A woman in North Carolina was charged with multiple felonies after a children’s hospital said she had entered a neonatal ward without authorization.
But she has an excuse: she was just trying to give Bibles to babies.
Earlier this month, Linda Mae Everett entered patient care areas at New Hanover Regional Medical Center without proper credentials. She was eventually charged with three counts of felony breaking and entering before being released on a $10,000 bond.
Everett said she was let in by a nurse so she could deliver Bibles to the mothers of the newborns, but the hospital says no one let her in.
Everett said she went to the lobby of the children’s hospital, presented her driver’s license and was not denied entry, but spoke to a nurse about dropping off the bibles. The nurse then escorted her to the children’s wing of the hospital where the nurse told her they had three births that day.
According to Everett, she delivered three bibles and was stopped by security.
“All I was doing was giving mothers a Bible. I do it all the time,” Everett said. “I have been to that hospital four or five times before and have never gotten stopped.”
NHRMC stated Tuesday Everett was not escorted to the unit by a nurse.
The two sides tell entirely different stories, with the hospital and the North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC) saying she “is believed to be going to neonatal units of hospitals in North and South Carolina possibly in attempts to abduct a child.”
For her part, she says she would never do that because she has lost a child.
“I’m pregnant, a retired firefighter, and have had to bury a child. … This is not who I am. I am a mother, and I would never take someone else’s child.”
No patients were harmed, and there’s no evidence she was looking to kidnap the children. But even if you give her the benefit of the doubt, what was she thinking stepping inside a neonatal ward without authorization? [Hemant’s note: Having been in those wards when my kids were born, the idea that anyone besides staff or family could enter the area is frightening.]
Barbara Buechler, hospital administrator for the Women’s and Children’s unit says the hospital has an extensive layered security system in place, and the first line of defense was breached.
“We have a layered system, first you must show ID to get a visitors badge, then you get a proximity badge that gives you access to locked areas, if you don’t have those you are stopped by a staff member,” Buechler stated.
Buechler said in this case Everett gained access by what of what she calls “tailgating.”
“This is a case where someone has a badge and someone could follow close behind them, but they would then be stopped by the next line of defense, which did occur in this case,” Buechler stated.
Suppose Everett is telling the truth and she was allowed inside. Her proselytizing plan has disaster written all over it. I’d be curious to see if she gets special treatment from a judge simply because she’s trying to spread the “Good Word.”
It’s scary, though, to think a stranger was able to enter the rooms of new parents essentially using a Bible to get through layers of security.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)