Barbara Dawson entered the Liberty Calhoun Hospital in Blountstown, Florida, complaining of stomach pain. However, after being evaluated by a doctor, the medical staff concluded that Dawson was faking her illness and asked her to leave. When the 270-pound woman refused, the police were called to escort her out of the hospital. After being handcuffed and taken to the patrol car, the woman collapsed on the ground just outside of the vehicle. Medical staff, again, concluded she was faking and told her to stop resisting and to go peacefully with the officer. Finally, a doctor came to the aide of Dawson and concluded she did, in fact, need medical care and readmitted her. Sadly, it was too late. Dawson would die from a blood clot less than two hours after collapsing by the police car.
— EBONY MAGAZINE (@EBONYMag) January 7, 2016
The Daily Mail reports that dashcam video footage from the arrest of Barbara Dawson was released to the public. The video shows the horrifying last moments of the 57-year-old Dawson as she lay on the ground saying she can’t breathe. The woman had entered the Liberty Calhoun Hospital in Blountstown, Florida, on December 21 complaining of stomach pains. However, after medical staff evaluated Dawson they concluded that she was faking her symptoms and requested that she leave. Dawson refused to leave and police are called to the scene to physically remove her from the emergency room.
When police arrived, the officer told Dawson she could go peacefully or be arrested. Instead of leaving peacefully, Dawson cried out that she couldn’t breathe and repeatedly said “Oh my god.” When she refused to leave to seek her emergency care at another facility, the police officer handcuffed her and took her to his police car. However, as the pair approached the car, Dawson fell to the ground to which the officer told her the fall wasn’t stopping her from going to jail.
“Falling down and laying down, that’s not going to stop you from going to jail. If I have to get help to get you in this car…. You are only making things worse on you.”
Sadly, the officer was wrong, Dawson would not go to jail because she would die from a blood clot before ever making it out of the hospital parking lot.
Warning: The video below may not be suitable for all viewers.
In the video you can hear Dawson saying she can’t breathe and appears to be in distress after falling to the ground. Medical staff is called outside to assist with Dawson, but nurses repeatedly say her vitals are fine and that she is “okay.”
“Miss Dawson get up. There is nothing wrong with you. I know you can hear us.”
Eventually a doctor comes to evaluate the situation and determines that her symptoms are “totally different” than what he discharged her for.
“Get her on the stretcher. This is totally different from what I discharged her for.”
He orders Dawson to be returned to the ER via stretcher, but the medical staff was too late. Dawson would die just two hours after being readmitted to the hospital for a blood clot in the lung caused by obesity. Now Dawson’s family wants answers as to why she was denied medical care when she was in distress. The family’s lawyer, Darryl Parks, says that criminality was placed over health care and that public safety was compromised in this situation.
“We think what they did was put criminality over health care. We think what they did here was compromise public safety by failing to give her the medical attention that she deserved and needed.”
Meanwhile, the Blountstown Police Chiefm Mark Mallory, notes that the police officer was just following the orders of the medical professionals in this case and that proper protocol was followed when Dawson fell to the ground. Per procedure, medical staff were called back to the scene, but deemed Dawson was again faking her distress.
“Although the officer may have suspected that Ms. Dawson was intentionally non-compliant, he nonetheless fully executed his duty and responsibility, requesting that medical professionals continue to verify Ms. Dawson’s health status.”
Barbara Dawson’s lawyers say she might still be alive if hospital staff and police listened to her calls for help. https://t.co/EUAoncB2Zc
— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 7, 2016
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