Wendy, like 8 million others in the U.S., relied on her CPAP machine to sleep through the night. It was a lifesaver, that is, until she began feeling worse after using the machine.
Wendy’s journey began in 2011 when she was placed on a Philips Respironics CPAP machine after being diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.
She was a daughter, grandmother, friend, and beacon of hope for many in her community. Wendy was a woman who had overcome so much, only to be taken from her loved ones at the young age of 50 due to a faulty CPAP machine.
For months, Wendy had complained to her doctor and others that the CPAP machine was making her feel worse. In fact, she went to the doctor with similar complaints multiple times, including just one week before her passing. Her symptoms resembled a sinus infection, but even her doctor was having a hard time curing the illness.
Wendy passed away on January 4, 2019, still hooked up to her CPAP machine.
Still grieving the loss of her mother, Ashley Randol received a recall letter from Philips Respironics around October 2021.
After reading the letter, she determined that her mother’s CPAP machine was one of the millions that were on the recall list. She immediately called Philips Respironics to register the device and inform them that her mother had passed away while still attached to the machine.
Then, on December 16, 2021, Ashley received a call from a Philips representative who asked for the serial number. Upon entering the serial number, the representative said,
“Oh my, I am so sorry! That is exactly one of the few CPAPS we were really looking for. There is no amount of money that can replace your mother.”
By this point, Ashley was appalled and outraged. After several more weeks and speaking with a subsequent Philips representative, she still had no clear answers from the company and had yet to talk with someone who knew the process.
In the meantime, Ashley spoke with her mother’s doctor. He not only agreed that the Philips Respironics CPAP machine was the reason for her illness, but it was also why he had such a hard time treating Wendy.
The doctor printed Wendy’s full medical report and gave a copy to Ashley, who then sent a settlement letter to Philips Respironics on December 21, 2021.
In total, Ashley has received over eight recall letters from Philips. Yet, each time she speaks with a Philips representative, they never have the information regarding her mother passing with the machine on or her medical records on file.
Just two short weeks ago, Ashley spoke with yet another Philips employee and was told that the company had no record of a 30-day letter, Wendy’s medical report, or even that Ashley is now her mother’s representative.
Currently, Ashley is in a heated debate with the company over the machine. Philips wants her to send the device to them for testing but is unwilling to provide written documentation.
Ashley is still grieving the unnecessary loss of her mother and trying to get answers. For now, she will hold onto the machine, as this is the only evidence she has for her mother’s case.
She hopes that Philips will eventually come to understand and admit that their CPAP machine was the reason for her mother’s untimely demise.
Meanwhile, Ashley will continue spreading awareness about the dangers of using a recalled Philips Respironics CPAP machine in hopes of preventing other people from going through her same heartbreak.
Follow Ashley at her GLO Preemies Podcast where she airs CPAP Storytime every Tuesday.
GLO Preemies Podcast Link: