Regina family searching for answers months after 10-year-old son’s passing at General Hospital

Question period on Friday at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building featured a story from the official opposition about the passing 10-year-old Jonathan Brack who died last summer at the Regina General Hospital. The family still has many questions left unanswered regarding his death several months later.

Vicki Mowat, health critic for the Saskatchewan NDP, said the family continues to seek medical records related to the incident and has still not received a critical incident report after reaching out to the health minister’s office. She called on Minister Paul Merriman to contact the family and ensure this case is expedited.

Jonathan passed away on July 27, 2020. His parents, Derek Brack and Michelle Klein, who say he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was taken to the General Hospital after suffering a bowel obstruction. After becoming dehydrated, doctors administered Jonathan with an IV. However his parents witnessed his condition start to deteriorate.

Brack and Klein believe the IV caused his death because fluid built up in his body and was not getting absorbed by Jonathan’s body. Brack said they suspect he drowned to death due to dropping oxygen levels after receiving the IV.

“He passed away within 12 hours,” Jonathan’s father explained. “[Staff] apparently tried calling the surgeon six or seven times, but the surgeon would not operate on him. He basically lied there until they decided, after it was too late, to operate on him.”

Klein and Brack noted they have his medical records detailing what happened that evening in the hospital. However they are still waiting for information related to his death such as the critical incident report, along with autopsy and toxicology reports.

They were told by health officials an autopsy report would be completed within eight months, but that was communicated to them ten months ago. As for the toxicology report, it was said the document would be finished within two to four months.

“All I have is information they sent to me in emails which is the process of the critical incident report, the outline, the end date which we surpassed in April,” shared Klein. “I’ve heard nothing since past April on the critical incident report.”

Feeling like officials are stalling this situation, Jonathan’s parents say they just want answers and accountability so they can have some closure. “There’s no accountability on the government, the health care system, nobody,” said Klein.

Health minister committed to meeting

Health Minister Paul Merriman speaks at a COVID-19 update at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina. (Photo: Government of Saskatchewan)

Mowat mentioned that a letter dated April 22 was sent by her to Minister Merriman’s office after speaking to the family and hearing their frustrations with the government and health authority on this case. She followed up on that letter during question period on Friday following no response from the minister.

Merriman stated that he is not familiar with this specific case, but said he endeavours to look into it and reach out to the family to discuss what happened.

“There are traditional ways to go through if there was a concern with the quality of care. We have quality care coordinators that are actively engaged in a lot of files,” Merriman explained. “I’m not sure if they have been through that process, but I will look into it right away.”

While Klein and Brack welcome an opportunity to speak with Merriman about their son’s treatment and death at the hospital, they admitted they would have preferred to have had the conversation with Saskatchewan Party MLA Jim Reiter, who served as health minister when Jonathan passed away. Klein said it feels like they have been pushed aside by the government and health authority.

“I would have preferred to talk to him. He was actually supposed to contact us, which he never did,” mentioned Brack.

“I would like to be face to face with (Merriman) so he can actually see our frustration, hear our voices and try to understand where we are coming from,” added Klein.

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