Kayla Williams Peckham London, black woman dies of COVID-19 after mom of three is told she’s not a priority by paramedics. Would she still be alive if she were white?
A 36-year-old British woman died a day after paramedics told her that her ‘possible case of the coronavirus’ was ‘not a priority,’ according to a report.
Her husband, Fabian Williams, 49, a refuse collector, said he decided to call emergency dispatchers after Kayla started experiencing a cough and high fever, as well as severe chest and stomach pains.
‘As I was talking to them she was getting worse and they told me to put her on the floor and to make her body flat,’ Fabian told the Guardian.
But when paramedics arrived, they refused to take her to the hospital and told her to nurse herself back to health instead.
‘She told me the hospital won’t take her, she is not a priority,’ Fabian told the outlet.
The next day, Kayla’s health continued to deteriorate only for the woman’s husband to find her slumped over in the home.
‘She was already dead,’ he told the Guardian.
The husband reportedly called emergency dispatchers again but they were unable to revive his wife.
‘Our sympathy is with the victim….’
The London Ambulance Service confirmed that they treated a patient at Williams’ home and initially urged them to look after themselves.
‘Our clinicians treated a patient and advised them to call back if their condition changed,’ the agency said.
The agency continued saying, ‘Our sympathy is with the family at this time. We are working incredibly hard in these unprecedented times to look after Londoners.’
This tragedy would almost certainly not have had Kayla Williams not been a black woman.
It is less well documented than in the US, but black women in the UK also face similar structural obstacles to receiving adequate healthcare. https://t.co/V89Tcp79B6
— Louis Allday (@Louis_Allday) March 25, 2020
Would Kayla Williams still be alive had she been white?
Following the ‘black’ mother of three’s death, commentators on social media questioned what paramedics meant when they said Kayla wasn’t a priority – with some wondering whether her skin or social class order played a part in whether the woman ought to be taken to hospital. Which is to ask- would Kayla still be alive had she been white?
Kayla Williams’ death has since drawn attention to the limitations of the UK’s NHS system and a public healthcare unable to deal with a public health crises in the face of ongoing cutbacks to the public health sector increasingly aligning itself to private for profit mandates. Which is to wonder how much is one’s life worth in the midst of capitalism’s unrequited appetite for growth and profitability….