Ernest Maxwell (1943/1944 - 16 February 2019) was a homeless man who lived in Holby.
In November 2018, Ernest was seemingly mugged by a group of kids. Louise Tyler witnessed the attack and took him to Holby City Hospital's emergency department. Alicia Munroe assessed him and believed that he was well enough to be discharged, and Louise gave him the last of her money out of pity. However, he was soon readmitted, and, once Louise learned that he had been attacked near a cash machine by a group of kids, she realised that he had scammed her. Jade Lovall was told to discharge Ernest, and, despite his claims of experiencing pains and sickness, she told him that there was nothing wrong with him. As Jade helped Ernest to his feet, Marty Kirkby noticed a rash on him and alerted Alicia; it soon transpired that he had meningococcal septicaemia. Later, feeling guilty about not believing him, Jade apologised to him and cleaned him. (CAS: Episode 1105) In December, Ernest was discharged from the wards, and Louise found him stealing biscuits from the staff room. (CAS: Episode 1107)
In January 2019, Ernest bumped into Louise at a food bank after she ran out of money in her bank account, and she encouraged him to go to the ED to have treatment for his nasty cough. (CAS: Episode 1112) The following week, Ernest went to the ED for treatment. Although Louise intended to only give him a quick checkup, she became concerned about his symptoms and decided to run more tests. Ethan Hardy suspected that Ernest had a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm, and consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Andrew Ackroyd was called down from Darwin to assess him. However, given Ernest's homelessness and increased risk of infection, he refused to operate. In the prayer room, Louise broke the bad news to Ernest, but he told her that she tried her best and thanked her for rekindling his faith. Later, with some encouragement from Marty, Louise confronted Andrew and convinced him to go ahead with the operation. She found Ernest outside the ED and told him the good news. He was sceptical of her promise of a new home, but he was thankful when she told him that he could stay with her. (CAS: Episode 1113)
In February, Ernest's operation was cancelled. Louise spotted him trying to leave the ED and asked him to stay for an hour whilst she found out what happened. She soon managed to find a bed on ITU for him, but, as soon as Jade and Marty found him, his theatre slot was taken by a more urgent patient. Frustrated, Ernest tried to leave again, but Louise asked him to trust her and sent him to wait in the relatives room. When it transpired that the patient who had taken Ernest's slot had died on the table, Louise rushed to the relatives room, and Ernest was nowhere to be found. Jade and Marty soon found him in the peace garden experiencing sharp pains in his back, and they took him to resus. As his blood pressure read as uneven, Rashid Masum believed that his aneurysm had dissected. Ernest asked Louise to call his daughter Lilley if he died. She called her regardless, and, once she arrived, Louise took her to see Ernest. Lilley was angry at Ernest for not speaking to her for years, and, when he couldn't promise to stay, she left him. Louise caught up with her and explained that he couldn't promise to stay as he was dying. Devastated, Lilley returned to resus to comfort Ernest. As Louise, Jade and Marty escorted Ernest to theatre, his aneurysm ruptured, and he was rushed back to resus. Louise desperately tried to revive Ernest, but Connie told her that it was over and pronounced Ernest dead. (CAS: Episode 1115)