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Patient died of hanging while in Moncton psychiatric unit

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It’s been just over a year since Kali Hemsworth’s younger sister died suddenly.

According to her autopsy, Kaytlyn Hemsworth died of hanging at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, N.B., while in the psychiatric unit.

She was just 19.

Hemsworth says she's received very few details about the circumstances of her sister’s death.

“All I knew was that my sister had hung herself. It was very fuzzy on the details of how she took her life. They weren’t willing to have a discussion and explain exactly what happened to her,” said Hemsworth.

Hemsworth, who said she’s speaking on behalf of the family, believes her sister’s death could have been prevented.

Vitalité sent a statement via email to CTV News Friday afternoon.

“Vitalité Health Network upholds the highest standards when it comes to patient confidentiality and therefore cannot comment on specific cases involving current or past patients,” read the statement.

Vitalité went on to say whenever an investigation is conducted, follow-ups are always carried out with the individuals concerned.

Hemsworth says the family is moving forward with a lawsuit for wrongful death and alleged medical malpractice at this time.

Kaytlyn Hemsworth is pictured. (Source: Hemsworth family)

Kaytlyn struggled with mental health issues most of her life and Hemsworth said she had been in the hospital’s psychiatric ward for a few months before she died.

“She had a few attempts and she was in and out of the psych unit over and over again,” she said.

Her five younger siblings are taking it hard, but Hemsworth’s parents are suffering the most.

“I think it was just hard to come to terms that she was gone. And it took on my dad a very, very big toll,” said Hemsworth.

The New Brunswick RCMP said on April 11, 2023 at approximately 4:30 p.m., police were notified of a sudden death.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Hans Ouellette said they investigated the circumstances surrounding the death with support from the province’s coroner’s office.

“Following the investigation, police have determined that criminality was not involved in the individual’s death,” said Ouellette.

Hemsworth, who lives in Ottawa, said her sister was creative and loved to draw, cook and dance with all of her heart.

“I do have regrets about not being there for her all the time, but definitely, we had a good sister relationship,” said Hemsworth.

And she misses her every day. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, here are some resources that are available.

Crisis Services Canada (1-833-456-4566 or text 45645), Centre for Suicide Prevention (1-833-456-4566) or Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

If you need immediate assistance call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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