Remove Shands Hospitals From Souvereign Immunity
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On June 4, 2018 my mom, Cindy L. Seaman underwent surgery at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL to remove a brain tumor that was bleeding. After a 2 1/2 hour surgery she was removed to recovery where she woke up to tell my dad she loved him. My husband and I left the hospital to grab dinner and drop him and my daughter off at the hotel. The plan was for me to return to the hospital and spend the night with my mom in ICU. Upon my return my dad informed me that they were taking my mom down for a CT scan because she was not waking up they way they would like for her too. They did a CT Scan at 8:00 PM which came back clear. They decided to hook her up to an EEG machine to check for seizure activities, which was also clear. By 6:00 AM they had done multiple CT Scans and my mom was still asleep. They also took her staples out of her head, pulled her drain out, put it back in and stitched her up and she never woke up, made a sound or moved. They continued to give her blood thinners and the swelling and pressure in her brain continued to rise. That is why they had to adjust the drain her head. She was also on no pain medication and no sedation. Went spent all day June 5, 2018 sitting at her bedside, holding her hand, talking to her, trying to get her to wake up and she couldn't do it. Her body would respond to pain during neurology checks but other then that she had response. That Wednesday afternoon around 2:00 PM the attending Neurosurgeon who performed the surgery stopped to see us in the waiting room. She told us she wasn't quiet sure why my mom wasn't waking up and that she was going to do some tests that let her see the blood vessels and arteries in the brain. She wrote her cell phone number down on a paper plate and told me to call if I had an questions or concerns. We continued the afternoon sitting with mom, begging her to wake up, praying for god to wake her up. My daughter is 15 and her and her grammie were BEST FRIENDS. My daughter lost her other grandmother and both great grandmothers by the time she was 5. My mom was the only grandmother she had left and they were two peas in a pod. My daughter also lost her pawpaw at the age of 7 to cancer caused by agent orange from Vietnam. She has had a lot of heartache in her short lifetime but nothing prepared her for the devastation we were about to endure. On Thursday morning when I arrived at the hospital my dad was visibly shaken, it was just the two of us in ICU and he asked if we could leave the floor to talk. Once we left ICU he informed me that the surgeon informed him Thursday morning that during surgery they had damaged one of the main arteries in my mom's brain causing her to have what is called a venous infarction. A venous infarction is a blood clot that forms in the artery that makes blood flow away from the brain. By damaging the artery the blood could not leave, therefor it continued to back up and build significant pressure in my moms head causing a massive brain bleed and swelling. They said these next 72 hours are critical. We also placed my mom a ventilator that morning and I now watched a machine breath for my mom. That Thursday night my daughter and I went back to the hospital after shift change to spend some time with my mom. Upon our arrival the room was full with the neurology resident and critical care team doing checks and tests on my mom. She was very agitated and her blood pressure was 260/160 but she wasn't awake. It's like she wanted to wake up and she was fighting to wake up, but she just couldn't do it. However the moment she heard her granddaughters voice she started calming down and her body started to relax. I was a little hopeful that maybe she was starting to come out of this and that God had answered my prayers. We stayed till about 10:30 and went back to the hotel. Upon our arrival Friday morning mom was having a MRI done and the doctor met us in the waiting room and said let me go see if she back from MRI and then we will bring you back to her room and look over her scans. About 15 minutes later a social worker came and got us and asked us to meet the doctor and her team in the conference room and it was that moment that I knew this was it. We walked into the conference room and sat down for what was about to be the most heartbreaking and difficult decision we have ever had to make. Until you make the choice to remove the person who made you from scratch from life support nobody will ever understand that pain. We were informed that due to injury in surgery the venous infarction had caused my mom to have a massive stroke all the way to her brain stem. They also informed us that the rest of her life would consist of a feeding tube, a trach and a unconscious state in a high skilled nursing home waiting to die. Neither my dad nor myself wanted that for my mom, and there is no way she would have wanted to live like that. They told us once we removed her from