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Quebec nurse had to clean up after husband's death in Montreal hospital

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On a night she should have been mourning, a nurse from Quebec's Laurentians region says she was forced to clean up her husband after he died at a hospital in Montreal.

Isabelle Granito is now fighting to make sure other families can mourn with dignity and respect.

Jacques Richard was 52 years old when he died suddenly of a heart attack last year.

"My son contacted me. He said, 'Dad is dead.' He said, 'Come fast. There's nobody to help us," she said.

Richard was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where Granito found him, an hour after his death. She said her partner was lying on a stretcher in the resuscitation room.

"His body was all covered with biological fluids, and a tube was still there, and nothing had been cleaned," she said.

Granito has worked as a nurse for 26 years and said she was shocked to see his body had not been cleaned up. When she asked for a supervisor, Granito said she was told there was no one.

"I asked him, 'Please, can you send someone to clean it up?' They say, 'Yes, sure, I will send them. You'll go do it with her.' So I changed my husband with her," she said.

That was her last memory of her husband of 23 years.

"I've been robbed. I've been robbed this moment," she said.

Jacques Richard was 52 years old when he died suddenly of a heart attack last year (Handout photo)Granito said she suffers from post-traumatic stress and at not even 50 years old, she believes her career may be over.

"I'm traumatized. I haven't been back to work, and I'm not sure I can go back as a nurse," she said.

In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson from the McGill University Hospital Centre wrote, "We are sorry to hear that a patient or family member has had an unpleasant experience at the MUHC."

Without commenting on the specific case, the spokesperson added, "it can also happen that family members enter the room when resuscitation efforts have just finished, and inadvertently find themselves face to face with a patient who has not been cleaned."

After losing the father of her children, Granito plans to file two official complaints: one with the MUHC and another with the Quebec Order of Nurses.

"I'm fighting for people like me who had no help," she said.

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