison was suffering from internal bleeding, but could not identify where from or why. Her autopsy still hasn’t been released, not even to Allison’s family.

The family has been demanding answers, and Nova Scotia politicians have stood behind them and demanded to know why Allison wasn’t taken care of for so long. 

The Nova Scotia Health Authority has launched an investigation into the case, according to the Department of Health and Wellness.

‘Unfortunately, I do feel like she was neglected and it was to a point where they couldn’t ignore us anymore,’ Gunther said.

‘We need change, the system is obviously broken. Or if it’s not broken yet, it’s not too far off,’ he added. ‘Something needs to improve. I don’t want anybody else to go through this.’

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