Anne Findlay: My mother’s eyes

Anne Findlay’s life is intricately intertwined with the healthcare system.

It’s a connection that stems from the death of her mother after she was injured at the hands of those who were supposed to heal her.

Beth Findlay had lost her husband, and had been forced from her home and community after suffering a stroke, but she was still trying to make the best of life, recalls Anne.

“My mom was a nurse and the kind of person who didn’t complain if something wasn’t right… she just got things done,” she recalls.

“We used to call her, with great affection and no little admiration, the iron fist in the velvet glove.”

Beth was taken to hospital by ambulance after she started having problems breathing and started to swell up. But what should’ve been a routine procedure marked the beginning of the end for Anne’s mother, after she fell from the gurney during an x-ray scan.

When Anne arrived at the hospital, she says she found her mother bruised beyond recognition, “and I could tell, by looking at her eyes, that she was ready to give up… my heart broke.”

Beth died three weeks later.

But what was already a heart-wrenching ordeal wasn’t over. The events that led to her mother’s death took on a haunting tone when it became clear that no one really knew how her mother had suffered the fall that eventually killed her.

“We didn’t know what to believe and, to us, the truth mattered,” says Anne.