LHSC releases suicidal woman: 'What if something did happen and she had been attacked or killed?'
LONDON, ONT. -- David Nicholson says he’s thankful his wife Dawn is alive, after a scary ordeal that took place on April 26.
“She has issues of wanting to commit suicide Sunday afternoon, so I called EMS and they came around one o’clock and took her into Victoria Hospital emerg,” says David.
Because of COVID-19 protocols Nicholson stayed home, but after receiving no news about his wife, he called the hospital at 6 p.m. to check on her status.
“That’s when they told me, 'Oh she’s been released three hours ago.' I was like what? I was flabbergasted and I was thinking the worst.”
Knowing Dawn suffers from bi-polar disorder and was suicidal, Nicholson immediately called the London Police Service who confirmed with CTV News that a missing person release for Dawn was put out.
“When we receive a missing person report with respect to an individual, if there is a concern for their safety we will publish a media release and put it out on social media, with hopes someone can help us locate that individual,” says Const. Sandasha Bough, London police media officer.
Nicholson says once the missing persons report was made friends and members of their church started searching for Dawn.
Luckily Dawn was found by a church member at a plaza near Commissioners and Highbury on Monday around noon. She was found 21 hours after she was discharged from the hospital.
Nicholson says when she was found she was cold, scared and confused after spending the night outside alone.
He adds his wife has had great mental health care before at Victoria Hospital, which is why he’s shocked and upset that this happened.
“All they had to do was check her file and see my name and number there as her husband, so they should’ve called me. What if something did happen and she had been attacked or killed?”
CTV News reached out to London Health Sciences Centre for an interview.
The hospital did not want to do an on camera interview but instead provided a statement via email:
“Our care providers work with patients to support their discharge, including calling their families/supports when needed. We welcome families sharing their concerns with us, and we are committed to working with them directly.”
Nicholson says he has launched a complaint with the hospital and was told the matter is being looked into.
“I think the hospitals emergency policy in terms of releasing mental health patients needs to change they need to make sure somebody is there to take the patient home safely.”
On Friday, CTV News will have another story where a mental health patient recently had a similar hospital experience in St. Thomas.