‘Oops wrong person’: Hospital mistakenly tells son his mother is dead

A Winnipeg son is thankful his mother is still very much alive after hospital staff wrongly notified him of her death last month.

Dan Nemis’s mother Sophia Nemis is currently 99 years old and plans to turn 100 in December. The Winnipeg senior made headlines two years ago when at 97 she was called to jury duty.

Last month, she was admitted to Seven Oaks General Hospital with a twisted ankle. Six days later, Nemis, her primary caregiver, says he got the call he’ll never forget.

A nurse phoned him on his cell to tell him his mother had passed away. Shocked, Nemis demanded to know how a simple ankle injury could lead to such a serious outcome.

The nurse checked his name again. Then one more time. After insisting twice his mother had died, the nurse realized her error within seconds. Nemis said he remembers her saying, “Oops wrong person.”

After the emotional roller coaster of a phone call, Nemis said he began to breakdown, in the middle of a doctor’s waiting room he happened to be in at the time.

“I flew through the air. Obviously out of control, obviously extremely traumatized,” he said.

He landed on his knees, then his stomach, he said, pounding his fists on the floor, yelling into the phone. Another man came to console him, he said. It took 15 minutes to calm down.

“This was painful and I’ll never forget it,” said Nemis.

A spokesperson for Seven Oaks General Hospital calls this mistake “extremely unfortunate and regrettable” and is “deeply sorry for any grief that was caused, even momentarily.”

The hospital is reviewing patient identifier policies with staff to prevent an incident like this from happening again, the spokesperson said.

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