60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes breaks down over dad’s death


Liz Hayes broke down during a 60 Minutes report, saying millions of Australians are suffering within a “broken” health system.

Liz Hayes has broken down on camera over her father’s preventable death. Picture: 60 minutes/ Channel 9Source:Supplied

Veteran 60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes has broken down on television over what she says was the unnecessary death of her father and revealed the heartless act which shut her out when he lay dying.

As part of a 60 Minutes investigation into Australia’s “broken” regional health system, Hayes opened up about the death of her 88-year-old father a year ago.

Bryan Ryan, a farmer, died in Taree on September 11, 2019 as the result of a catastrophic stroke.

But Hayes revealed that after being admitted to hospital for pneumonia, her father was denied his regular medication, a blood thinner vital to preventing him having a stroke.

“The medication prescribed to prevent that stroke was not given to him for eight days,” she said. “Of all the medications not to give him, that was the most important.”

Dissolving into tears on camera, she said “he was always fearful of something like that happening”.

Hayes revealed that when she looked at the notes on her father’s hospital medical chart she found that proof the blood-thinning drug he relied on had been denied him.

When the damage was done and Mr Ryan lay dying from the complication of his stroke, Hayes took a phone video of herself by his bed, sobbing “This is my dad. We were to take him home today”.

Talking about that hospital video, Hayes said “I don’t even know who I was talking to. … I think I couldn’t believe it.

Tonight on @60Mins, Liz Hayes travels home to Taree, three hours north of Sydney, to ask questions around her father’s death – and discovers some alarming truths. Coming up NEXT on @Channel9 after @TheBlock. #60Mins https://t.co/UI9eMMpbeH

The veteran TV reporter said it was her father’s ‘greatest fear’ not to receive his medication. Picture: 60 minutes/Channel 9Source:Supplied

Hayes travelled to Taree to investigate the death of her father Bryan Ryan and rural Australia’s ‘broken’ health system. Picture: 60 minutes/Channel 9Source:Supplied

When Hayes asked for water or food because her father was “begging” for some, she says she was told: “No”.

Calling it inexplicable cruelty, Hayes asked: “In a hospital, who does that? It’s just heartbreaking. No one deserves that.”

Rather than keeping her father’s preventable death private, she decided to investigate, saying through tears: “I couldn’t pretend that this was somebody else’s story.

“What I was witnessing was wrong. I couldn’t pretend it hadn’t happened. I couldn’t pretend it was somebody else’s dad … this was brutal and it was awful.”

Hayes discovered a fellow journalist, ABC reporter Jamelle Wells, had a father whose last weeks in hospital before his death last Christmas was a similar tale of a series of botch-ups.

She travelled home to Taree, 300km north of Sydney, to investigate and discovered “some alarming truths”.

60 Minutes reports that seven million Australians rely on local healthcare systems in Australia’s rural and remote regions, for everyday health ranging up to complicated and lifesaving surgeries.

“Instead what confronts so many people in regional Australia is a health service that is underfunded, ill-equipped and struggling to cope – with devastating consequences,” Hayes reports.

The 60 Minutes episode investigates the countless Australians “who have suffered malpractice in their sickest and most vulnerable moments”.

It also looked at accounts by doctors and nurses “who are too fearful of losing their jobs to publicly speak out against the failures of their hospitals”.

Jamelle Wells told Hayes the story of her 85-year-old father, Alan Wells, a builder and bushman from the NSW copper mining town of Cobar.

After surgery Alan Wells told Jamelle, “love I feel they’ve done something wrong”, but the doctors kept both father and daughter in the dark.

Five days after that first surgery, doctors “did a second surgery, which for an 85-year-old man was a lot”.

Alan Wells had built his own home, was a community volunteer, and president of his town’s parks and gardens committee but had felt lost when his wife, Cecilia died in 2016.

After two invasive surgeries, but still with no clear explanation, Dubbo Hospital wanted to discharge Jamelle’s father the very next day.

“We fought that discharge,” Jamelle said. “Within a few hours he had a cardiac arrest and was intubated. and needed to be resuscitated.

Jamelle Wells watched her father decline in hospital after a broken hip. Picture: 60 Minutes/Channel 9Source:Supplied

Alan Wells had his health and then his spirit broken in a number of hospital stays before his death last year. Picture: 60 Minutes/Channel 9Source:Supplied

ABC TV reporter Jamelle Wells’ father Alan was lost after his beloved wife Cecelia (above, the couple in younger days) in 2016. Picture: 60 Minutes/Channel 9Source:Supplied

Disturbingly, she said, her dad was refused food because there was no one available to conduct a sip test to ensure her father could swallow.

Jamelle claimed that the nurse said the hospital couldn’t afford to roster anyone on a weekend and that her father would have to wait until Tuesday for the test and the opportunity to eat.

Mr Wells was sent back to Cobar Hospital and then discharged to a nursing home. He was put in an ambulance, in 40 degree heat, for a four-hour trip.

“My father’s spirit was broken. And at that point, just fearful, and he said, you could see it in his eyes ‘They’re giving up on me’.”

On November 10 last year, five days after being sent to a nursing home, Allan Wells died.

When Jamelle later applied and paid to access her father’s medical records, she was also sent the medical records of another man, a stranger.

Liz Hayes spoke with Taree medical specialist Dr Philip Walkom who said there was a “climate of fear” which prevented doctors and healthcare workers from speaking out about system failures.

“You just go with the flow. If you start rocking the boat, in a place like this, particularly when you’re out you don’t want for creating problems. or get a bad name the more you’re shunned.”

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Source: https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/60-minutes-reporter-liz-hayes-breaks-down-over-her-dads-death/news-story/df728753e4455cedccf560dd97190d61

Liz Hayes

Actu monde – AU – 60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes breaks down over dad’s death