Great Britain is experiencing an upsurge in hospital admissions of those contracting influenza. Several of those treated in Scotland have died, although some of these may have been experiencing underlying health issues. Those deaths have tragically included an 18-year-old girl called Bethany Walker, whose flu developed into pneumonia. She succumbed to her condition last Friday at Inverness’ Raigmore Hospital.
What's so f***ing wrong with intruding on family grief to sell more papers, c***?!?!?
Her mother Heather Teale told “She had been suffering from a flu virus, which became pneumonia, she was airlifted to Raigmore with me by her side yesterday morning, where she rapidly deteriorated, the staff in intensive care could not have done more, she was given the best possible treatment from a team of 8 people for over two hours, they tried everything possible but sadly despite their best efforts she didn't make it”.
The Planet Radio report added “Bethany left Plockton High School last summer before going on to study midwifery in Aberdeen … The secondary also paid tribute on social media, saying she was a ‘kind, caring, gifted and exceptionally conscientious student and a super role model for younger pupils both in the school itself’ … She had been deputy head girl at the school”. And then the Daily Mail entered the scene.
Bethany Walker, who died last Friday
That meant every social media nook and cranny was scoured for content, which was then plastered all over Mail Online as readers were told “'I am broken, the bottom has fallen out of my world': Mother's heartache as her 'beautiful' 18-year-old daughter dies from one of the killer flu strains currently sweeping the UK”. And then the reporters turned up, which is quite a feat in itself, given the location of where Ms Teale lives.
Applecross is in Wester Ross, accessible for many years only by a challenging access road through the mountains. Even now, it is a 36 mile round trip to the next significant settlement. Yet the Mail has got there, found Ms Teale, and made her life even more of a misery than it was before. None of those bleating when calls are made for the press to be more accountable to those whose lives they callously disrupt have complained, though.
Ms Teale has had to take to Facebook to plead for the intrusion to end: “Please be aware that I am being plagued by newspaper reporters. I spoke with the local paper when they phoned to ensure that they published accurate and useful information. I am now constantly answering the phone to reporters, the Scottish Daily Mail being the most intrusive, disrespectful and patronising, completely oblivious to my feelings”.
And there was more. “Despite being told I did not wish to comment, a while later a reporter turned up in the pub. Please, if asked to comment about Bethany’s passing away DO NOT. They are also phoning Plockton High School. I have actually been told today by a reporter that grief sells newspapers!” What she might not have known is that the Mail has an NHS bashing agenda as well. But the intrusion is on its own inexcusable.
The Mail’s determination to leverage a mother’s grief at the tragically early passing of her daughter is beyond shameless, beyond callous, and beyond inexcusable. But the most shocking element of this saga is that it is not exceptional or surprising.
The Daily Mail is once again bang out of order. So no change there, then.