A young Quebec actress and mother died Thursday while awaiting surgery — the victim of a province-wide triaging system created to make space for COVID-19 patients, her family says.
Rosine Chouinard Chauveau, 28, died “of a health problem for which she was awaiting surgery,” the family wrote in a statement released by an artists’ agency.
“This intervention could not take place on time due to the délestage in the health system to handle the pandemic,” they wrote.
They didn’t specify the condition or the length of the delay. A spokeswoman from the agency representing the family said she couldn’t provide more details about what happened.
“Rosine had a health problem [and] she was waiting for surgery which was postponed,” the agency wrote.
Chouinard Chauveau was also the “brave and worthy mother” of a little boy named Maël who was her “raison d’être,” they said.
The young woman came from a family in show business: her mother is the actress and comedienne Violette Chauveau, and her father is comedian Normand Chouinard, both of whom have appeared in over two dozen productions.
Their daughter followed in their footsteps, showcasing her own acting and comedy skills in two movies, “Catimini” (2012) and “Le berceau des anges” (2015), and also in the series “30 vies.”
Her parents said they were “deeply saddened” and that their daughter is “survived by a multitude of relatives and friends whom she touched deeply in her too-short life.”
The family “is extremely touched by all the testimonies received since Rosine’s departure,” they wrote.
“The family and loved ones will not make any further comments immediately and wish to experience their grief and unfathomable pain in privacy.”
Délestage, as it’s called in Quebec, is the practice of rearranging the resources of the health system to meet a crisis, which can mean shuffling nurses between hospitals according to the patient load or cancelling or postponing procedures deemed relatively low-priority.
Toutes mes condoléances à la famille et aux proches de la comédienne Rosine Chouinard-Chauveau décédée à l’âge de 28 ans.
Quelle triste nouvelle.
— François Legault (@francoislegault) February 20, 2021
More than a month ago, Quebec health officials said, with COVID-19 case loads at the time soaring, that the process of postponing and cancelling surgeries had begun in earnest, warning there would likely be many health consequences.
“A lot of activities will have to be left aside,” said one hospital system official, Dr. Lucie Opatrny, in a press conference on Jan. 11.
She specfically mentioned the cancellation of colonoscopies meant to screen for cancer, kidney transplants from living donors, joint replacements and important consultations.
“The choice of which activities [to delay] is more and more difficult to do,” she said at the time.
Shortly afterwards, some cardiac surgeries began to be cancelled.