Technical Engineer for the Public Infrastructure Ministry Walter Willis died on Monday evening at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital.
Willis was admitted to the Hospital on Saturday, July 9, 2016 following a reported heart attack and was placed on life-support on Monday July, 11, 2016.
Early on Monday, news spread that Willis had passed away. However, it was later confirmed that Willis was alive but in a coma, in the Intensive Care Unit of a city hospital.
Relatives of Willis were alleging that he would not have been in a coma if the wrong medication was not administered to him.
According to relatives, Willis went to the hospital complaining of chest pain and was given insulin. A relative contended that shortly afterwards he was pronounced dead by the doctor. However, another doctor checked him and found that his heart was still beating and, as such, placed him on life support.
His death was confirmed by a statement issued by the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital on Monday night. According to the Hospital, Willis was admitted on Saturday, July 9, 2016 where “protocols were followed upon his admission. His condition deteriorated and he was treated for multi-organ dysfunction. Regrettably, Mr Willis passed on the evening of Monday, July 11, 2016…St Joseph Mercy Hospital would like to extend deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Willis.”
The Hospital said further that it “has embarked on an investigation to ensure that all clinical guidelines were adhered to in keeping with Standard Operating Procedures.”
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure issued a statement of condolences to his family. In the statement the Ministry said “it is with the deepest regret that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure announces the passing of Mr. Walter Joseph Willis, Technical Adviser to Minister David Patterson, following a period of brief illness.”
According to the statement by the Ministry “Mr Willis was born on July 23, 1949 and was employed with the ministry for 17 years. Upon his commencement of service on May 3, 1999, Mr Willis served as the Technical Adviser for Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Anthony Xavier, under the Ministry of Public Works and Communication. Mr Willis also served as Technical Adviser to Minister Harry Narine Nawbatt and Minister Robeson Benn before working alongside Minister Patterson from May 2015.”
The Ministry continued that “Outside his position as Technical Adviser, Mr Willis held several positions, including that of the Chairman of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority; Project Manager of the Solid Waste Management Programme; and Project Engineer for the Caribbean Development Bank Third Road Project (Ruimveldt to Providence). Mr Willis was also involved in a number of key developmental projects, including the construction of the Providence Stadium, where he served as the Project Manager.
“Mr Willis will be remembered by all as a dedicated worker who went above and beyond to ensure the proper execution of all projects under his remit. He was always willing to offer advice and worked meticulously. He was also fondly known to all as a stickler for protocol and could be seen traversing even the hallways of the Ministry with a safety vest on” the statement said.
According to the Public Infrastructure Ministry “up to last Friday, Mr Willis led a team on a site visit to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion Project. He will be sorely missed… Ministers of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Annette Ferguson, along with the staff of the Ministry, wish to extend their heartfelt condolences to the Willis family.”
Mr Willis leaves to mourn his wife, Dolly; three children, Christopher, Sonia, and Sandra; and three grandchildren.