Page last updated at 06:58 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

'She was too tired to hang on'

Sarah McGinty
Name: Sarah McGinty
Age: 67
Died: February 3, 2008

It was in December 2007 that 67-year-old Sarah McGinty was taken into the Vale of Leven Hospital having suffered a stroke.

She was recovering from partial paralysis, and could not be discharged until her medical needs had been assessed.

While in the hospital, Mrs McGinty contracted the deadly Clostridium difficile (C.diff) bug.

The pensioner's family, including her daughter Helen McGinty, watched as she slowly deteriorate and died.

Here, Ms McGinty tells her mother's story.


"My mum was a happy-go-lucky wee woman. She loved her gardening, she loved her wee house, she loved her dog and her family. She did like life."

Mrs McGinty spent six weeks at the Vale of Leven Hospital after suffering her stroke. Unknown to the family, the hospital had the deadly C.diff bug and in December alone, 11 patients were infected.

While, Mrs McGinty's medical needs were being assessed, she contracted C.diff.

"I told my mum, 'you're coming home to stay with me and I'm going to look after you'.

"It was the first time in those couple of weeks that I'd actually seen a smile come to her face.

Sarah McGinty's daughter
Helen McGinty watched her mother Sarah McGinty die in hospital

"She kept saying 'when am I getting home, I want to go home'. And I said: 'Soon, you just need to get better.'

During her time in a general ward, Mrs McGinty had a frequent visitor who had C.diff.

"There was this woman who had senile dementia and she was always over at my mum. She was touching her, kissing her, taking her socks off, covering her up and taking the blankets off.

"At one point she was actually found in bed with my mum."

When Mrs McGinty was diagnosed with C.diff she was moved from the general ward into a single room where her condition worsened.

"She kept making these horrible noises, all I wanted to do was get her out of that bed and cuddle her and tell her to hang on, but she was just too tired.

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"It was one of the hardest things to watch and it's something I would never want anyone else to go through again.

"That is the last memory I've got of my mum - is watching her die.

"We were going to make the rest of my mum's life comfortable. She was going to be ok, it wasn't a problem for us.

"We didn't have a chance to take her home - all we are left with are the memories of my mum and the bad memories of the week she died."

Helen McGinty has, along with the relatives of other dead patients, demanded a public inquiry to unearth what happened to their loved ones.

"I want the truth as to why my mum died, along with so many other people.

"It's quite shocking knowing we are not the only ones suffering. If it had been caught at the beginning, my mum and others would be alive today."

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