Legionnaires’ victim’s wife hits out over ‘disgraceful’ treatment

Ronnie Fraser, pictured with wife Elayne, is still in hospital
Ronnie Fraser, pictured with wife Elayne, is still in hospital
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A TAXI driver has been receiving treatment for Legionnaires’ disease at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary since the early hours of Monday morning.

When Ronnie Fraser, 50, developed a heavy cough on Friday, his wife Elayne was sure it was more than just a run-of-the-mill virus, but had trouble persuading the GP who came out to see him at their home in Gorgie.

Mrs Fraser, 47, said: “I would say about Wednesday he just didn’t feel right. One minute he was going cold and then the next he was sweating. The cough started on Friday and I thought ‘There’s something not right here’.”

At that stage, news of the outbreak was yet to spread, but Mrs Fraser was worried enough to call NHS 24.

She said: “On Saturday, my husband got worse. I called a doctor out and he said ‘It’s just a viral infection he’s got’. He was in and out of the house quickly, and said ‘Keep taking the paracetamol, you’ll have the virus for another three or four days.

“I’m really angry about that because I think they would have been told about this by then.”

On Sunday, as Mr Fraser’s condition worsened, she called NHS 24 again, and a second doctor came to see him at home. By this time, doctors had been alerted to the likelihood of a Legionnaires’ outbreak.

Mrs Fraser said: “He came out, and what a change. He said ‘You’re going in because you need to get an X-ray done’, and he said there was an infection in the lungs.

“He phoned the ambulance because I didn’t have transport and he said the ambulance will be one or two hours. Six and a half hours later it came.”

She said her husband’s breathing had been getting worse as they waited for the ambulance. “I was so angry, and he was moaning and groaning, as he had pains in his back,” she said.

Mr Fraser remains in the ERI, receiving antibiotics.

His wife said she was angry that doctors had not been put on alert for the symptoms of Legionnaires’ as soon as the first case was confirmed on May 31.

She said: “I think it’s disgraceful.”