Gran, 81, dies after two residents from care home ‘with 15 coronavirus deaths transferred to her home’by Dan Keane
A HEARTBROKEN son has called for answers after a care firm transferred two residents with suspected coronavirus to his mum's home.
Gran Sylvia Williamson, 81, died on Sunday May 17 at Kenton Manor care home in Newcastle following a battle with the deadly bug.
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According to heartbroken son Gary, 50, the Kenton Manor care home had previously been clear from the virus until about a month ago.
The care home is right next to Kenton Hall care home, which the GMB Union reported last month had 15 deaths from Covid-19.
Solehawk, the firm which operates both homes, have now admitted that a transfer of two patients with coronavirus symptoms did take place on April 10.
But the company insist that it was approved by Public Health England, and that the new residents went into a 14-day quarantine following the move.
'TAKING A RISK'
Although it is not yet confirmed how gran Sylvia contracted the virus, Gary is demanding answers after claiming the home took a "risk" with the transfer.
He told the Evening Chronicle: "I just don’t understand how that could get approved, they must have known they were taking a risk.
"I’m not saying it would never have come into the home, but I just can’t believe they would have allowed them to move people into a home that was clear of it."
His mum had been living at Kenton Manor for nearly two years, and suffered from dementia.
Gary added: "She was doing great there, the staff are fantastic, everything was fine.
“The week before they shut the pubs we were told we couldn’t visit anymore."
But he instantly feared the worst when he heard the news of the transfer.
He continued: "When we heard that we knew what was going to happen, I just feared the worst.
"We just felt like it was only a matter of time."
Just two weeks ago, the family were informed that Sylvia had started vomiting and would not take any fluids.
Gary said: "That went on for a few days, and we got a phone call on Friday saying all her levels had dropped, and we could go and see her because she was going to pass away. She lasted until Sunday."
He added that his mum had been tested twice for the coronavirus, with the second test, obtained after she died, confirming that she had contracted Covid-19.
Devastated Gary has since paid tribute to his "happy" and caring mum.
He said: "She was just a character. She was always dead happy, always smiling, she was never any bother. The staff all loved her."
“My dad’s devastated, they were together for 65 years and he used to visit her every day.”
Responding to the tragic news, a spokesperson for Kenton Manor Care Home said the home had followed government advice following the transfer.
My dad’s devastated, they were together for 65 years and he used to visit her every dayHeartbroken son Gary Williamson, whose mum died from coronavirus
They said: "We are truly heartbroken by the sad loss of Mrs Williamson and our sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time.
"Prior to the transfer of the two residents from Kenton Hall to Kenton Manor on April, 10, we sought the advice and guidance of Public Health England who confirmed the transfer was safe and could go ahead.
"In line with the Government guidance these residents were in isolation for the required two weeks until April 24.
"Current guidance shows that as long as the isolation is completed, the risk of further infection is minimal."
The company also confirmed they have tested every resident and staff member which commenced prior to Mrs Williamson's death.
It comes as the UK death toll from the coronavirus has today risen by 121 in all settings, reaching a total of 36,914.
It marks the second-lowest rise since lockdown measures began in March, although there is likely to represent a lag in reporting over the bank holiday weekend and are likely to increase during the working week.