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'Whoops:' Winnipeg nurse calls son, says mom is dead, then admits blunder

Sophie Nemis, 99, is photographed in her Winnipeg home, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Nemis went into hospital for a sprained ankle, and after a lengthy stay, her son Daniel received a phone call from a nurse who informed him his mother had died during the night. This was obviously a mistake and Nemis plans to celebrate her 100th birthday in December. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
October 05, 2016 - 1:29 PM

WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg man says he expected he would get a call someday about the death of his 99-year-old mother — but not one that would turn out to be a mistake.

Dan Nemis says his mother, Sophie, was taken to Seven Oaks General Hospital last month with a sprained right ankle and needed to stay because she couldn't get around.

Six days later, a nurse called his cellphone and told him his mother had died.

Nemis says that as he was crying, the nurse repeated that his mother had died, then said, "whoops, wrong person."

A statement from the hospital says the nurse was looking at the wrong page in a medical binder and realized part way through the call that she had the wrong name.

The hospital says it's deeply sorry for any grief that was caused, even if it was only for a brief moment.

"Seven Oaks has reviewed the patient identifier policies with staff to prevent this from happening again," says the statement.

"The mistake was extremely unfortunate and regrettable."

Nemis, a 67-year-old substitute teacher, says that apologies aren't good enough, and he plans to complain to the province's health minister about the mistake as well as other ill treatment he alleges his mother has received over the years at the same hospital.

He describes his mother as a tough-as-nails, sweetheart of a lady, who never complains. But he wants to make sure she's well cared for and that other families don't have to go through the same ordeal.

He says when he told his mother of the nurse's gaffe, they laughed it off.

"Mom, you died," he says he told her.

"She just made a face."

Nemis says his mother has since moved back into her senior's apartment complex. He's planning a big 100th birthday bash for her on Dec. 3.

— By Chris Purdy in Edmonton

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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