I imagine that there are very few days worse for a person than finding out the person they had spent the vast majority of their life with has died. There is nothing quite like the pain of losing your spouse or child, and it isn't something that we would wish on our worst enemy. One man had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with getting the news his wife had passed away, even though she hadn't.
Frank Priddis's wife Sandra had been admitted to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for treatment for bladder cancer. Everything seemed to be going fine when all of a sudden Frank was called by a nurse and told that his wife had sadly passed away. He says it was the worst hour of his entire life, until sadness morphed to relief, and then anger.
"The nurse told me that my wife had passed away approximately an hour previously," said Priddis.
He immediately got up and rushed over to the hospital to find out more about his wife's "death."
When he got to the hospital and reported to the appropriate nurse's station, he was told to wait until the right people showed up to talk to him.
While he was waiting, he was just looking around, half in a daze when he noticed something that took his breath away. As he looked through one of the windows on the ward he noticed a familiar face resting comfortably in a bed.
"In the meantime, for some unknown reason, I just happened to turn and look through the window into the ward, where I saw my wife fast asleep in her bed," he said. "It turns out the nurse that had made the call had in fact picked up the wrong file and contacted the wrong family. I said 'if this is a joke, it is a sick one'."
The boneheaded mistake by the hospital staff had the entire family tied up in emotional knots.
"No one can even begin to ever feel the pain, distress and anxiety that this caused myself, my daughter and my grandsons who were 12 and 14-years-old at the time, not forgetting the extended family too," said Priddis.
Sometimes you really need to double check your work.