RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - It’s hard to imagine: a father spending his final moments in intensive care, and his son rushing to his bed side, only to find a shocking and insensitive note left behind possibly by a hospital caretaker.
70-year-old Charles Bakondi suffered a heart attack and was in the later stages of cancer when he was transferred to the intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center overnight. For a family grieving their loss, this note only intensified their suffering.
News 4 interviewed his son, Darren Bakondi, Tuesday morning, before his father passed away later that afternoon.
The note contains just seven words, “He looks like he died last week!,” reads Darren Bakondi. “ It was immediate outrage. It was difficult to deal with. "
Bakondi could not believe what he read on a note he found on his father’s bedside tray when he rushed to his father’s I.C.U. room as he was fighting for his life.
"He had trouble breathing. He had trouble swallowing. He's very frail. He only weighs 79-80 pounds," said Bakondi.
The insensitive note was written on the back of an I.V bag label. Darren suspects it was a person cracking a joke and was never meant to be seen, but it was and the damage was done.
"I mean, complete and utter disregard for my father,” he said. “With the life he's led, he deserves dignity and especially in the last days of his life, which will be spent here at the facility. I'm sure. He deserves more than that with everything he's done in life."
Hospital representatives apologized to the family, and Saint Mary's C.E.O., Helen Lidholm, responded to News 4, saying:
“Our team began investigating this situation yesterday, and will continue our investigation further and work with all those involved to ensure a resolution is met including any additional apologies to the patient and family.”
Darren said he believes the apologies are genuine, and said hospital staff gave his father excellent care. He just wants the offender to be held accountable.
"I think that's the only way this hospital can truly show that they are serious about the problem," he said.
Until then, the Bakondis are mourning. Before his father passed, Darren told News 4 he was focused on making sure the man who raised him leaves this world, a loved and respected man.
“I have no doubt that he'll finish his days here happy,” said Bakondi. “Again, that one moment is probably going to taint any of my thoughts or respect for this facility ever again. I just hope it never happens again to another family.
News 4 inquired what kind of repercussions the note-writer would face if discovered. Hospital representatives say all parts of the investigation will remain confidential due to privacy laws.
Darren said he hoped by giving his father's story attention, it would l move the hospital to correct this offense swiftly and justly.