Woman dies after waiting for hours in hospital’s ER without attention

Ama Nunoo January 14, 2020
Tashonna Ward (L) poses at her baby shower with her mother Yolanda in February. The baby died in childbirth in March. Photo: Andrea Ward/Milwaukeee Journal Sentinel

A Milwaukee woman has died after waiting at an Emergency Room for nearly three hours.

She collapsed on her way to seek urgent care from another health facility. When medics responded with an ambulance she was pronounced dead.

Family of the deceased, 25-year-old Tashonna Ward, who was a Wisconsin day care teacher is seeking answers from Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee County medical examiner has not yet established an official cause of death, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

According to USA Today, Ward complained of chest pain and tightness of breath before collapsing. It was this uncomfortable feeling she endured at the hospital before leaving to seek medical assistance elsewhere.

“Prior to her death on January 2, Ward checked into the hospital around 4:58 p.m. complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath, which of course caused her great discomfort.”

At Froedtert Hospital, Ward’s vital statistics were checked by staff at the hospital. Her heartbeat was checked with an electrocardiogram which indicated she had normal heartbeats.

Nonetheless, it was an X-ray that unveiled her prior diagnosis of cardiomegaly or an enlarged heart which when care is not taken leads to blood clots or cardiac arrests.

The diagnosis of cardiomegaly was developed during her pregnancy last year. Sadly, the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck after delivery and she lost her child.

What is unclear now is, whether the enlarged heart was a chronic problem she faced, or it reoccurred on the day she went to seek medical attention at Froedtert.

Ward gave a progress update of her hospital visit on Facebook and to her family through texts between 5.45pm to about 7.35pm.

Andrea Ward, Tashonna’s cousin, in a bid to find answers pieced together a timeline of what ensued which confirms that Ward had been waiting hours and growing frustrated by the delays.

Her Facebook post read, “I really hope I’m not in this emergency room all night.” An hour later she texted family to let them know that she was “still there.”

After about an hour, she added, “Idk what they can do about the emergency system at freodert (sic) but they damn sure need to do something. I been here since 4:30 something for shortness of breath, and chest pains for them to just say it’s a two to SIX hour wait to see a dr.” 

At 7.30 pm, the deceased left the hospital to seek medical attention at a local urgent care center, and in a bid to get her insurance card before the visit she stopped at her house and collapsed soon after.  

Froedtert Hospital reached out to her via phone at around 8.39 pm and her sister answered the call telling the staff that her family was waiting for an ambulance to arrive and pick up Ward.

Finally, when responders arrived at 9.07 pm, they found Ward unresponsive and declared her dead shortly after.

“The family is in our thoughts and has our deepest sympathy. We cannot comment further at this time,” reads a statement obtained by the Sentinel from a hospital spokesperson.

The family is in distress and seeking answers but for now, they would have to wait till their appointment this week to meet hospital administrators.

“How can you triage someone with shortness of breath and chest pain and stick them in the lobby?” said Ward’s cousin, Andrea Ward. “Froedtert needs to change their policy.”

Andrea Ward hopes to see significant changes made on behalf of her cousin, who she lovingly called Shonna.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: January 14, 2020


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