Sharon Williams, mother of 27-year-old Tumut woman Naomi Williams who died at Tumut District Hospital on January 1, 2016, has spoken about the inquest into her daughter’s death.
The Gundagai stage of the inquest wound up last month with testimonies from family members and friends of Naomi, including Sharon, being heard.
Naomi was six months pregnant and critically ill when she presented to Tumut District Hospital to seek medical help in the early hours of January 1, 2016.
She was briefly observed, given Panadol tablets and then sent home just 34 minutes after arrival.
Fourteen hours later, Ms Williams and her unborn baby boy died after she went into cardiac arrest.
The coroner’s court heard that her cause of death was almost certainly due to an overwhelming case of sepsis – a serious illness, however one that can be treated with antibiotics.
“I am feeling a bit better than I was before,” Sharon said.
“I now have a few questions answered. There is a big relief off my shoulders.”
However, she was alarmed at much of what she heard at the inquest.
“I didn’t know she presented (at the hospital) that many times,” she said.
“I think she didn’t want me to worry and thought they would sort it out.
“I’m really disappointed because it could have been prevented had they listened to her and taken her seriously. Why did she have to die before the situation was taken seriously? I am now going to work my hardest to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Sharon said she would work with the hospital to achieve that end.
“I won’t go away,” she said.
“I want to be part of the solution. It’s fine to say you have a big garden and cultural awareness, but you have to put it into practice. Even some of the comments made at the inquest I was blown away by. I had thought my daughter was in safe hands.”
Sharon is looking forward to the next stage of the inquest, where the testimony of experts in the field will be heard at Lidcombe Coroners Court on March 13 to 15 next year.
“For now I have closure and I can focus on my two foster nephews and looking after their needs,” she said.
“They will be my priority now as will be my elderly brother. Naomi was my only support person; I’ve got to do it all on my own now. I’ve been carrying a lot of anger and I can let a lot of that go now. That it wasn’t all in her mind and was real has been proven now.
“I want the community to get involved in this stuff in the future.”