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X-Ray Machine Dropped on Patient - She Died - Florida Law Supports Hospital

August 29, 2017

 My name is Linda Andrews. My 34-year old daughter, Kayte passed away on March 25, 2017 at Baptist South Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.  This is what happened:  

 

Kayte had diabetes since age 12. About five years ago she moved to Florida to live with me. She went into kidney failure after coming to Florida and was on dialysis. On March 9, 2017 she went into the emergency room because of severe pains in her side. Pain killers did not touch this pain. So on March 10th, they did emergency exploratory surgery. They had to remove part of her intestines. She was cut down the front, from stem to stern. She remained in the hospital so she could get well enough to come home. 

 

On March 19, she was scheduled for an X-Ray. At 10:33 AM, she sent me a message stating:  

 

 "The X-ray machine fell on top of my incision 

and now I have to talk to a head guy."  

 

I was shocked and went over to the hospital. She was in a lot of pain. Later,  the president of the hospital, Nicole B. Thomas, and the assistant director of nursing, David Clark, came into her room. They wanted to know if she was ok, and apologized. Mr. Clark said they took full responsibility. 

 

 

The next morning, her heart stopped. They found her and started CPR. They got her heart started again. They took her to ICU. Her heart stopped a second time. They got it started again.

 

Kayte was in a coma. After a few days, I was told she had significant brain damage.  On March 24, I made the heart breaking decision to take my daughter off of life support. She passed away on March 25th. 

 

The hospital staff, up to this point in time had been supportive. After Kayte passed and I told them I wanted an autopsy done, that changed. They told me that would be $3000. I said ok. A second time, I was told that again. I asked if they wanted my credit card and was told no. It had to be cash, up front. I told them I had to go get my checkbook but would be back. Her autopsy would be done at Baptist downtown.

 

I felt leery about that. I didn't trust them anymore. After the third time I was told about the cost of the autopsy, I was told policy changed last week and that they could not do the autopsy due to conflict of interest. I needed to hire my own pathologist. I was upset even more! They told me they would keep get body only for 24 hours. I Found out later that was a lie. They told me that if the body went to the funeral home, no autopsy could be done. Found out later that was a lie. I went home. I Cried. I Looked up pathologists online. Called the funeral home. They told me they would get her body and gave me the coroner's phone number.

 

I needed to call the hospital to release her body to the funeral home. I called them. They told me if I intended to pursue an autopsy they couldn't release the body to the funeral home. They would release the body to the coroner. But don't call the coroner for an hour.  That didn't strike me right. 

 

The more I thought about it, I said to myself. No. So I called the coroner. I explained the situation and cried. They did not know if they could take the case as they were slammed. I could call back later to see if they would take the case. But they called me back within half an hour and said they would take her and that paperwork had started coming in. 

 

I called an attorney on April 19 and went in to see them that afternoon. They said they would request the records from the hospital but told me about the law that states:

 

I could not sue...

because she was over the age of 25,

had no spouse and no children. 

{FL Statute 768.21(8)}

 

I had my daughter cremated. And I took her back home to Ohio to be laid to rest in May. 

 

I was told the hospital wanted $4500 for her records so my attorney revised the request for the records to narrow it down to cover the time of the incident.  I saw the attorney on August 23.

 

There was nothing in the records about the incident!!

They buried the incident. Only they missed one reference to her broken ribs. That was before they did CPR on her. 

 

I was bullied by the hospital. I cannot get justice for my daughter. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. I feel this law discriminates against people in the same situation I found myself in. The hospital will not be held accountable for dropping an x-ray machine on my daughter's chest contributing to and ending in the result of her death.  Because I can not sue, there is no investigation, there is no correction.

 

Abolish this law!  

Florida Statute 768.21(8) states that the only people who can sue a hospital in the case of wrongful death is the spouse or child of the deceased if they are 24 years old or younger.  Unfortunately this law has caused an extreme amount of medical errors to go unaccounted for.  The only unbiased authority available in America to permit an investigation is a court of law.  53% of Florida citizens are denied access to a court of law (statistically the unwed and childless or elderly whom have older children).  

 

Florida Medical Rights Association is bringing together concerned citizens, families of victims and lawmakers in an effort to bring about change.  Please join our cause today and help us save future lives of Floridians, tourists and our families. 

 

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