A heartbroken family has given a urgent appeal to see their son, who is at a Melbourne hospital in ICU.
His mother Rose Cassar told nine.com.au that Ben Stylo, 28, was rushed to The Alfred Hospital by ambulance ten days ago suffering from septic shock.
Mr Stylo is suffering from an inflammatory disorder called persistent granulomatous illness.
Mr Stylo developed an exceedingly unusual fungal infection in his liver , spleen and stomach lining in January which he was unable to fight due to his compromised immune system.
The infection of the fungus is very uncommon in the world there are just five known instances. Doctors presume an illness would then transfer through his bloodstream.
Though Ms Cassar was able to travel with her son in the ambulance, she said she was separated from him as soon as she reached the hospital because of her visitor restrictions on coronavirus.
“As soon as I got to the hospital, I didn’t even have a chance to give him a hug or a kiss, they ushered him away and said you can’t be with him,” she said.
Doctors pumped Mr Stylo full of antibiotics but his condition deteriorated the next day and he was placed on life support.
“I got a phone call saying he had deteriorated, and they had put him in ICU. I begged and pleaded, please let me come and see him,” she said.
“They said no. Then an hour-and-a-half later I got the call saying you are allowed to see him, special circumstances, he only has hours left to live.”
Thankfully Mr Stylo’s pulled through. He was withdrawn from life support and improved his situation so his mother could see him.
A planned video call for Mr Stylo to talk with his family was organised, but his health worsened again and he was placed back on life support.
Ms Cassar said the health of her son had changed over the last few days but they were both painfully conscious of how precarious it was and still wished to see him.
“We are staying hopeful, but we know that Ben’s condition is very fragile,” she said.
“He may relapse into septic shock again. We have a window now to see him and we want that window; we want to see him.
“We think every family should have the right to see their family members in ICU and it’s been 10 days now.
“It’s inhumane. I’m literally going mad, I’m losing my mind over this trying to think of ways to get in there to see him.”
A spokesperson for Alfred Health said: “We understand what a challenging time this is for families wishing to visit a loved one in hospital.
“The visitor restrictions at The Alfred, which are common to many Victorian hospitals right now, are there to protect our vulnerable patients and our staff while there is a sustained level of COVID-19 in the community.
“As visitors are only permitted under special circumstances, our staff are working hard to maintain the connection between patients and loved ones. Daily briefings and telehealth sessions also ensure families up-to-date and involved in care decisions.
“These changes are about keeping our hospitals as safe as we can, as we work through this pandemic together.”
Mr Stylo’s family have started an online petition
calling on visiting rules to be changed for ICU patients in Victoria.