“Monstrous Evil” Indeed

If I were not already feeling sick this story found by Mark Shea would get me there. Mark calls it a “monstrous evil” and he is correct — this is nanny-statism and bureaucracy out-of-control, and it’s only going to get worse:

Even after Marie Freyre died alone in a nursing home 250 miles from the family in North Tampa that loved her, Marie’s mother had to fight to bring her home.

In March 2011, state child protection investigators took 14-year-old Marie from her mother, Doris Freyre, claiming Doris’ own disabilities made it almost impossible for her to care for Marie, who suffered from seizures and severe cerebral palsy. But a Tampa judge signed an order that Marie be returned to her mother, with in-home nursing care around the clock.

Florida health care administrators refused to pay for it, although in-home care can be demonstrably cheaper than care in an institution. Child welfare workers ignored the order completely.

Two months later, Marie was strapped into an ambulance for a five-hour trip to a Miami Gardens nursing home, as her mother begged futilely to go with her.

Marie died 12 hours after she arrived.

Read it all. The details will turn your stomach and break your heart. The state would not allow the mother to get a private autopsy on her daughter.

At the end of the hearing, [Judge] Corvo required child welfare administrators to do better. She wrote an order that Marie be returned to her mother, with additional nursing care through the night.

It was an order the state simply ignored.

Records show state child welfare workers disregarded Corvo’s order that Hillsborough Kids, which was under contract with the DCF, pay for the extra nursing hours while caseworkers looked into additional dollars from Medicaid.

Two weeks later, the state Attorney General’s Office and Hillsborough Kids appeared before a different judge, Emily Peacock […] The new judge, who never asked why the state ignored a prior judge’s order [emphasis mine -admin], agreed — though she granted Freyre the right to visit with her daughter all she wanted. But even that kindness proved meaningless.
[…]

So, at 11:30 a.m. April 25, 2011, workers at Tampa General Hospital loaded the teen onto a stretcher in a private ambulance — as her mother and grandfather begged them to stop. Even as caseworkers were packing Marie’s belongings, her grandfather was frantically filing hand-written emergency motions in court to delay the trip, Brudny said.

Doris Freyre, case notes say, “stated that no one knows my child like me,” and that Marie’s dislocated hip would cause her great pain if she were strapped to a stretcher for hours. She added: “If something happens to my daughter I am holding all of you responsible for it.”

Freyre had no car — and the private ambulance refused to allow her to join Marie — so Marie made the trip to Miami-Dade County alone.

Records show the two ambulance workers refused to take Marie’s seizure drugs with them; under the company’s policy, they were not allowed to administer medications in any case. According to a report detailing Tampa General Hospital’s care of Marie, the hospital neglected to ensure she was properly hydrated before she left. During her five-hour ambulance ride, she was given no water or food.
[…]

Marie arrived in Miami Gardens the way she left Tampa: screaming. AHCA records for the next 12 hours mention only four notations in the nursing home file, and two of them document Marie “screaming.”

By 5:40 a.m. April 27, 2011, Marie was described as having “labored” breathing. Five minutes later, she was unresponsive. The AHCA investigation concluded she had been given none of her life-sustaining anti-seizure drugs, required three times each day.

Marie was pronounced dead at 6:54 a.m. Cause of death: heart attack.
[…]

[Assistant State AG] Attila, the prosecutor who, weeks earlier, had fought so hard to get Marie to the nursing home, no longer wanted to discuss the matter. She told Peacock that a child welfare judge had no “jurisdiction” over a dead child and prosecutors would file a court motion saying so.
[…]

Marie’s body remained in storage for nine months while the medical examiner’s office completed its autopsy, and Freyre held a memorial with no body.

I hope this mother owns Florida when this is over.

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About Elizabeth Scalia