NEW BRUNSWICK - The family of a recently deceased man is accusing a New Jersey hospital of preventing them from seeing him during his final moments.
Francine Urbaniak was rushing to be with her 93-year-old father as he drew his final breaths, but says a hostile security guard at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital denied her those precious moments. "I said, you know, my father might be dying, I got this call, I have to go up and see him," she says.
Urbaniak offered the guard her wallet and ID and begged to be allowed to use elevators near the ER entrance that she and other family members had used before to access the Cardiac Critical Care Unit.
The guard demanded they get out of the elevator and use another entrance. The family says they complied and walked around the corner to the main entrance, only to then be detained by security. By the time the family got to his room, it was too late.
"There I was greeted by the doctor who said, ‘you were too late,’ that my father had passed on," Urbaniak says.
There is just one chance for a final goodbye, and the Urbaniak family says it was taken from them. "I'm never going to get that chance again. Because it was stolen," says grandson John Urbaniak.
In a statement, the hospital says the family was made to go through the main entrance but denies they were ever detained. Robert Wood Johnson also says that it is looking at its security practices to see if any changes need to be made.
The family says they reached out to the hospital since the incident 10 days ago to express their concerns, but have received no response.
For interview with Urbaniak family, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.