A Milwaukee woman’s family is seeking answers after their loved one died in search of a doctor’s care. According to USA Today, 25-year-old Tashonna Ward complained of chest pain and tightness of breath before collapsing.
Ward spent more than two hours at Froedtert Hospital on Jan. 2, reports say, before leaving to find medical assistance elsewhere. It is unclear whether or not she was seen by a doctor during that time, but hospital staff reportedly checked her heartbeat and performed a chest X-ray that revealed cardiomegaly, also known as an enlarged heart. Staff then asked the young woman, who worked as a daycare teacher, to remain in the waiting room until she could be seen by somebody. The family says her condition was not being monitored at the time.
Andrea Ward, Tashonna’s cousin, pieced together a timeline of what transpired which revealed that Ward had been waiting hours and growing frustrated by the delays. On Facebook, USA Today reports that she wrote, “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. An hour after that communication, Ward turned back to Facebook to post this message:
“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.”
Unsatisfied with the level of care, Ward was taken by her sister, who picked her up and drove her to the hospital when she first complained of chest pains at work, to a local urgent care clinic. At some point, after leaving Froedert, Ward collapsed and was put in an ambulance to go back to the hospital. Upon arrival, Ward, who had suffered from an enlarged heart during her pregnancy with a baby that died at birth, was determined to be unresponsive and soon after, pronounced dead.
In an official statement from Froedert, the hospital said, “The family is in our thoughts and has our deepest sympathy.” They also added that they could not comment further on Ward’s death.
Ward’s family has scheduled a meeting to speak with representatives of the hospital and get to the bottom of what happened to their loved one. That will take place this week.
In the meanwhile, those close to the young woman are calling on the hospital to change their emergency department procedures, so no other family or an ailing patient has to go through the same set of circumstances. A GoFundMe has been created to help with what her cousin has named, “Tashonna’s Final Farewell.”