Family told granny had died “spent €900” before hospital admitted: “She’s alive!”

A Portuguese family is very upset over a hospital mix-up which informed them their 85-year-old relative had died.

In the space of two hours, they claim they ran-up expenses of over €900 which are now irrelevant because the hospital then changed the story. Their relative was not dead, the family were told. There had been a confusion over telephone numbers. Someone else had died.

But the Silva family in Caldas de Rainha has been left fuming all the same.

The call informing her of her mother’s death had been “a moment of very great pain”, Maria Helena Silva told Correio de Manhã. Pain for which “no-one is paying”.

The hospital “told us to contact a funeral agency”, Silva explained.

“We chose a coffin, changed into black clothes and telephoned family members.

“My two daughters both paid €452 for plane tickets back from France to Portugal, and they cannot get their money back,” she said.

“If their grandmother dies now, they will not have the money to return,” son-in-law Domingos Rio added.

But it seems unlikely that the family will find the ‘compensation’ they are looking for.

Hospital Caldas da Rainha has simply apologised, saying the mistake was “rapidly detected and corrected”.

Meantime, Maria de Rosário, interned earlier this month with heart problems, remains very much alive in her hospital bed.

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