Member Story: Medical neglect for transferring to a new hospital?

“Should you feed her that? We don’t think her body can handle it.” 

Jason and Amy Hawkins* watched helplessly as the pediatric hospital staff started the feeding tube. Their 16-year-old daughter Alyssa had cystic fibrosis and standard hospital protocol did not meet her dietary needs. But the hospital would not listen.

“How much are you feeding her?” Amy demanded.

“4,000 calories” was the reply.

“But that’s twice what she normally eats!”

Alyssa’s intestines began to shut down.

Jason turned to his wife, “We need to get her to a different hospital.”

They tried, but it didn’t go like they planned.

Previously, Alyssa’s wisdom teeth had been removed. Instead of recovering normally, though, her health declined. When Alyssa stopped eating or even walking, Jason and Amy rushed her to the emergency room. Her condition kept deteriorating, so the ER transferred her to a pediatric hospital in a nearby state. Unfortunately, the new pediatric hospital apparently mishandled her food intake, wrecking her digestion.

Disturbed by what they felt was incompetence by the pediatric hospital, Jason and Amy found a top gastrointestinal (GI) hospital in another nearby state. Though the pediatric hospital refused to discharge or transfer Alyssa, the Hawkins believed it was in her best interest to leave anyway and take her to the GI hospital. 

When they left, Amy immediately drove Alyssa toward the GI hospital while Jason notified the pediatric hospital’s cystic fibrosis team so they could communicate with the GI team. Yet instead of cooperating with Alyssa’s transfer, the pediatric hospital told Jason they had reported the Hawkins to CPS for leaving AMA (“against medical advice”).

Jason tried to explain that Alyssa was just transferring to another hospital, but they wouldn’t listen. The CPS investigator then called Jason.

Shocked and concerned, Jason called Heritage Defense and was quickly connected with one of our local attorneys. The attorney contacted CPS, which initially responded aggressively and demanded access to perform an intrusive investigation.

However, the attorney explained that Alyssa’s parents were not neglecting her. In fact, they had already arranged for her admission to the GI hospital, which was ready and willing to provide Alyssa the necessary treatment. Once CPS had confirmed that Alyssa was truly at another hospital receiving care, and that the other children were safe, the attorney got CPS to agree to close the case.

Alyssa is now doing much better.

If you are a member of Heritage Defense, we hope it is an encouragement for you to know that your membership is going to help families like the Hawkins. While we cannot guarantee outcomes, if your family is ever falsely accused of child abuse or neglect, we are ready to fight to defend you and your rights.

If you are not yet a member, please join today to have 24/7 access to experienced attorneys ready to defend your family.

*Names changed for privacy

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Please re-word. A poet-laureate I am not.


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