14 Oct 2019

Mother hopes DHB has learnt from her daughter's death

From First Up, 5:48 am on 14 October 2019

The mother of a young woman who suffocated to death after a large goitre squashed her airways, says she hopes the Hawke's Bay District Health Board has learnt from her daughter's death, so no other family has to experience their pain. The Coroner say 25-year-old Arohaina Gilbert's death in Wairoa Hospital in 2018 could have been "reasonably avoided" if the urgent surgery she needed had not been repeatedly delayed. She died hours after being rushed to hospital in the early hours of May 14 with breathing troubles, just days before she was due to have thyroid surgery in Wellington. The DHB has since apologised to her family, acknowledging it missed several opportunities to prevent her death, and says it's since made changes to its systems to ensure it did not happen again. Arohaina's mother, Monehu Gilbert, told Anusha Bradley, she hopes her daughter's death has not been in vain.