NEWS

Nurse Tells How They Treated US Couple Before Their Deaths

She said she was on duty when the couple were brought in a buggy from their hotel room to the centre at about 8am.
06 Jun 2019 10:00
Nurse Tells How They Treated US Couple Before Their Deaths
James Paul with his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul.

A nurse last night revealed that an American couple were given normal saline drip at a Nadi medical centre before they died later.

She and another nurse from the same medical centre were among the five patients admitted at Nadi Hospital for observation over a mystery illness linked to the Americans’ deaths. The couple were James Paul, 38, an engineer with Lockheed Martin and his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul, 35. The other three locals admitted at Nadi Hospital included a Police officer and two security guards.

The nurse, who did not want to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said: “I was discharged today (yesterday) and we are still under observation and I am now home, but they are still coming to check on us.”

Discharged

“I am aware that four of us have been discharged and have been sent home while one more is still admitted at the Nadi Hospital because that person was admitted a few days after we were admitted.

“I am feeling okay now.”

The nurse said she remembered what happened on that tragic day, May 25.

She said she was on duty when the couple were brought in a buggy from their hotel room to the centre at about 8am.

“My colleague and I were the first ones to see the couple and they had symptoms similar to fever such as vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness and they were treated and wanted to go back to where they stayed,” the nurse said.

She said they administered the couple normal saline drip. The couple stayed until about midday when they were taken back to their hotel room.

At 5.30pm, the woman was brought back to the centre because she collapsed in her room, the nurse said. She was dead when she reached the clinic.

Mr Paul was in shock. The doctors at the centre suggested that he be taken to Lautoka Hospital.

At Lautoka Hospital his condition became serious and he was put in the ICU. He died on May 28.

Symptoms

The nurse, who graduated from Fiji National University in 2017, said this was the first incident of this type she had come across.

“After I saw the couple I started experiencing similar symptoms and a few hours after we were treated at the medical clinic we were transferred to the Nadi Hospital.

“We had probably nine to 10 litres of the drip and we got medications every six hours, but so far everything is negative.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the monitoring of the small number of staff and health workers who came into close contact with the deceased couple was conducted, and as a precaution remains ongoing, all are currently well.

Earlier, it was speculated that a flu virus could have been the probable cause for the deaths and illnesses, but as of now nothing has been determined as to what caused this mysterious health issue.

However, since the ministry has ruled out influenza it had stated that it would be premature to speculate further on the cause of death until the investigation is complete.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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