MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affirs (DFA) on Friday confirmed that the nurse who was caught on a CCTV camera allegedly turning off the life-support system of her British patient in January 2009 is a Filipina.
The declaration was made after the video, which showed 55-year-old Violeta Aylward mistakenly turning off her paralyzed patient’s ventilator, went viral over the Internet. According to the DFA, the Philippine Embassy in London has already "reached out" to Aylward and is "actively monitoring developments of the case."
The DFA said Aylward's licence was suspended by the Nursing and Mid-Wifery Council (NMC) in October last year. She is still awaiting a schedule for a formal hearing on the matter.
The United Kingdom Crown Prosecution Service, however, did not find sufficient basis to file a criminal case against Aylward after a thorough investigation. The Filipina nurse is employed by Ambition 24hours Care Service.
The patient, who suffered brain damage due to the incident, was identified as 37-year-old Jamie Merrett. He is from Devizes in southwest England and had been left paralyzed from the neck down by a 2002 road accident.
Reports said Merret installed a camera in his home when he became suspicious about the care he was receiving. The video, which was uploaded by the UK Telegraph on its website and has since been circulating among various social networking sites, showed Aylward attempting to restart the ventilator after she accidentally turned it off.
The Filipina nurse tried to revive Merrett but applied a resuscitation bag in the wrong place. Instead of connecting it to the hole in the patient’s neck, Aylward placed it in the patient's mouth. Paramedics was only able to restart the machine after 21 minutes.
"Merrett was starved of oxygen and sustained severe brain damage, leaving him with the mental capacity of a child," the Telegraph said in its report. Merret's family is now preparing to take legal action.