57-year-old Barbara Dawson was having difficulties breathing when she sought treatment at the Liberty Calhoun Hospital in Tallahassee, Florida.
According to the Daily Mail, doctors discharged Dawson after she was deemed “medically stable”. Dawson refused to leave as she continued to express that she was in pain. Several of Dawson’s family members including her aunt accompanied her to the hospital and said nurses refused to acknowledge her request for an oxygen tank as they said she was breathing fine.
The hospital staff called police who arrested the woman and charged her with trespassing and disorderly conduct.
When Dawson walked outside and got to the police car, she collapsed. Medical staff said she had a pulse although she was unresponsive when she was readmitted into the hospital. Dawson died an hour later.
An autopsy has revealed that the cause of death was a pulmonary saddle embolus, or a blood clot in the lungs.
The Calhoun-Liberty County chapter of the NAACP held an emergency meeting on Tuesday. The organization met with local leaders and the Dawson family in efforts to create a plan of action to hold the hospital and officers accountable for the untimely death. The family is planning to file a lawsuit against the hospital.
“The most reasonable thing to do [was] to let her sit there and be able to settle down until she felt well. Instead, Ms. Dawson was forcibly removed and put in cuffs. The early facts of this case should cause a great concern for everyone” said Tallahassee attorney Daryl Parks, who is representing Dawson’s family.