WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg woman who walked away from a hospital and was later found dead outdoors in frigid temperatures was two months pregnant, her mother says.
Eleanor Sinclair says she found out during a meeting with officials from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority on Thursday — one week after the body of her daughter, Windy Sinclair, was found outside an apartment building.
"At the end, they asked me, 'One of the tests that was done on your daughter, did you know that she was two months pregnant?' I just broke down," Sinclair said Friday.
"She probably didn't even know herself."
Family members told she had been released
Windy Sinclair, a 29-year-old mother of four, was struggling with crystal meth addiction and had been hallucinating and talking to herself following a family Christmas dinner, her mother said. The younger woman called 911 and was taken by ambulance to Seven Oaks General Hospital.
Real Cloutier, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's interim president and CEO, said she was being treated and had undergone tests. But when staff returned to her room to share the results, Cloutier said she had left.
"Staff searched the area for her, but were unable to locate her," he said in a written statement. "Calls to the number on Ms. Sinclair's file were unanswered."
Eleanor Sinclair said she and other family members were not notified, and when they called for information the following day, were initially told her daughter had been treated and released.
The city was in the middle of a cold snap at the time. Temperatures were well below -20 C. Windy Sinclair's body was found Dec. 28, far from the hospital and the family home.
Her mother said that so far, conversations with the health authority have raised more questions than answers. The authority is still investigating what happened.
Her daughter was apparently being given fluids intravenously when she left.
"Did my daughter pull out (the) IV?" asked Sinclair. "She could have bled to death. She didn't know how to take IVs out."
The family wants to know whether the hospital issued a Code Yellow — an alert when a patient is missing — and what, if any, steps were taken to try to find her.
Hospitals should make sure there is constant surveillance for patients who are intoxicated and unable to care for themselves, Sinclair said.
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