Lifestyle

Hospital's Mistake Allows Woman To Turn Off Life Support on the Wrong Man

Combined Shape

“I was devastated.” These are the sobering words of a woman who grieved the loss of her brother, a man who turned out not to be her brother at all.

Shirell Powell of Brooklyn, New York, found herself in St. Barnabas Hospital in the summer of 2018. It was July 15, and Powell received some news no one ever wants to hear.

According to the New York Post, Powell received a call from the hospital informing her that her 40-year-old brother, Frederick Williams, had been admitted due to a drug overdose.

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The man in question was reportedly swollen, unconscious and unrecognizable.

“He had tubes in his mouth, a neck brace,’’ Powell told the New York Post. “He was a little swollen … (But) he resembled my brother so much.”

Powell said that the man presumed to be her brother was unable to speak for himself.

When the man was declared “brain dead” following a series of tests over a two-day period, Powell was heartbroken.

“That is my baby brother, so it was really hurtful,” she said. “I was worried, hurt, crying, screaming, calling everybody. It was a horrible feeling.”

She sat at the man’s bedside for nine long days. The trauma of that experience alone would be enough for anyone to handle. Grieving is a process and Powell spent those days coping, bringing herself to say goodbye.

After contacting her loved ones, giving them a chance to say goodbye as well, Powell’s sister came to meet her at the hospital.

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At first, she didn’t recognize the man and insisted it wasn’t their brother, but upon closer inspection, she saw the resemblance.

Do you feel the hospital was in the wrong in this case?

On top of it all, Frederick Williams has two teen daughters who took the news quite severely. “She was hysterical,” Powell says of his 17-year-old daughter, Brooklyn. “She was holding his hand, kissing him, crying.”

It was only after all of this, that life support was removed with Powell’s consent and the man was taken for an autopsy — an autopsy that led to the discovery that the man was not, in fact, Frederick Williams.

Forty-year-old Freddy Clarence Williams was the same age and even bore a similar name.

Frederick Williams, it turns out, is alive and living in jail. Now Powell wants justice and is suing the hospital for negligence, Insider reported.

“How could the hospital do something like that?” Williams asked. “Look what they put my family through.”

A St. Barnabas Hospital spokesperson told Insider, “The hospital feels strongly that the lawsuit has no merit.”

“I barely sleep thinking about this all the time,” Powell said. “Sometimes I can’t even talk about it because I get upset and start crying.”

The situation is certainly upsetting. This family has gone through quite an ordeal no matter who is in the wrong. Do you think the hospital is at fault here, or was it a mistake anyone could make?

Either way, we hope this family finds healing and relief in the days to come. We can’t imagine how difficult all of this has been for them.

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Combined Shape
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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