Local man says mother-in-law waiting in ER for 36 hours at RGH


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Scott Wilmeth has been trying to get his 80-year-old mother-in-law in Rochester full admission to a hospital with a room. He told News 8 she spent more than a day in a hallway at Rochester General, and only just received food Friday evening.

Lydia Vega has fluid in her lungs and some heart issues. “They haven’t assigned her a room, yesterday she didn’t get… they didn’t even bring her food,” Wilmeth said.

According to Wilmeth, Lydia is diabetic and has a language barrier. 

“She has no one to be her advocate. So, it’s very concerning,” Wilmeth said.

This week, the Chair of Emergency Medicine with Rochester Regional Health acknowledged there are staffing shortages. He said if you don’t have a serious condition, you might experience a delay in care. Rochester General is erecting a new structure to help deal with the patient overflow.

“Those who need ICU or surgery, immediate interventions, I think you can expect those to run fairly normal to what we saw even pre-pandemic..” Dr. Keith Grams said.

Wilmeth believes the vaccine mandates could be behind some of the staff shortages. 

“It’s a very conflicting issue, people feel very strongly one way or the other,” Wilmeth said.

Wilmeth grew up in Venezuela and says wait times there are still nothing like they are here, even with Lydia’s delay. But, in the US, he says this shouldn’t be happening. 

“It’s not the way it should be. I know sometimes things can get backed up, but we’re going on a day and a half now,” Wilmeth said.

Wilmeth is also in Florida right now, making the task of getting Lydia a room more of an obstacle. Local family and friends here are trying to facilitate admission.

Yet, Wilmeth says to those working hard in the hospitals trying to hold it all together, they have his respect.  “My heart goes out to the healthcare workers because I know it’s been a tough go here going on two years…”

News 8 reached out to Rochester Regional Health for comment with no result.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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