Detroit Health Care Worker Dies from Coronavirus-Related Symptoms After Being Denied a Test Four Times

Deborah Gatewood with her daughter Kaila Corrothers. Courtesy Kaila Corrothers

Deborah Gatewood had two years to go before she could retire from a Detroit hospital.

But Gatewood, a phlebotomist for three decades, will never celebrate that milestone.

She died April 17 from symptoms related to the coronavirus.

Her daughter said that prior to her mother’s death, she was denied a coronavirus test four times by her employer, Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills.

NBC News reached out to Beaumont multiple times for comment, but did not hear back.

The hospital told a local Fox News station: “As patients come to Beaumont for care during this pandemic, we are doing everything we can to evaluate, triage and care for patients based on the information we know at the time. We grieve the loss of any patient to COVID-19 or any other illness.”

Hospitals and states across the county have reported a shortage of swabs and other supplies needed for coronavirus testing kits, as well as delays in securing test results.

Kaila Corrothers said her mother started experiencing symptoms in mid-March.

Gatewood, 63, drove herself to the hospital’s emergency room in Farmington Hills on March 18, where she requested a test and was sent home.

“They said she wasn’t severe enough and that they weren’t going to test her,” said Corrothers, Gatewood’s only child. “They told her to just go home and rest.”

Gatewood went back to the hospital March 19, by which time she had developed a cough, her daughter said.

“So they gave her a prescription for cough medicine,” Corrothers said in a phone interview Friday.

Her mother’s symptoms worsened.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Janelle Griffith