life support she would expire quickly as they put it. I called her sister in Nashville TN and told her she needed to come on. She came for the surgery and when my mom woke up in recovery for the brief amount of time she knew she was okay and went back to Tennessee because her baby was having a baby. Had we known that things were only going to decline she would have never left her. We removed my mom from life support at 10:45 PM June 8, 2018 and she fought for 21 hours before her heart just stopped. The alarm went off I looked at the monitor her heart rate went from 140 to 70 and I picked up her hand and squeezed it and said it;s okay momma I am here and you go home, I'll see you on the flip side. I watched her take her last breath. I was so heart broken and devastated but at the same time she finally looked so peaceful. We sat with her for a few minutes and waited for the doctor to come in and call her time of death. We gathered our things together and then we went to leave. I made it to the door and then couldn't leave. I couldn't leave her by the grace of god and my husband he was able to get me to leave the room. You see my mom was so full of life, she did everything to make people smile, she loved with every ounce of her being. She would have given a stranger the shirt off her back if they asked for it or needed it. But more then anything she loved her family more then anything in this world. My mom survived a horrific childhood only to die from a mistake that could have been corrected or avoided had it been caught in time. She was only 56 years and still had so many years to live and we all had so many memories to make with her. My mom was a strong christian woman and a phenomenal mother who raised me to stand for what I believe in and fight for what I want and the people I love. She gave me the strength to start this fight and my love for her will finish it. I understand that doctors are human and just like the rest of us they make mistakes just like we do. Do our mistakes cost people their lives? Well sometimes they do. I believe deep in my heart that the doctor was sorry for what she did and she was deeply troubled by my moms case and for a small moment I almost felt sorry for her. She hugged my dad and I in the conference room and tried her best to console us as much as she could. Here is where events take a crazy turn. In 2006 Lanette Gervato underwent neurosurgery at Shands hospital in Gainesville, FL. She had a non-bleeding aneurysm that needed clipped because it was causing problems with unexplained headaches and other symptoms. During surgery the doctors unknowingly damaged one of the arteries in her brain. From there they say errors continued leading to the tragic outcome. The moved Mrs. Gervato to ICU and continued to give her blood thinners fro 3 days before realizing what had happened and by that time it was to late. By the time they did the test to check the arteries in her brain she had already suffered a stroke. Thankfully she woke up, but her life had been changed forever. Her husband had to quit his job to provide round the clock care for her, she had 4 children who had to go live with other family members and her life will never be the same. A Florida jury awarded her 23 million dollars due to the hospitals negligence. The moment this happened to her new protocols should have been put in place. The moment you come out of that type of surgery the test they did on my mom and Mrs. Gervato should be done on every patient that same day. Not days later when the patient is no longer being responsive. Had they checked my mom's head that night with the MRI instead of repeated CT scans they would have seen the error that happened and would have known to stop the blood thinners and take other measures. They didn't learn one thing from the Gervato lawsuit. In 2012 Florida Governor Rick Scott placed all of Shands Hospitals under Sovereign Immunity which means the "King can do no wrong". In simple terms it means that nobody can sue the hospital no matter what they do. The max you can sue the hospital for is $200,000.00 and trust me I have spoken to almost every law firm in the State of Florida and it will cost well over $100,000.00 to even take it to trial. There is no amount of money in this world that will bring my mom back. But if this fight saves you, your mom, your dad, your daughter from the horrific heartache and pain that my family is dealing with then I will fight this fight till I take my last breath. I can't even figure out how to put one foot in front of the other and start trying to move forward but I do know that this has to stop. You can google lawsuits against Shands Hospitals and read for yourself how many mistakes they make and nothing happens to them. They need to be held accountable for mistakes make and the pain and suffering they cause to patients and their families. Please join me in signing this petition to remove them from Sovereign Immunity and enforce proper protocols.
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