Saturday, November 28, 2020

False Reporting on Family Tragedy

      I'm posting this today because I'm angry and frustrated.  This is a story about a tragic situation which should be treated with respect for the pain and grief of our family but which has been horribly twisted by local government and media for their own purposes.  Normally, I'd be somewhat private about all of this and I would never blog about it but this is so completely outside the boundaries of decency and truth that I'm sharing it with all of you, along with a caution that you simply cannot believe everything you hear and read.

     Our family suffered a terrible and unexpected loss. My oldest great-granddaughter, age 15, had a severe allergic reaction which caused her to stop breathing and lose consciousness. A close family member performed CPR until paramedics arrived and transported her to the hospital. After discovering that she had a collapsed lung, doctors worked on her in the ER and put her on a ventilator to assist her breathing while they worked to re-inflate the lung. They admitted her to the ICU but she ultimately slipped into a coma.

Within 24 hours, the doctors suspected she had lost all brain activity. They began scheduling (for the next day) the initial tests to make a conclusive determination, but their prognosis was not good. The next day, before the brain activity tests could be completed, they detected swelling of the brain and her body began shutting down.

We lost her several hours later, toward the end of that day.

Needless to say, the entire family is still stunned and I'm not functioning too well myself. In addition to asthma, Abbi had always had extreme allergic reactions to certain things, including wheat, but she was generally careful and knew the things she couldn't eat. This time, we don't know the exact thing which triggered the allergic reaction, but it definitely was an allergic reaction.

There were thoughts about organ or tissue donations, but the hospital had done a standard Covid-19 test and, during that process, they found a positive result. That wasn't a contributing factor in her death, nor was she hospitalized or treated for Covid-19. She suffered a severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) to something she ate or drank.

Because of the test results, rumors began circulating online among her high school friends that she was hospitalized because of Covid-19. Members of the immediate family posted on Facebook and sent out text messages to clear up those rumors, asking her friends to spread the word that those rumors were false and explaining the actual facts of what happened.

Within two days, while the family was still dealing with their grief, a local official from the Health Department chose to list her death as a Covid-19 death! Abbi died WITH Covid, not FROM Covid! In her case, Covid wasn't even a contributing factor. She had no Covid symptoms prior to being hospitalized and nobody can determine how, where, or when she may have contracted the virus. For all we know, she may have been infected in the hospital !

The local news picked up the story and ran with it, even after interviewing grieving family members who gave them the facts about her history of asthma and severe allergies. The news reported Abbi's death as the "First (local) Death of a Person Under 20 from Covid-19," a completely false statement but they can get away with it because a local government official chose to incorrectly report the Cause of death. They downplayed the facts about allergies and asthma, making it sound like the family was in some kind of denial rather than being the persons with the most knowledge about not only the situation which led to her being hospitalized, but about Abbi's entire medical history throughout her 15 years of life.

I started this post by saying I was angry. I am still angry! How can we trust anything in the news when things like this happen because the story they want has greater "shock" value than the truth? How can we trust what the government officials tell us when they are willing to twist the truth and deliberately skew the statistics for what seems to be some strange political purpose? Why would they do this?

I may not know the facts of every situation reported by the press but I know the facts of this one and I can see what they did in their reporting. The two things are in complete opposition and the truth is NOT in what they reported.    


Jane Willis said...

I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you and your family are going through right now, not only having to cope with the loss but also with the way it has been handled.
Jane xxx

Linda Simpson said...

My dear friend, words fail me at the loss and anxiety you and your family are feeling at this tragic time. I am so very sorry for all that you are going through. The news reporter is so wrong for doing this! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Much love from across the pond my friend.
Linda xxx

KT Fit Kitty said...

Dear NanaConnie, I am so sorry to read about the loss of your great-granddaughter. It's hard enough for your family to grieve the sudden and tragic loss of this precious child, but then to have the added stress of what the news media has done to lie about the cause. Please accept my deepest sympathies, to you and your family. I am sad to say that yours is not the first story like this that I've read. Even people who have died in car accidents have been listed as Covid deaths. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Sending hugs.

meg said...

So sorry to read your very sad news,sending deepest sympathy to you and your family,

Suze said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. It is a difficult enough time for you and your family without the media being heartless. Thinking of you. Hugs.

Teresa Arsenault said...

How devastating. I am so very sorry for your loss. I've heard of these kinds of lies, exaggerations, and twisting of the truth, but this really hits close to home. May you be comforted in your terrible loss.
Gentle hugs,

Gloria Shirr (purpleglo) said...

Nana Connie. I am so very sorry for your loss; and for the way you have been treated with the news media. It is bad enough to have to go through this; but to have to deal with other people and their stupidity makes everything even worse for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong and focus on healing for you and your family. Big hugs. Gloria

Jo said...

Oh, NanaConnie I'm so sorry for your loss.....and for all you're having to deal with. You & yours are in my thoughts & prayers. Jo x

Bunny said...

My sympathies on the loss of your great granddaughter.

The news LOVES to sensationalize everything. They blow it out of proportion just to get a story. They tell half truths or no truth at all.

As for the COVID, they want to report that as the cause of death so they government can add it to the tally and get more money, There are so many families out there that have had family members listed death as COVID and it wasn't the cause. It's sickening how things get twisted. I don't blame you for being mad. Write a letter to the editor, see if you can find a local news station that reports facts only. It'll be hard to find. I'm sorry, again. My prayers are with you. [Bunny]

Faith A at Daffodil Cards said...

OH! Connie how dreadful for you all to be fighting for the truth whilst grieving. My heart goes out to you all, so many rumours over so many things associated with Covid, it's difficult to know what to believe, I am glad you have a platform, in some way, to correct the lie.
My prayers and heartfelt wishes go to you all.
Faith x

Donna said...

Connie, I am saddened by the news that one so young was taken from your family. And I understand your anger and frustration with the media and government. I pray that God has a plan and he will heal your family. My sympathy for your loss. I'll keep you all in my prayers!

*Vicki* said...

Connie, I am very saddened and send deep condolences to you and your entire family. I can't begin to imagine the grief of loosing someone so young. Sorry to hear that you are all going through the anger and frustration with the situation involved and wish for peace for you all.