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Quebec woman who begged for hospital transfer in video died of natural causes: coroner

Report says Mireille Ndjomouo, who was allergic to penicillin, didn't receive the antibiotic despite claims

Days after Mireille Ndjomouo's death, her family and friends protested outside Charles-Le Moyne Hospital, demanding answers. (Delphine Jung/Radio-Canada)

Days after Mireille Ndjomouo's death, her family and friends protested outside Charles-Le Moyne Hospital, demanding answers.

Photo: (Delphine Jung/Radio-Canada)


The Quebec woman who posted a video where she pleaded to be transferred from a Montreal area hospital died of natural causes, according to the coroner investigating her death.

In Amélie Lavigne's report, she says Mireille Ndjomouo, 44, died of multi-organ failure caused by immunodeficiency and not because of receiving penicillin.

Ndjomouo said in an online video that staff at Charles-Le Moyne Hospital in Longueuil on Montreal's South Shore had treated her with penicillin, even though she said they knew that she was allergic.

Her allergy to this antibiotic is indicated in her file, but nowhere is the administration of this antibiotic recorded in the file, Lavigne wrote. The skin reactions did not result from administering penicillin, but rather due to nodular lesions caused by diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Ndjomouo, a Cameroonian refugee and mother of three, was admitted to Charles-Le Moyne on March 1 after experiencing persistent pain in her left leg and having several solid lesions under the skin on her torso.

Lavigne found that during Ndjomouo's stay at the Longueuil hospital, she showed signs of fatigue, headaches and generalized pain.

On March 3, Ndjomouo's file showed that medical teams suggested surgery as a possible treatment and presented the risks associated with it, but she refused because she feared the medical profession.

Despite many recommendations made by her medical team, Ndjomouo signed a form saying she refused all treatment. However, new medical examinations carried out on March 8 showed that edema had spread to her chest and abdomen.

Lavigne wrote that before being admitted to Charles-Le Moyne, the state of Ndjomouo's health was very precarious.

Her medical file notes reveal that Ndjomou knew she had an HIV infection for several years and in spite of her doctor explaining how the infection was progressing and that her immune system was deteriorating, she categorically refused all treatments proposed.

Suffering from HIV put her at risk for opportunistic infections, and she also experienced bouts of pneumonia.

She was finally transferred to the Jewish General Hospital on March 9 following her and her family's repeated requests. Her condition quickly deteriorated, and she was transferred to intensive care, where she was pronounced dead on March 9.

Following her death, her family and friends held a demonstration outside Charles-Le Moyne hospital

A pathologist from the McGill University Health Centre conducted an autopsy on March 12 and found that lymphoma had reached the structures and tissues of the body. The findings suggest multi-organ failure secondary to a form of lymphoma.

CBC News