Covid survivor, 89, sent to wrong house by ambulance dies of pneumonia

Covid survivor, 89, who was tucked into bed at random strangers house by bungling ambulance crew dies after being readmitted to hospital with pneumonia

  • Elizabeth Mahoney battled Covid at hospital in Pontypool, Wales for 10 weeks
  • She was finally discharged on March 12 but was dropped off at the wrong house 
  • Mix-up only spotted hours later when someone realised she wasn’t their relative
  • She was soon reunited with family but her condition deteriorated and she died on April 23

A pensioner who made headlines after being left in a complete stranger’s home by an ambulance crew has since died, after being returned to hospital with pneumonia.

Elizabeth Mahoney had been battling Covid-19 at County Hospital in Pontypool for 10 long weeks prior to finally being discharged on Friday, March 12. 

However, the 89-year-old from New Inn in Torfaen ended up being dropped off at the wrong house – more than eight miles away in Newport – where she was put to bed for the night.

The mix-up was only spotted when, hours later, someone living at the address went to check on the person under the covers and realised she wasn’t their relative at all.

Elizabeth Mahoney, pictured with her late husband Kenneth, was discharged from hospital to a random stranger’s house and was tucked up in their bed

Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s frantic family – who’d gone to greet her at her own property – had become increasing concerned over her whereabouts.

They believe her details must have been confused with those of a female patient with dementia who was also due to go home from the hospital on that same day.

The story made the news as far away as America as her son Brian sought answers from the various bodies involved as to how such a mistake could have occurred.

But today he revealed that his mother had now passed away, having been hospitalised again with pneumonia.

‘We lost mum on Friday, April 23, the day before my 66th birthday,’ said the warehouse manager from Cwmbran.

The Welsh Ambulance service says it is working to establish exactly what happened and has extended a ‘sincere apology’ to both families

‘She wasn’t well when she came out of County Hospital in March – in fact, she was pretty much discharged in order to live out her last days at home. But she rapidly went downhill.’

Brian added that Elizabeth had to be admitted to The Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran last month, before being transferred to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny.

‘We couldn’t go to see her during her final two days because she’d picked up an infection in addition to the pneumonia,’ he said.

‘But then, on the morning she died, they rang and told us we’d better get there quick as there wasn’t long left. But she was gone before we could make it.’

A funeral service will be held for Elizabeth next week at Gwent Crematorium in Cwmbran.

Brian added that, despite having had a meeting with representatives from County Hospital, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, and the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, he’s still waiting for an official explanation about why his mother was taken to the wrong address.

‘I honestly don’t know what’s taking them so long to work it out. My sister’s adamant she still wants to know the reason but I feel a bit beaten by it all to be honest, especially now mum’s no longer here. I just hope something like this doesn’t happen to anyone else.’

Speaking last month, Mark Smith – Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s assistant director of operations – said they were working closely with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to ‘fully understand the chain of events and establish exactly what happened’.

‘We have extended a sincere apology to both families concerned for the distress caused, and will continue to liaise directly with them as the investigation progresses,’ he added.

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