Green Room

Florida seized disabled child from mother, child died hours later

posted at 12:55 pm on December 6, 2012 by

This is an unbelievably horrific story, almost literally unbelievable.  Florida’s child-protection system seized a disabled child from her mother in defiance of a court order, and despite the mother’s pleas that the child would die without her supervision.  And sure enough, just hours later, 14-year-old Marie Freyre was dead.

Someone should be going to prison over this:

Even after Marie Freyre died alone in a nursing home 250 miles from the family in North Tampa that loved her, Marie’s mother had to fight to bring her home.

In March 2011, state child protection investigators took 14-year-old Marie from her mother, Doris Freyre, claiming Doris’ own disabilities made it almost impossible for her to care for Marie, who suffered from seizures and severe cerebral palsy. But a Tampa judge signed an order that Marie be returned to her mother, with in-home nursing care around the clock.

Florida health care administrators refused to pay for it, although in-home care can be demonstrably cheaper than care in an institution. Child welfare workers ignored the order completely.

Two months later, Marie was strapped into an ambulance for a five-hour trip to a Miami Gardens nursing home, as her mother begged futilely to go with her.

Marie died 12 hours after she arrived.

A month earlier, Judge Vivian Corvo ordered the state to provide an overnight nurse for the child.  Instead …

So, at 11:30 a.m. April 25, 2011, workers at Tampa General Hospital loaded the teen onto a stretcher in a private ambulance — as her mother and grandfather begged them to stop. Even as caseworkers were packing Marie’s belongings, her grandfather was frantically filing hand-written emergency motions in court to delay the trip, Brudny said.

Doris Freyre, case notes say, “stated that no one knows my child like me,” and that Marie’s dislocated hip would cause her great pain if she were strapped to a stretcher for hours. She added: “If something happens to my daughter I am holding all of you responsible for it.”

Freyre had no car — and the private ambulance refused to allow her to join Marie — so Marie made the trip to Miami-Dade County alone.

Records show the two ambulance workers refused to take Marie’s seizure drugs with them; under the company’s policy, they were not allowed to administer medications in any case. According to a report detailing Tampa General Hospital’s care of Marie, the hospital neglected to ensure she was properly hydrated before she left. During her five-hour ambulance ride, she was given no water or food. …

Marie arrived in Miami Gardens the way she left Tampa: screaming. AHCA records for the next 12 hours mention only four notations in the nursing home file, and two of them document Marie “screaming.”

By 5:40 a.m. April 27, 2011, Marie was described as having “labored” breathing. Five minutes later, she was unresponsive. The AHCA investigation concluded she had been given none of her life-sustaining anti-seizure drugs, required three times each day.

Marie was pronounced dead at 6:54 a.m. Cause of death: heart attack.

Via The Anchoress.

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