She lost a husband, they lost their father. A mother who believes that negligence led to the tragic death of the father of her children from COVID-19 in 2020 is suing the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal for 2.3 millions of dollars.

End of March 2020. We are in the midst of the first wave of COVID-19. Amoti Lusi Furaha, a mother of five, works as a beneficiary attendant in Dorval for the CIUSSS-de-l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

This is the time when personal protective equipment, such as masks, is very limited. And where Quebec is in full first confinement.

Her husband, Désiré Buna lvara, stays in their Deux-Montagnes home with the couple’s five children, ages 2 to 19. He is writing his doctoral thesis in health and society from the University of Quebec in Montreal, which he must defend in June.

The couple immigrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the hope of a better life in Quebec.

On March 31, 2020, Ms. Furaha was surprised to find that her sick colleague was there. He had been out for three days and still exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, the court documents read.

Worried, Ms. Furaha goes to see her head of unit and asks for the withdrawal of her colleague. “He treated me as if I was hysterical, as if I was afraid of everything”, she denounces, in an interview with La Presse.

She therefore ends her shift with her colleague. And she will want it all her life.

He was transferred to the University of Montreal Hospital Center (CHUM) the same night. He died of complications from COVID-19 just over a month later, on May 20.

Without knowing it, Amoti Lusi Furaha is pregnant with her sixth child, who will be born six months later. Without a father.

“Inside me, I knew that my colleague was sick, but my head of unit did not take that into consideration,” Ms. Furaha said. “I suffer from all this injustice. I am an immigrant. If I had been a girl from Quebec, a Quebecer. […] But I am black, no one took me seriously, ”she adds on the phone, her voice broken.

“By not respecting the instructions of the Public Health of Quebec, [this colleague] showed gross negligence and thus contaminated the plaintiff Amoti,” argues Me lguélé Amélie Sagnon, Ms. Furaha’s lawyer, in the application submitted. in Superior Court on April 25.

The head of department could not ignore his “legal obligations either”, believes Mr. Sagnon. Similarly, the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal “failed to fulfill its legal obligations” regarding Ms. Furaha’s safety in her workplace, we read.

The family is therefore asking for compensation of nearly $2.3 million from the CIUSSS and the two men.

The CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal had not responded to La Presse’s request for information at the time these lines were published.

The family has experienced and is still experiencing very difficult grief, the court documents summarize. “My son was 2 years old, he looked for his father everywhere, in the basement, where his father was studying, in the closets, everywhere. I told him that dad had gone to heaven. He gave me the key to the car, his shoes, so we could pick up dad in heaven,” Ms. Furaha said.

Moreover, the mother of the family had made many sacrifices so that her husband could complete his doctorate. “I didn’t even have time to enjoy the fruits of his efforts,” she laments.

She had to take unpaid leave to return to school to improve her financial situation. With this lawsuit, she wants to denounce the tragedy suffered and compensate her six children.

“I know anything I can do is not going to bring my husband back alive, but it’s really unfair,” she said. They didn’t listen to me, and it took my husband’s life. »