Life Legal regularly receives calls from family members of patients who are mistreated or denied care in hospitals around the country. These are often extraordinarily difficult cases that require immediate, life-saving action.
Over the weekend, one of my family members required Life Legal’s intervention.
On Saturday evening, I visited my sister’s father-in-law Leon in the hospital. He suffers from Parkinson’s disease and had broken his hip in a recent fall. I saw him in the hospital two days after his hip replacement surgery.
When I entered his room, I was appalled. This was not the same man I had seen at a family gathering just two weeks prior. His skin was yellow, he was gasping for air, and he was obviously in distress. I asked the family what was going on and they said the nurses told them his behavior was “normal.”
But I knew something was terribly wrong.
I went to the nurses station and got the brush off. “We’re watching him,” they said. But in the thirty minutes I had been there, no one looked in on him despite the family’s repeated pleas for help.
When I checked on Leon again, he looked even worse. His breathing was shallow and his eyes were rolling back in his head.
I decided it was time to pull out the attorney card. I asked for help again, saying the patient was my sister’s father-in-law and that I am an attorney with experience in cases like this.
SUPPORT PRO-LIFE NEWS! Please help LifeNews.com with a donation during our Fall Support Campaign
Within minutes, a barrage of nurses and techs rushed into Leon’s room. He was immediately hooked up to an oxygen mask, received a chest X-ray, and was on his way to another floor where he would be carefully monitored. Shorty afterward, his cardiologist and neurologist arrived for a thorough evaluation. This, despite the fact that the family had been begging the nurses to call his doctors for two days.
Clearly this hospital offered excellent care. But the family was unable to access that care on behalf of their loved one, in part because he was confused and unable to speak for himself.
What should have been a fairly routine recovery nearly ended in tragedy.
Patients and their advocates should not have to threaten legal action to get adequate care in a medical facility that is fully equipped to provide such care.
Please join Life Legal as we go to bat for patients who do not receive the life-saving medical care they need. We rely completely on your help to save the lives of people like Leon and others who cannot advocate for themselves.
Please pray for Leon’s full recovery!
LifeNews Note: Katie Short writes for the Life Legal Defense Foundation