Canadian Tourist Dies After Falling Ill in Jamaica, No Hospital Beds Back Home

Kelly Beckerley-Murphy, a 65-year-old Canadian lady, was supposed to be on a week’s vacation with her best friend.

But shortly after landing in Jamaica, Beckerley was having trouble breathing, so an ambulance took her to a hospital in Montego Bay. She had a heart attack and respiratory failure on the way to the hospital. She was never brought back to consciousness, even after the Jamaican medical staff got her breathing.

As Beckerley lingered in the hospital for almost a week, she had pneumonia, sepsis, and a “horrific bed sore.” No beds were available in Ontario to accommodate her, according to her insurance carrier, CAA Niagara, who alerted her family. Still, the Ministry of Health, Long-Term Care, and Niagara Health verified that those institutions had beds available.

Beckerley-Murphy was admitted to St. Catharines Hospital on April 16 when a bed was eventually found for her. At the local hospital, Beckerley passed away late Thursday night, surrounded by her family. With the aid of 37 contributors, her daughter was able to collect $2,760 and send her mother back to Canada from the Jamaican hospital, where she had been hospitalized.

The stricken woman’s son-in-law traveled to Jamaica as a patient’s advocate. On April 20, the most current information was posted on the GoFundMe page. In her present state, Beckerley is on a ventilator and in a coma; her health is serious but stable. Because of the heart attack and its resulting respiratory failure in the ambulance, doctors worry that the brain did not get enough oxygen, which might affect any future cognitive function.

Will McAleer, the executive director of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIAC), said that incidents similar to Beckerley’s occur far too often. When Canadians are ill and end up in foreign hospitals without an explicit return date in sight, the vast majority of these cases go unreported.

Upon becoming aware of Beckerley’s situation, St. Catharines’ MPP Jennie Stevens intends to intervene.