Woman blames hospital after parents, sister die from COVID-19

PINEVILLE, N.C. — Caroline Perrine-Jackson’s favorite memories are preserved through photography.

“I’m glad I took a lot of pictures,” said longtime Charlotte resident Perrine-Jackson.

Those pictures are more meaningful than ever. She told Channel 9 her days turned from unbelievable to painful in August 2021 when her mom was admitted to Atrium Health Pineville following a fall. It was also around the same time Channel 9′s Tina Terry reported on a cluster of COVID cases in the hospital.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that 50 employees and nine patients were infected during the outbreak.

“I heard the stories. There was a COVID outbreak at Atrium Pineville. We didn’t pay that much attention,” said Perrine-Jackson.

She explained her mother was under the care of doctors through the last week of August 2021. She told Channel 9′s Erika Jackson she tried working with hospital staff to move her mom to a rehabilitation center but was turned down by more than 100 facilities. She said her mother, Claude Perrine, developed COVID-19 symptoms at the end of her stay but tested negative several times.

“If she could’ve went to a rehab facility, that would’ve prevented the COVID from coming home and affecting my father, my sister and myself,” said Perrine-Jackson.

She remembers the days her entire family battled COVID-19.

Her mother, father, also named Claude, and sister, Nathalie, all developed complications.

“My mom had already went to the hospital then something fell apart,” she said. “Everyone’s oxygen levels started to drop suddenly.”

Perrine-Jackson said her final goodbyes to her parents and sole sibling.

“Do you think the deaths of your entire immediate family, were they all preventable?” Channel 9′s Erika Jackson asked Perrine-Jackson.

“Absolutely,” Perrine-Jackson responded. “100% and that’s where the anger comes from.”

Atrium Health official said they could not comment on this specific case, citing federal privacy laws. A spokesperson confirmed that the summer 2021 outbreak was confined to the hospital’s maternity unit. Atrium Health added that its team notified every patient who was exposed. No related cases were documented after Aug. 12, 2021.

Perrine-Jackson received a letter from Atrium Health in December 2021. The letter is signed by a nurse manager. It clarified that no workers in Perrine’s unit tested positive for COVID-19 during her stay. It also confirmed that the COVID-19 tests she took before she was discharged came back negative.

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“The only thing that stuck out was a disingenuous apology,” said Perrine-Jackson of the letter.

Perrine-Jackson knows nothing can bring back her beloved parents or sister.

She said they will be remembered in her cherished photos, which will be preserved for years to come.

“I’m glad I did,” Perrine-Jackson said of her family photographs.