Paige Taylor had seen her mum Christine, 53, at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, four days before her death, and says she took a picture of her hand which featured four rings – before visiting her on the day she died and realizing some pieces were missing
Image: MEDIUM BPM)
A disabled mum’s jewelery was stolen as she lay in a hospital bed dying from Covid, her daughter claims.
Paige Taylor had seen her mum Christine, 53, at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, four days before her death, and says she took a picture of her hand which featured four rings.
The 22-year-old, her brother and her mum’s partner visited her on the day she died on February, 14, 2021 – to see her one last time and asked to remove her jewelery and belongings.
But after they left the hospital and arrived home, Paige said she realized that two rings and a bracelet which her mother “loved” were missing, reports My London.
Paige said: “I was upset at the fact she passed but the way she passed – the fact that when she was lying there trying to catch her breath, someone stole things off her body.
“Why would anyone steal from a dead woman or a woman that’s incredibly vulnerable? It’s awful to think about.”
Paige, a trainee barrister, told MyLondon that when she visited her mother in hospital, she asked the 53-year-old whether she wanted her to take the jewelery home but she insisted on keeping it.
Paige said: “I said, ‘Mum, do you want me to take them home?’, and she said, ‘no, that’s the only thing that’s keeping me here’.
“It was something she bought, she loved jewelery and she said, ‘Paige, when I die this will be yours.’
“They meant everything to her, she wore them everyday.”
The Londoner took on the role of being a young carer for her mum at the age of 12, after vascular problems led to her leg being amputated.
The 53-year-old former primary school teacher had also begun to suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s and the thought of someone stealing from her while she was vulnerable made her daughter feel “awful”.
She said: “[On the day she died] Because her hands were swollen, I had to take the jewelery off with hand sanitiser to get them off.
“It was so hard to take off anyway because she wore it all the time.
“To think someone came up to her in I don’t know what way, and took her jewelery from her body – it’s awful to think.
“She was so vulnerable and she couldn’t have done anything like scream for help.
“Not just vulnerable to Covid but everyone around her and people saw that as a chance to take advantage.”
Paige claims she contacted the hospital on February 22, 2021 and was referred to Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to make a formal complaint.
She then emailed PALS two weeks later on April 12 but claims she did not receive a response.
She then claims to have sent a follow up email in August 2021 but did not hear back until six months later – today, Wednesday, January 26, 2022.
“It just makes me feel like my mum didn’t matter and that’s shown by how things were stolen from her body,” Paige said. “Nothing was done about it.
“There’s still more questions than answers at this stage and it’s already been a year [since she died].
Paige later requested her mother’s medical records and made another shocking discovery.
When her mother was admitted into hospital, Paige claims that she was given a do-not-resuscitate order without her knowledge.
She said: “When I found out, I was shocked.
“We all knew she was fragile and she had multiple health problems but you know for someone to play God without telling you, it’s so hard to comprehend.
“I found out that when she went to hospital in January, less than 24 hours later, they signed a do-not-resuscitate order without telling us and she was only 53.
“I never heard from a doctor about why they did it.”
Paige said that her mother would not have consented to it due to her early onset Alzheimer’s leaving her confused.
She added: “She also had early onset Alzheimer’s, she didn’t know Covid was going on. She was probably scared and confused, probably thinking, ‘why isn’t my family here?’
“She wouldn’t have been able to consent to any sort of order or understand what they were doing.
“I’ve always wanted to be able to fix things and to sort of.
“If there’s something wrong, to make it right and that’s what I did when I looked after my mum.
“And to think that I had absolutely no control over what would happen, it’s hard to sort of come to terms with that to think someone thought it was ok to do that without letting us know.”
Darent Valley Hospital has confirmed that the case is under investigation.
A spokesperson for the hospital said: “We have liaised with our PALS, Complaints and Medical teams and can confirm that this case is currently under investigation, we are therefore unable to publicize any information until a formal conclusion has been reached.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.