The woman who posted a video begging for help from a Quebec hospital alleging she was the victim of medical wrongdoing died of natural causes linked to an untreated medical condition, according to the coroner’s report released Tuesday.
In the video posted online on March 7, Mireille Ndjomouo, 44, claimed staff at Charles-Le Moyne Hospital in Longueuil gave her penicillin, despite her allergy to the antibiotic that was on file.
The video led to social media allegations of negligence and racism (Ndjomouo was a Cameroonian refugee) and her story was compared to what happened to Joyce Echaquan, the Atikamekw woman who recorded hospital staff making denigrating and racist remarks shortly before her death back in September 2020.
In the video, Ndjomouo pleaded for help, saying staff was “killing her bit by bit” and begged to be transferred to another hospital — which she was. The following day she was moved to the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where she died on March 9.
The coroner’s investigation into her death found that she died of multiorgan failure secondary to extensive tissue infiltration by diffuse large B-cell lymphoma associated with untreated HIV.
According to the report by coroner Amélie Lavigne, Ndjomouo knew she was HIV-positive for years and had been declining treatment despite advice from doctors.
The report states that upon arriving to the Charles-Le Moyne Hospital on March 1, eight days before her death, Ndjomouo’s health was already “extremely precarious.”
She entered the hospital for persistent pain in her leg and for lesions under her skin on her torso. Doctors suggested immediate surgery due to the high risks associated with her condition, but officials say Ndjomouo again refused intervention.
In response to Ndjomouo’s allegation of being treated with penicillin, Lavigne said her allergy to the drug was known to medical staff and that its administration was not recorded in her file.
The autopsy conducted on her death on March 12 found that the lymphoma had infiltrated body tissues, which the pathologist said led to multiorgan failure.
Ndjomouo’s family and members of the Cameroonian community demonstrated outside the Charles-Le Moyne hospital in the days that followed her death. She was the mother of three.