Friends and loved ones of Hollie Hall, who died after contracting influenza or a flu-like illness while in custody at the Remand Centre in Winnipeg, say they want to know why she did not get medical help sooner.
Hall, a 38-year-old from the Sagkeeng First Nation, had been in custody for about a month before she fell ill, family members and friends told CBC News. She died on March 17.
"Hollie was a good person and she should've got the care she needed right away," said Morgan Bruyere, 21, a second cousin and close friend of hers.
"I couldn't say goodbye to her," she added, her voice cracking. "It's just sad she had to get taken away from me so soon."
Friends said Hall was at the remand centre for a breach of a no-contact order.
"When I heard that she was in the hospital, I was just praying for her to get better," said Hall's cousin, Erin Courchene.
"The next day they said, 'She's gone.'"
Admitted to hospital
Bruyere said Hall was living with her before she was arrested in late January, and they did not communicate with each other while she was in custody.
Hall had been spitting up blood prior to her arrest, said Bruyere, who added that she urged Hall to see a doctor but she didn't.
She said she learned that Hall was in a medically induced coma at St. Boniface Hospital the day before she died, with doctors saying she had a bacterial infection in her blood.
A spokesperson for Manitoba's Justice Department said Hall received medical treatment at the remand centre and was later admitted to hospital, and family members were notified when her condition worsened.
Public health nurses are offering influenza vaccinations to others in custody, as a result of the death.
Manitoba Corrections is monitoring all correctional facilities for flu-like symptoms, according to the province.
It is not yet known how long Hall was ill before she received medical care.
'She was full of love'
Hall's funeral was held Monday afternoon in Sagkeeng First Nation.
"She enjoyed fishing and was mechanically inclined. Hollie had an energy and [a] carefree, loving nature, and to all who met her, they became her extended family and lifelong friends," her obituary reads in part.
Bruyere described Hall as an outgoing, honest, caring and funny person who often talked about her daughter.
"She just really, really loved her daughter. That's all she talked about. She talked about family," Bruyere said.
"She was full of love and was just all and all a good person. So happy. She had lots of friends. She had lots of friends and family and I really loved her."