FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) – When Ernest Quintana went into Kaiser Permanente Medical Center’s emergency department in Fremont on Sunday, his wife of 58 years, his son, daughter and granddaughter all worried about the 79-year-old man.
They say it was hard enough to learn that his lungs were failing, but they couldn’t believe it when a hospital robot entered his room and they got the news through a doctor on the robot’s video screen.
Quintana’s granddaughter was in the ICU by his side, and she said at first the nurse came in.
“The nurse came around and said the doctor was going to make rounds and I thought ‘OK, no big deal, I’m here,’ ” said Annalisia Wilharm.
A short time later, a robot arrived in the room. A doctor appeared on a video screen. Wilharm took cell phone video so she could show her mother and grandmother the test results.
“When I took the video, I didn’t realize all of this was going to unfold,” she said.
Over the robot’s video screen, Wilharm says she and her grandfather learned that Quintana’s lungs were failing and he did not have long to live.
“You might not make it home,” the doctor said on the screen.
Wilharm says that heartbreaking news hurt even more, delivered through a machine.
“Devastated. I was going to lose my grandfather. We knew that this was coming and that he was very sick. But I don’t think somebody should get the news delivered that way. It should have been a human being come in,” Wilharm said.