Woman dies 28 days after carers stopped giving food or water, says son

Elderly woman, 88, dies ’28 days after carers stopped giving her food or water’, devastated son claims – as he brands her treatment ‘inhuman’

  • Sarene Taylor, 88, was released from hospital after a stroke four weeks ago
  • Her son said she was left to ‘slowly’ die in front of their eyes without food or drink

An elderly woman died ‘slowly’ from ‘dehydration and malnutrition’ 28 days after carers stopped giving her food or water, her devastated son has claimed.

Sarene Taylor, 88, was admitted to a North Wales hospital after suffering a stroke roughly four weeks ago, but according to Rob Taylor doctors said there was nothing more they could do and they started end of life care with fluids and food being withdrawn.

Mr Taylor, a decorated and respected former North Wales rural police officer, described the approach to end-of-life care as ‘inhumane’ and ‘heartbreaking’ for the family and said it has to change. 

He also spoke about reporting the circumstances that led to his mother’s death to North Wales Police and the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.

Mr Taylor said: ‘I understand end of life care, and the carers and district nurses do a fantastic job but to deny a human being food and water is disgraceful and we as a society need to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Sarene Taylor, 88, was sent back from a North Wales hospital following a stroke to die in a care home after foods and fluids were withdrawn, her son Rob Taylor has claimed 

Health chiefs have since offered their ‘condolences’ to Mrs Taylor’s family but declined to comment further on her son’s claims. Mrs Taylor is pictured as a young woman 

He added: ‘The family thank everyone for their kind messages and loving support during these past weeks.’

In an emotional video just days before his mother’s death, Mr Taylor described the devastating situation the family found themselves in.

‘My mum 88-years of age had a fantastic life, but sadly four weeks ago today, she was admitted to a hospital in North Wales, with what we found out to be a stroke,’ he said.

‘I obviously went up to be with her and spend time with her – on the Monday which is three weeks gone – and this Monday the doctor told me that there was nothing more they could do for her sadly and all fluids and food were withdrawn and she was put on end of life care.

READ MORE: Elderly and vulnerable people are still being put on an end-of-life ‘death pathway’, report reveals


‘I spent quite a lot of time with her – and then on leaving and waiting for the phone call, because I had to go somewhere else unfortunately, I then discovered I had caught Covid, so I couldn’t immediately go back – on the Wednesday, just gone three weeks ago – I was told we had to take her from the hospital. So arranged for her to be taken back to the care home.

‘This is not a story about illegality or legality, it’s about ethics. My mum is still alive – 24 to 25 days in without any food, any water, no IV drip, nothing – she’s still alive – and it’s inhumane and absolutely harrowing to the family and inhumane.

‘That such a precious lady has been allowed to lie on a bed in a care home – in fairness being seen once a day by a district nurse and they do an outstanding job, it’s nothing against them or the care home – but it’s the ethics that she is just left to die, slowly from dehydration and malnutrition in front of our very eyes.

‘This is how you would treat people back in the 11th and 12th Century – not 2023. It’s absolutely harrowing. There is nothing we can do, absolutely nothing we can do – and they have been wonderful, it’s just that it’s incredible that she’s probably suffering and it’s heartbreaking, it’s absolutely heartbreaking for us.’

Andrea Hughes, Director of Nursing for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s East Integrated Health Community, said: ‘We offer our sincere condolences to Mrs Taylor’s family for their very sad loss. 

‘While we cannot comment on individual cases in any detail, we were in daily contact with Mr Taylor about his mother’s care and we are investigating concerns that he has raised.’

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said: ‘I would like to offer my condolences to Mr Taylor and his family following the loss of his mother. 

‘Mr Taylor has contacted me and I am in the process of seeking further details from him about his mother’s experiences. As such, I am unable to comment further at this stage.’

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