On Wednesday evening over one hundred outraged protestors gathered outside Croydon University Hospital. They were there because of the unjust treatment of one of the hospital’s patients: critically ill 22-year-old Marcus Campbell.
Marcus, a former Stanley Technical High School pupil who lives in Thornton Heath, is suffering from a rare brain stem injury. The young father of two was initially admitted to St George’s Hospital in Tooting after he complained of nausea, tightening of the chest and blurry vision in early July. Mr Campbell was first prescribed antibiotics, which proved to be ineffective. A few days later Marcus’s mother watched one side of her son’s face collapse and observed his difficulty standing up as one side of his body became limp. It turned out that Marcus had suffered a stroke and had a rare inflammation in the stem of his brain.
The demonstration which took place on Wednesday followed a desperate appeal from Marcus’s family, who have said that doctors told them that Marcus would not be kept alive if his condition gets worse. The family launched a social media campaign to highlight the unjust treatment that Marcus and themselves are receiving and to demand that the young father is given the chance to live.
Marcus’s sister, Anna, recalls the blunt manner in which the family were informed that Marcus would not be offered further assistance to live if his condition worsened. “He simply told us that they would not resuscitate Marcus if his heart was to stop beating and that if he got an infection they would not treat him as “he is dying and we do not want to prolong his death,” said Anna, describing the meeting she and her family had with the consultant.
An online petition started by Marcus’s sister, which so far has 21,602 signatures, includes an invitation to join the demonstration:
“As many of you already know, my brother is critically ill in intensive care in Croydon University (Mayday) Hospital. They have refused to resuscitate him should his heart stop and now that he has contracted two infections whilst being under their care, they are refusing to treat him as they believe he is going to pass away regardless...what this is, is inhumane, disgraceful, unjust and all in all bad practice. This is why my family and myself have proposed to pose a demonstration/protest on Wednesday (THIS WEDNESDAY) 22nd October 2014 outside Croydon University Hospital, commencing at 6pm.
Marcus has also been denied access to see his two daughters and has been refused admission to a different hospital for better treatment! We need the hospital and medical team to realise what they are doing is wrong! We need to stand unite as a community and publicise the wrongdoings of the NHS especially the breaching of Marcus's human rights! Please come and join us to stand and fight for my brother, whose voice cannot currently be heard...”
The central aim of the demonstration was to make the hospital reverse its immoral decision not to resuscitate the 22-year-old man if his heart stops and to get Marcus moved to Queens Square Hospital, which is a neuro-specialist hospital, where Marcus would receive the art most advanced treatment available for his rare condition.
As if the critical illness of Marcus is not enough for his family and close friends to endure, as well as the news that he will not be kept alive, they have also reportedly been banned from seeing their loved one by hospital staff. The hospital says it has limited the number of visitors Marcus can have “in the interests of safety for our patients and staff” and because he is in intensive care.
There is some hope that Marcus’s family’s desperate plea will be heard and acted upon to give the young man a fair chance at life. A Trust spokesperson has said: “This is a heart-breaking time for the family and we want to do more to support them. We have arranged for an urgent second opinion of Marcus’ care, which will take place later this week. This external review will be led by an independent clinical expert who is completely separate from us. Their findings will be shared with the family.”
The Trust’s spokesperson also offered assurance that Marcus is receiving quality care at Croydon University Hospital, saying: “Our doctors and nurses are continuing to provide around-the-clock care to Marcus and are taking all reasonable steps to make him as comfortable as possible.”
On Wednesday night a line of police officers blocked the main entrance to the Croydon hospital as the angry crowd chanted “Justice for Marcus” but the crime was taking place inside the hospital. Who are the hospital’s staff to decide that a young man and father should not be given another shot at life? It seems to be a case of medics trying to ‘play God’ in an utterly despicable and unforgivable way.
If you have not already signed the petition to help save Marcus then please do so NOW and encourage others to do the same: