The past week has been an ordeal for Bowie Kong, who lost one parent to Covid-19 and while the other is in the intensive care unit (ICU) for the virus.
Her grief over her father’s death was all the more bitter due to the alleged neglect he suffered when at Serdang Hospital.
Speaking to Malaysiakini, Bowie claimed her partly-vaccinated 56-year-old father Kong Wan Hong (above) was not given a bed or blankets despite repeated requests.
She said he was not given oxygen support until his third day at the hospital, shortly before he passed away.
Once, when he overslept and missed a meal slot, she said he was not able to get any food.
Bowie eventually learned about her father’s demise through a friend, rather than from the hospital.
“My father was completely disrespected when he was there.
“Even if he did not have a high chance of survival, I hope he could have got more respect.
“Instead of not even having any food to eat,” claimed the 26-year-old.
Malaysiakini has contacted Serdang Hospital’s top management for a response.
The hybrid hospital recently made headlines after images showed patients in tents and on the floor.
This comes as Klang Valley hospitals continue to struggle to cope with the onslaught of Covid-19 patients despite reinforcements from the Health Ministry. In the past two weeks, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur have recorded a total of 106,610 positive cases.
Father wanted to come home
Kong, who worked in a market, tested positive for Covid-19 on July 15.
When his fever persisted whilst under home quarantine, the family called for an ambulance and he was admitted to Serdang Hospital on July 20.
According to his death certificate, which Malaysiakini sighted, Kong passed away on July 22 and was classified as a Category 4 Covid-19 case.
Bowie recounted that her father, who had diabetes, high blood pressure and was slightly overweight, had found the hospital conditions unbearable.
“On the second day (July 21) he called home at 3am, saying he wanted to come home because it was too cold at the hospital.
“He did not want to just wait around aimlessly, he wanted to come home because he claimed the doctors did not care about him. They did not give him oxygen.
“He was in the Emergency Department in a wheelchair the whole time. There was no bed for him. Those who were admitted after my father and were in better shape were given beds, but he was only told to sit in a wheelchair,” she alleged.
Bowie claimed she tried multiple times to call the hospital to request better treatment for her father but often failed to get through.
She eventually travelled to the hospital to pass him a blanket and take his oxygen saturation reading using an oximeter.
By July 22, she said her father’s condition had deteriorated and he was struggling to both breathe and walk. He had missed a meal slot and told his family he was very hungry.
Kong was finally given oxygen support that night and he later contacted his family to tell them he was on his last breaths.
“He called us at around 10pm because he knew he could not make it.
“He told us his final words. He kept saying he wanted to come home,” Bowie said.
Kong died shortly after the call.
However, the family only found out the next day (July 23), after a friend went to the hospital’s Emergency Department in person to ask about her father.
Please respect all patients
Bowie said her father passed away before his second dose of the Sinovac vaccine. He received his first jab on June 27.
Her mother, who is also partly vaccinated, is currently hospitalised for Covid-19 at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre ICU.
Bowie herself is positive and under home quarantine as she is asymptomatic.
Asked if she planned to take any action against the hospital, she said she did not but hoped her account would pressure the government and hospitals to treat patients better.
“I posted my story on Facebook, not to seek justice for my father. He has already died.
“I wrote my story in the hope that the government will focus on helping government hospitals that are overflowing with patients and lacking in resources.
“And I hope they can be fair to all patients,” Bowie told Malaysiakini.