Doctors Pronounce Living Man Dead: Widow Sues After Doctors Ignore Husband For 100 Minutes As He Dies Slowly

A widow is suing after doctors wrongly pronounced her husband dead, despite the fact he was breathing and moving his arms and legs.

The doctor ignored the woman's pleas that he was still alive, noting that the man just had "a lot of energy to expel from his body" but was actually dead. After 100 minutes of pleading and a coroner allegedly twice telling the doctor the patient was still living, the doctor finally took vital signs of the man and determined he had a pulse. The man was then rushed to another hospital for treatment, but died from a punctured lung he had sustained during CPR. To make matters worse, the widow was told by the second doctor that the man would have survived his heart attack if he had not sustained a broken rib that punctured his lung during CPR. Furthermore, had the doctor listened to the woman's pleas during the first 100 minutes, the punctured lung could have also been treated.

The Daily Mail reports that widow Tammy Cleveland is suing the hospital and doctors involved in her husband's 2014 death. A year ago this week, Michael Cleveland, 46, had a heart attack while at a local grocery store in Buffalo, New York. He was rushed to the DeGraff Memorial Hospital in critical condition, but was quickly pronounced dead by Dr. Gregory Perry. The grieving Tammy says that she initially believed the doctor, but noticed that Michael appeared to be breathing. She said at one point he even tried to reach out and hug her. She reported her findings to Dr. Perry, who allegedly explained that Michael simply "had a lot of energy to expel from his body."

DeGraff Memorial Hospital
DeGraff Memorial Hospital as seen on Google Street View.

Tammy says that she insisted that Michael was not dead, but doctors would ignore him for nearly 100 minutes. During the 100 minutes of being ignored, Tammy says that a coroner twice came into the room to do a post mortem exam, but allegedly asked the doctors to call him back when the man was actually dead. Therefore, Tammy says that implies that the coroner did not believe Michael was dead.

Finally, the grieving woman was able to convince doctors to check Michael's vital signs. She claims the doctor seemed shocked, and exclaimed "My God, he has a pulse" and immediately transferred the man to Buffalo General Medical Center. Once at the new hospital, Tammy says she learned from the doctor treating her husband that though Michael had suffered a heart attack, he was currently dying from a punctured lung, not the heart attack itself.

Tammy Cleveland
Tammy Cleveland has filed a lawsuit against DeGraff Memorial Hospital for declaring her living husband dead and preventing treatment that could have saved his life. (Image Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail)

The doctor noted that Michael would have likely lived through the heart attack if it wasn't for the broken rib he sustained during CPR. The broken rib subsequently punctured the man's lung, causing him to die slowly. Furthermore, the doctor allegedly informed Tammy that the punctured lung would have been treatable, as well, if it was caught earlier.

Now Tammy blames Dr. Perry and DeGraff Memorial Hospital for her husband's death, as they failed to treat the punctured lung in a timely manner and instead declared her living husband dead. Ultimately, Tammy says what she really wants is a personal apology from Dr. Perry, as she wants him to be certain never to put another family through the same sort of grief.
"I'm wondering if he's having nightmares like I am. He's gotta have some kind of a conscience. I just want him to be sorry for what he did and not do it to anyone else again."
The lawsuit was filed against both doctors and both hospitals that treated Michael the day he died. However, it is unclear exactly why she is suing the second doctor who pointed out Dr. Perry's incompetence. Neither hospital has commented on the case.

[Image Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail]