Kelowna General Hospital (file photo - Black Press Media)

Okanagan mother says local health-care system doesn’t make her feel safe

After multiple visits to the hospital, one mother wants families to learn from her experience

Three members of a Kelowna family went to Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and three times they left unimpressed and disappointed with the service they received.

Now, Izabella Arnold wants to share her story to raise her concerns about the care she received.

“I want to bring awareness to the situation to make sure other families don’t have to go through the same thing,” Arnold said.

The mother and soon-to-be wife journeyed to the hospital a half dozen times within a few weeks when her fiancé and daughter were experiencing some sort of illness.

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Her husband started feeling nauseous in late May, refraining from going to the hospital until he was no longer able to hold down food. According to Arnold, the hospital sent him away after taking some blood samples and supplying him with IV fluid.

They went back twice more, but were sent away each time, Arnold explained. Until her argumentative outburst caused nurses to take him in on the fourth visit.

“They (were basically) saying, ‘go home, we can’t figure it out,’” she said.

When her husband was admitted, Arnold’s nine-month-old daughter was brought in for blood tests after falling ill, as well. She said the hospital let a student practitioner take the blood sample, poking her baby eight times before getting it right on the ninth try.

“I understand students have to learn, but maybe not on a nine-month-old baby,” Arnold said.

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Arnold had another poor hospital experience earlier this year when her Opa died after a three-month-long back-and-forth between Penticton Regional Hospital and KGH.

She said her Opa had a heart valve replaced 10 years ago. In October 2018, when he fell sick, he was repeatedly sent home from PRH because the doctors didn’t think anything was wrong.

“A cold doesn’t last five weeks,” she said. “I was very upset by the whole thing. They could’ve handled it a little bit better.”

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Her Opa was sent to KGH for surgery, but he was told they couldn’t perform it and he was sent back to PRH. He died in late January.

Capital News reached out to Interior Health to comment and received an email back expressing that they do not comment on specific cases.

“If individuals or families have concerns about their care, we would urge them where possible to raise those with the manager at the site in hopes of addressing them at the time,” wrote Karl Hardt, senior communications consultant, media and government relations for Interior Health in an email.

Arnold wants others to take control of their health and demand care if they know something is wrong and aren’t receiving the type of attention required.

“If I was ill, I wouldn’t feel very safe.”

READ MORE: Kelowna General Hospital nurses happy with increased security


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David.venn@kelownacapnews.com

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