A Florida mother was hauled off to jail this week in a dispute over draconian COVID restrictions, refusing to leave her daughter’s hospital bedside following surgery. She says she has no regrets.
WJAX-TV reported that Lynn Savage, a 70-year-old great-grandmother, was arrested this week after she couldn’t conceive leaving the side of her daughter, who had just had a major operation at a Jacksonville hospital. Savage was visiting her daughter Amber, who had just suffered a stroke.
Savage was at Amber’s bedside at UF Health North when she was informed that visiting hours were over.
She explained that a doctor had actually asked her to come to her daughter’s side, as she needed her support in the post-surgery ICU. Her presence calmed her daughter, she said.
Savage was actually there for both her daughter and doctors, to calm the latter and to act as an interpreter, as her daughter was not able to speak, according to WJAX. But when the hospital’s COVID visiting hours ended, the hospital asked her to leave.
“The nurse said that the visiting hours were over at seven and I had to leave and I said I’m not going to leave. I want to stay here with my daughter. Can you call the doctor because the doctor is the one that wanted me here with her?” she told WJAX. “And she said no that they couldn’t do that that COVID rules said that visiting hours were over at seven.”
Savage said she refused.
WJAX reported security staff spent several hours trying to coerce her out. Then deputies showed up.
“The sheriff’s office came up. They were also very polite,” Savage, a former law enforcement officer, said. “They kept trying to get me to leave and I said I’m not leaving; I’m not going to leave my daughter’s side.”
“I could not in good conscience and good heart leave her bedside not knowing how she was going to make it through the night voluntarily,” she said.
She was eventually handcuffed and arrested for trespassing. She spent 24 hours in the Duval County Jail. She also doesn’t regret it, despite the experience being one she’d rather forget.
“I stand by my actions 100 percent. I am not sorry that I made them take me out of there in handcuffs,” she said. “Not an experience that I would ever want to do again for the rest of my life not ever. It was horrible. It was filthy, it was more like an insane asylum with the women screaming and hollering and banging on bars and banging on walls. It was just terrifying, but I would rather be there than know that I had walked away from my daughter.”
Can you believe that after 19 months, we’re still dealing with any of this nonsense? A mother and her daughter were bonding in a hospital room during a very trying time, and because of some insane policy for some insane hospital system, one of them ended up in jail.
Apparently, COVID is more menacing after dark, just the way last year it was more deadly at small businesses than it was at Walmart or Target.
Lynn Savage deserves a round of applause, a GoFundMe page and the keys to the city of Jacksonville. Lockdowns don’t stop COVID, nor do selectively enforced restrictions on times and locations.
The vaccine for COVID at this point, if we’re being honest, doesn’t even appear to stop the virus.
There are few things more precious than a relationship between a mother and her little girl — and that applies to both at any age. That love is more powerful than policies written by people whose lives are probably as sterile as a scalpel and the iodine in an operating room.
The difference is in little acts of defiance like this stand by Savage against the medical tyranny that has overtaken the country.
This mother’s decision to defy arbitrary regulations cost her a night in jail.
But the decision left her with a clean conscience. More decisions like this one might help to lead to larger changes, which are desperately needed in other hospitals in other cities.
The COVID tyrants are not going to give in without someone forcing their hand. Every act of civil disobedience, and every related negative headline, might bring us all closer to ending the madness.
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