London, England — Kayla Williams, a 36-year old mother of 3 from London who was reportedly infected with the coronavirus, has died a day after she called emergency services and was told that she could not be admitted to a hospital because she was not a “priority”.
Her husband Fabian Williams, a 49-year old garbage collector, called emergency services when she suffered from cough, high fever, and severe chest and stomach pains. He followed what the call operator instructed him while he waited for the medical help to arrive.
When the paramedics arrived, she carried out some tests. Documents confirmed that she was treated as a suspected Covid-19 case. However, she was left at the apartment and was not taken to the hospital because she was told that she is not a priority.
The morning after, Fabian helped her eat and get dressed but her condition still continued to worsen. He rested for a while and when he came back to her, she was slumping head down.
“She was already dead. I put her on the ground — because that is what they had told me to do before — and I rang 999 again and they told me to put my hand on her chest and pump her chest,” he recounted to The Guardian.
Police officers eventually came to their apartment but refused to get in. Funeral service officials, who were wearing full forensic suits, arrived next and did all the procedures required in an infectious disease death.
Fabian said that what left him appalled is that what was happening wasn’t explained to him. He was only ordered to stay home or isolate and nothing else.
Meanwhile, the ambulance service confirmed in a statement that Kayla was suffering from symptoms of the coronavirus but was advised “self-care, use antipyretics, increase food/fluid” and quarantine from her family.
A lot of people expressed their disappointment with the paramedics saying that she wasn’t a priority.
“This tragedy would almost certainly not have had Kayla Williams not been a black woman,” one said. “It is less well documented than in the US, but black women in the UK also face similar structural obstacles to receiving adequate healthcare.”
“The news of the death of Kayla Williams is so heavy this evening,” another wrote. “Black women being told we are “not priorities” during a global health pandemic whilst members of the celebrity class and Royal family have immediate, round the clock access to testing and healthcare. No words.”