Tampa, Fla. — Crystle Galloway, a 30-year old mother who had recently given birth, died after four paramedics refused to give her proper treatment. The victim’s mother believes the paramedics didn’t help them intentionally because they assumed that Crystle could not pay for the ambulance ride. The four paramedics have since been suspended for “gross neglect of duty.”
Crystle, a mother of three, had shown symptoms of stroke just five days after giving birth to her baby. One of her children called their grandmother, who came over and called 911, shortly after observing her unconscious and drooling. She later died, but the family believes that she could have been saved if only she was given the necessary treatments.
Four medics who responded to the 911 call failed to check her vital signs. They were also accused of falsifying records, according to reports. They were placed on paid administrative leave on Friday in connection with the incident, according to Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill.
Nicole Benhamou, Galloway’s mother, said she called 911 and informed the responding medics that she might be suffering from a stroke. When they arrived, she also told them that she just had a C-section. But they didn’t examine her. Instead, they told Benhamou how much an ambulance transport would cost and was sure that they couldn’t afford the ambulance.
“They never asked us if we had insurance, which we do,” Benhamou told WPBF-TV News.
Benhamou said the medics eventually told her that she could just take her daughter by herself to the hospital since they couldn’t afford the ambulance. Seeing no other choice during the emergency, she drove her daughter to Brandon Regional Hospital. By the time they arrived, Galloway’s condition had declined to the point that she had to be flown to Tampa General Hospital, where she went into a coma and eventually died.
The medics disputed that claim and said that it was Benhamou who insisted on bringing Galloway to the hospital by herself. But there was no informed consent form signed to prove their statement. Instead, they allegedly falsified the records and indicated that the patient could not be found.
The four paramedics, who have each worked with the department for nine years, underwent disciplinary hearings Tuesday for gross neglect of duty as a possible reason for Galloway’s death.
Meanwhile, Benhamou has started a GoFundMe to help her with the expenses for her three grandchildren, including the newborn. So far, they have exceeded the goal and raised about $9,000.