When the family decided to take the man off life support, little did they know that the man actually survived off life support and was healthy. They'd even made funeral arrangements for him. Hospital's carelessness in identifying him is what is to be blamed, according to reports.
Recently, a family from Chicago had to undergo an inexplicable emotional turmoil when they had to take their brother off life support. What more, they bought a casket and arranged for a funeral only to find out that their brother was healthy and alive. In addition to that, the person on whose behalf they had made critical medical decisions turned out to be a stranger and it was all due to the hospital's unacceptable carelessness reports CNN affiliate WBBM.
A family in Chicago made the decision to pull life support for a man they thought was their brother - only to find out the man was a stranger. CNN affiliate WBBM reports. https://t.co/vU7IjsUHyc— صابر عبد الله (@716Sabir) June 16, 2019
As per reports, sisters of the "assumed" patient, Rosie Brooks and Brenda Bennett-Johnson were left puzzled as to how Mercy Hospital and Medical Center could have mixed up the identities of two people. Sister Bennet-Johnson expressed, "It’s sad it happened like that." She conveyed how making decisions for someone else who isn't even a part of the family was downright unacceptable. "If it was our brother and we had to go through that, that would have been a different thing. But we made all kinds of decisions on someone that wasn’t our family."
They thought they'd switched their brother's machine off, only to learn that he was, in fact, alive and the man who they made the medical decisions for was a stranger.https://t.co/J9JwULYve0— Yahoo Canada News (@YahooCanadaNews) June 15, 2019
Recalling the whole incident Rosie Brooks narrates how she received a phone call on May 13, which shocked her to the very core. "She identified herself as Jennifer from Mercy Hospital," said Brooks. "She was a social worker. She was looking for relatives of Alfonso Bennett, and I told her that was my brother. And she said, ‘Well, he’s here in ICU.'" Both sister, Brooks and Bennett-Johnson, rushed to the hospital when they heard about this devastating news about their brother, Alfonso Bennett.
On arriving at the hospital, they had to behold a sight that was truly heart-wrenching. "They had him on the ventilator, and they had a tube in his mouth," said Brooks. The patient who was brought into the hospital as a John Doe had suffered injuries all over his face which made it impossible for the two sisters to identify the man. "I cannot identify this as my brother," they confessed to the hospital authorities. Regardless of the uncertainty that the patient's family had about his identity, the hospital assured them that he indeed was their brother.
In a head-scratching case of mistaken identity, two sisters in grief took a man they thought was their brother, beaten beyond recognition, off life support in a Chicago hospital. https://t.co/hn5TT99ZiK— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) June 15, 2019
"They kept saying CPD identified this person as our brother," said Bennett-Johnson. Brooks also reportedly said how the hospital staff informed that the patient had been badly beaten up and had suffered numerous injuries, especially in the face. The man was discovered near 47th and Wabash, a local intersection, lying naked without his wallet or any kind of identification on April 29. Their brother apparently had a background and was rarely in touch with his four sisters, which made the identification process all the more challenging.
A family made medical decisions for a person they thought was their dying brother, but it wasn't until they were making funeral arrangements for the man that they found out he wasn't a relative at all. https://t.co/LUxKirzGhs— WQAD (@wqad) June 14, 2019
Despite the family's constant hesitation, Bennett-Johnson recalled a nurse informing her that the police had indeed identified the man through mugshots and not fingerprints due to the budget cuts. "They kept saying CPD identified this person as our brother," she revealed. Furthermore, she told the outlet, "You don’t identify a person through a mugshot versus fingerprints. Fingerprints carry everything." The two tried to speak to the patient who initially responded to commands by raising his hands but never opened his eyes.
The sisters said the man was later identified in the morgue through fingerprints, and the police are now looking for his real family. https://t.co/lX9KbhAXd6— ABC 33/40 News (@abc3340) June 14, 2019
Unfortunately, as some more time passed by, the patient's health started to deteriorate and the sisters were asked to sign their consent on behalf of the brother to take him off the ventilator and perform a tracheotomy. During the procedure, Bennett-Johnson, who was with him said, "Within minutes he was ice cold." Now, the sisters started making preparations for their brother's funeral. After having purchased a casket and a suit, they received a call from their sister Yolanda which changed everything.
Something similar happened recently in New York https://t.co/XcrFZO0qsw— Newman (@helleaux_newman) June 15, 2019
"She called my sister Yolanda to say, ‘It’s a miracle! It’s a miracle!" Brooks said. Recollecting this conversation Bennett-Johnson said, "'Brenda! Brenda! It’s Alfonso! It’s Alfonso! I said, 'You’re kidding!' I could have almost had a heart attack." Alfonso Bennett, who was healthy and alive had just walked through Yolanda's front door. Appalled by this revelation the sisters also informed the outlet how the police identified the deceased after running his fingerprints at the morgue. Now, they are looking for his family.
I'm just a Southern Woman in Alabama...This breaks my heart for the man who died not truly having someone grieve over his bones. I truly hope you found this man's family and gone out of your way to notify them and PAID for their recompose.— Widowed By PTSD (@WidowedbyPTSD) June 15, 2019
"I can’t conceive of how a budgetary issue would drive whether or not a person who was a John Doe would be fingerprinted before they’re taken off of life support," family attorney Cannon Lambert Sr. said. "If that’s the situation, something’s got to be done." When the news outlet reached out to Mercy Hospital and the Chicago Police Department with an array of questions about their policies when it came to identifying John Does, a spokesman at Mercy just said, "The family did identify this patient as their brother." However, the Chicago Police Department said that they are taking this matter very seriously and will be launching an investigation to know more about it.
To say that we currently have questions is an understatement. We have detectives looking into every aspect of this incident - from the incident response to the circumstances leading to the hospitalization and the notification of family members. Details to follow as we learn more. https://t.co/OUGp0CRPVI— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) June 13, 2019