Published Sunday, April 4, 2021 1:48PM EDT
Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital, said the woman’s husband was told to go to work despite there being a known COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.
Warner said that since the outbreak wasn't among employees on the man’s shift, he was told he still had to go into work.
Warner has not identified the family for privacy reasons, but said he's sharing their story in the hopes lessons can be learned about outbreaks in essential workplaces.
He also did not release the name of the company the man worked for.
"He was told to go work at this factory and he got COVID, so did everyone else on his shift, and they got the variant," Warner said Sunday. "It got brought home, their daughter got COVID and his wife got COVID."
He said the woman ended up critically ill and was admitted to intensive care.
"She started in a position where we could talk to her but then we had to intubate her," Warner said. "And then she got so sick we couldn't keep her alive with just a ventilator."
Warner said it took a team of 17 people to place the woman on a Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which is used to transmit oxygen into blood cells when the lung is so badly hurt it can no longer do that on its own.
It's used as a last-resort when a ventilator is not enough to treat a patient.
Warner said the woman was then transported to Toronto General Hospital, but died about 24 hours after arriving.
"She has a family, and unfortunately, they will never see her again," Warner said.
"They never got to say goodbye and never will."