News May 18, 2022 at 11:30 am

‘He could die’: Mom says her son’s school waited to call 911 after he suffered a stroke

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey May 18, 2022 at 11:30 am

May 18, 2022 at 11:30 am | News

Alishia Hicks said her son's school delayed calling 911 after her son suffered a stroke -- Image via CBS Boston

A Boston mother said her 17-year-old son’s school delayed calling 911 after he suffered a stroke. She said they initially contacted her to come and pick him up despite telling them to call the paramedics as she suspected her son could be having a stroke.

She now wants answers from the Boston Public Schools. According to CBS Boston, Henderson Upper School junior D’Andre Hicks was in class about two weeks ago when he suffered a stroke. The 17-year-old’s mother, Alishia Hicks, said she was contacted by the school to come and pick up her son, but she said she repeatedly urged them to call 911.

“He’s going to die if he’s stroking, they’re taking too long to dial 911,” said Alishia. “Listen there’s a small vessel problem on my mother’s side of the family that causes a stroke easily if there’s any blockage in it is so important to get him to the hospital right away because he could die,” she added.

Alishia also said she immediately suspected her son could be suffering a stroke after the nurse described his condition. “He came to the nurse’s office to report that he was feeling weak, shaky and that he felt numb weakness on his left side,” she recalled.

She also notified the school staffer that their family had a history of strokes, Boston Globe reported. But she said the staffer was adamant calling an ambulance was unnecessary and asked her to come over to the school to pick up her son.

Alishia is wheelchair-bound. And as a result of her mobility issues, she said calling 911 was the fastest way to get her son the necessary medical attention. She expressed her frustration with the school officials for delaying the 911 call.

“She said, ‘well my professional, my medical evaluation, it doesn’t look like he needs an ambulance somebody should come pick him up,’” Alishia told CBS Boston.

The school ultimately called the paramedics after more than 30 minutes, Alishia said. Her son was transported to the Tufts Medical Center where he received treatment for an acute ischemic stroke.

“Even I know the symptoms of a stroke. Why didn’t the nurse? So that’s what I would want the school department to emphasize better training,” Alishia said, adding that the incident could have been worse.

In a statement, the Boston Public Schools said they’re reviewing the incident. “Our concern is first with the health and well-being of this student. We are glad to hear he is recovering well,” BPS said. “This serious incident is being reviewed by appropriate BPS staff and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further on this specific matter.”

Alishia said she received an apology from Boston School Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. She added that Cassellius said the district is probing the incident further.  

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