EDITORIAL – The sad and troubling passing of Lisa Turner

On the morning of Friday, Feb. 10, Lisa Turner posted on her personal Facebook page that she was “feeling nervous” as she entered a local hospital.

The comments on that post started off as best wishes, hopes for a speedy recovery, prayers, etc. Several days later, they turned into tears and final farewells.

Ms. Turner, a young, well-known and vibrant woman, had died. One of the creative lights in the Cayman Islands was dimmed.

Ms. Turner is gone. She has left family, friends and acquaintances with memories to treasure. The circumstances of her departure have left Cayman’s community with questions that deserve answers.

The news of Ms. Turner’s unexpected death has spread throughout the country. The Compass does not publish rumors, innuendo or information that has not been substantiated — and we will not do so in this case.

Ms. Turner underwent what seemed to have been a relatively routine surgical procedure at a local hospital. She developed an illness, was brought to another local hospital, and died … a matter of mere days after her surgery.

The public interest in this tragic event is quite high. For example, according to our online statistics, the Compass’s story published Friday on Ms. Turner’s death is already one of the most well-read articles on our website for the year, and has drawn thousands of readers.

In other words, “the whole town” is talking about it. And yet, there has been no official statement from anyone — from either of the hospitals, the health minister, the Health Services Authority … nothing.

So far, the public conversation on the issue is being forced to subsist on rumor alone — which categorically is a worse diet than fact.

We fully understand and appreciate the limitations that any official statement would have, but at the very least the community should be assured that a full investigation is being conducted into the matter.

The statement is just Step One. Ms. Turner, her family and the public as a whole deserve nothing short of a detailed inquiry conducted in a thorough and transparent manner. If wrongdoing is determined to have occurred, appropriate and proportionate consequences must follow. If not, the public must know this, as well.

Too often in Cayman, it appears that when “something bad happens” in a healthcare situation, whether it’s the result of error or there is no specific cause, the official response is opaque, hushed or seemingly nonexistent.

When was the last time, outside of the context of criminal court, that a local healthcare practitioner was censured, suspended or exonerated by a regulatory body such as the Medical and Dental Council?

Sanctions imposed in silence, or behind closed doors, are hardly sanctions at all.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I would think that her death sounds a little mysterious , and that her family should have their own private investigation done .
    Some heads needs to be turned and jerked is the only way things are going to get better .

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  2. Condolences to the family and friends of this woman.
    There is no such thing as routine surgery. The first few days after any surgery are critical, blood clots kill many people exactly 2-5 days after a surgery. Then there are genetics that may predispose you to post-operative complications and or new medicine you can have an adverse reaction to. A person who is discharged the very next day after a surgery is at high risk and on its own.
    My aunt and a former co-worker both died from a post-operative blood clots.
    D-dimer blood tests are used to help rule out the presence of an inappropriate blood clot. But when you are discharged from a hospital how would you know your D-Dimer? should be zero by the way. I learned about this test when HSA hospital sent me home with D-Dimer above 700. They followed the protocol and scanned me for clots, yet, released me with such a high D-Dimer without figuring out why it was so high. I had told my relative, a medical professional in my home country about abnormal D-Dimer before going to bed. I was awakened later by Police banging on my door who came to check on me – my relative insisted on that, knowing what elevated D-dimer means.

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  3. We only met a couple of times. She was such a wonderful person. Way too young to go. Sometimes…. life isn’t fair 🙁
    Our hearts are with her family and friends!

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  4. What about the English woman who died at the George Town hospital after what I recall was an allegedly botched tracheotomy after a road accident. There was no mention of this by the hospital authorites at the time, and it only came to light during evidence given at the Coroner’s inquest in the UK. Subsequently the chief hospital administrator under public criticism promised a full investigation. That was over a year ago and as far as I am aware, the public still awaits the result

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  5. In my opinion, secrecy, coverups, and “investigations” without results seem to be the norm here in Cayman.

    The true nature of this tragedy may never been known, especially as life moves on and the story is dropped from the immediate minds of the public, family and friends. :^(

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