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Patient filmed care worker turning off his life support

A quadriplegic man whose life-support machine was mistakenly turned off by an agency nurse has been left with severe brain damage, it emerged yesterday.

Jamie Merrett (37) was so worried about the care he had been receiving at his home that he alerted the NHS in Wiltshire, England, and had a camera set up in his bedroom, which captured the incident in January 2009.

Only days after the camera was installed, Mr Merrett was left close to death after nurse Violetta Aylward turned off the life-support machine and struggled to resuscitate him.


Mr Merrett was aware of the mistake that had been made before he lost consciousness, unable to speak. He can be heard on the film urgently clicking his tongue as a warning.

He had been nursed at home since 2002 after a road accident left him paralysed from the neck down.

Ambition 24hours, which supplied Nurse Aylward, said it could not comment as an internal investigation was being held.

Despite his disabilities Mr Merrett had been able to talk and use a wheelchair. His sister Karren Reynolds said his level of understanding has now dropped to that of a young child.

In a statement the NHS Wiltshire Primary Care Trust said: "We have apologised to the patient and his family, and have put in place a series of actions to ensure that such an event will not occur again."

Irish Independent