St Helier Hospital has come under scrutiny after a Covid survivor who “flew the flag” in praise of the ICU’s care died after the hospital “did not care for her following her initial discharge”.

Marilyn Jingree, 40, died on February 21, 2023, from multiorgan failure after repeatedly battling through dialysis and huge blood pressure drops from the treatment following complications due to long Covid.

Marilyn's husband, Glen Jingree, expressed his dissatisfaction with St Helier Hospital’s lack of follow-up care and believes that his wife could have survived if they had taken more preventative measures.

Glen, 55, told Your Local Guardian: “I understand that they're huge under pressure, but these are our loved ones.

“Ultimately they'll say that she passed away due to multiorgan failure, but it may have been able to have been prevented – but I don’t know, and I will never know.”

Her battle with Covid began in 2020 when she was admitted to the hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU), spending a staggering 112 days in a coma on a knife’s edge chance of survival.

Glen and Marilyn were immensely grateful for the support and care she received during her time in the hospital with Covid in 2020 and Marilyn even featured on Channel 4 which filmed her discharge from St Helier’s – celebrating the work of the ICU unit and singing their praises.

Marilyn underwent 12 weeks of physio rehabilitation twice a week after her release in September 2020 as she was left wheelchair-bound – but this is where the support ended according to Glen.

She allegedly did not receive any follow-up care or monitoring of her condition.

Glen said: “They should have really come back to her and said, you know, we need to kind of keep an eye on you.

“I also didn't feel it was it was enough physio to get her back to some sort of dignified way of life or independence.”

Marilyn, a mum to two daughters, returned to the hospital a year later and was repeatedly readmitted in the coming years due to fluid overload in her lungs and vicious chest infections which were a consequence of long-Covid.

Marilyn's case was considered complex due to her medical history - which included diabetes, asthma, hypertension, kidney issues and the fact that she was allergic to antibiotics and penicillin.

Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly but it causes drops in blood pressure and difficulties in diabetics.

Glen added: “We were finding that when we asked any questions, they just blamed her diabetes.

“She was on dialysis three times a week and that went up went to up six times a week because she was retaining fluid.

“I was saying instead of her going into ICU all the time, because obviously there is only so much a body can take from this dialysis, let’s find out what the cause is so we can kind of like nip it in the bud before it gets to that stage – they were always reactive, not proactive.”

Marilyn was frequently admitted from the ICU from the renal ward as an emergency procedure due to drastic drops in her blood pressure.

Glen attributes these episodes to the negligence of the staff on the renal unit, claiming that the ward did not have the resources to monitor someone with such complex needs as her.

The couple had previously expressed that there were communication breakdowns between doctors and departments which meant that Marilyn never got the chance to try alternative treatments.

Your Local Guardian: The Jingree familyThe Jingree family (Image: Glen J)

These included a kidney transplant to eliminate the need for dialysis as well as an alternative form of dialysis that was available at St Georges Hospital where the fluid is taken off at a slower rate.

Glen said would have been safer for Marylin as her body reacted differently to the standard dialysis.

He was allegedly only told about these options around a month prior to her death after discussions with the Patient Advice and Liaison Service where he suggested action points which they could take.

Glen also said Marilyn was ill-treated, particularly during her time in the renal ward and recounts distressing incidents where Marilyn had to endure prolonged waits for basic care, such as changing her soiled bedding.

On multiple occasions, Marilyn reportedly waited over two hours, lying in both excrement and urine.

Glen says he reported these incidents to the nurse in charge, saying “we wouldn’t even treat an animal like this”.

In the days leading up to her death, Marilyn felt extremely unwell and called her husband and mother for help.

Despite informing the nurses of how she was feeling, Glen claims nobody at the hospital checked on Marilyn until her husband arrived.

He says that when he arrived at the hospital to check on his wife, Marilyn's blood pressure had dropped significantly and she appeared very lucid and unresponsive, prompting a sudden rush of staff to her side.

She was immediately readmitted to the ICU, where she remained until she died.

Glen said: “At first it was a ‘here we go again moment’ – she had fought so many times before and I had heard it all before and she had always proved them wrong.

“I was still thinking, you know, she'll pull through. She has done time and time again. She got through Covid and there was no cure.

“She was a strong girl, but I just think her body was just tired. How much could her body take?”

While Glen acknowledges the dedication of overworked hospital staff, particularly those in the ICU, he remains heartbroken by the loss of his wife and believes that a lack of action, ineffective communication, and unnecessary delays for preventative measures that ultimately failed Marilyn.

Your Local Guardian: Glen and Marilyn on their wedding dayGlen and Marilyn on their wedding day (Image: Glen J)

Glen describes his wife as “a friend to everyone” and now had a picture tribute to Marilyn in their home with flowers and lit candle as a “space for her daughters Hailee, 20, and Hollee, 16, to remember her.”

St Helier Hospital has Marilyn's medical records under her maiden name "Duncan" to ensure continuity with her medical history. 

An Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson said: "We are sorry for Mr Jingree's loss and send him and Ms Duncan's family our deepest condolences. We're also sorry to hear Mr Jingree is unhappy with the care his wife received and would encourage him to make contact with us so we can look into his concerns."

The trust says that its Patient Advice and Liaison Service was in contact with Mr Jingree while Ms Jingree was in its care, and its ITU and Renal Teams also reached out to offer support and to discuss the care provided - but the hospital has never received an official complain regarding her care.