Advertisement
  1. News

Hillsborough suspends four paramedics in treatment of stroke victim, 30, who later died

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill says at a Monday news conference that four fire-rescue employees failed to do their jobs, leading to the death of a woman who had apparently suffered a stroke. [TAILYR IRVINE | Times]
Published Jul. 24, 2018

TAMPA — Hillsborough County has suspended four fire-rescue paramedics for failing to transport or even check vital signs for a 30-year-old woman who showed symptoms of a stroke a few days after she underwent a Caesarian section.

The woman's mother ended up driving her to Brandon Regional Hospital, but it was too late. Crystle Galloway was so sick she was flown by helicopter across town to Tampa General Hospital, where she later died.

The four paramedics were placed on administrative leave with pay Friday in connection with the rescue call about 3 a.m. on July 4, Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill said Monday. He said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue failed to provide good care to the woman.

"I deeply regret that this has happened and clearly this is unacceptable," Merrill said.

On a gofundme page, Galloway's mother, Nicole Benhamou, said her daughter left behind two children, including a 5-day-old baby.

"I really feel like the officers and the EMS fire rescue department failed to help me," she wrote. "Because of them and their negligence, my daughter died."

The incident came to the attention of the county's Human Resources Department on July 11.

The four workers responded to a request to help a woman who had passed out, had a swollen lip and was drooling, according to information provided to them by dispatchers. The call was given coding that should have alerted the paramedics that the woman was suffering a possible stroke.

On their arrival, they were told she appeared to be suffering from a stroke and "had a C-section the other day."

Two paramedic units responded to the call, placed by Benhamou. Paramedics helped carry Galloway down from the third floor of her residence but did not examine her, Merrill said.

They later told county officials that Sheriff's Office deputies who were already on the scene told them that Benhamou wanted to drive the woman to the hospital.

But they failed to get the mother or Galloway to sign an informed consent form as required. What's more, in recording the call on their logging system, the paramedics indicated the patient could not be found.

Merrill called this a falsification of records.

"I cannot trust these individuals to work under my medical license," said Michael Lozano, Fire Rescue medical director, in a statement read by Merrill. "I feel they do not meet the minimum standards set by myself and the department."

The four suspended employees are Lt. John "Mike" Morris, 36, who has worked with the department six years; Fire Medic Justin Sweeney, 36, a five-year department employee; Fire Medic Andrew J. Martin, 28, a five-year department employee; and acting Lt. Cortney Barton, 38, a nine-year department employee.

Martin declined to comment. None of the other paramedics could be reached for comment.

A disciplinary hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 31.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Casey Cane has resigned as chair of Pinellas County’s Housing Finance Authority in the wake of a Tampa Bay Times story about his failure to disclose an arrest for a financial felony when he was 19. He also serves as a Palm Harbor fire commissioner. Casey Cane
    Casey Cane failed to disclose his arrest for a financial felony in 2006. He said he didn’t think he had to reveal that information.
  2. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speaks to about 75 people Tuesday at a city conference on innovation and collaboration. (City of Tampa photo by Janelle McGregor) Janelle McGregor
    City Hall brought together startups and the nonprofits that nurture them for a discussion of possible ideas to improve city operations and service.
  3. Scott Purcell, a senior geophysicist with GeoView, left, and Mike Wightman, president of GeoView, use ground-penetrating radar to scan a portion of King High School campus in search for Ridgewood Cemetery. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Preliminary answers from the ground-penetrating radar could come as soon as next week.
  4. James Dailey, 73, was granted a stay of execution Wednesday. He had been set to be executed on Nov. 7 for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio. Florida Department of Corrections
    The execution will be postponed for 90 days for his attorneys to present their claims. Prosecutors can appeal. Dailey was set to be put to death Nov. 7. His lawyers have argued that he is innocent.
  5. Markeith Loyd, suspected of fatally shooting a Florida police officer, attends his initial court appearance Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, at the Orange County Jail, in Orlando, Fla. Loyd spoke out of turn and was defiant during the appearance on charges of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend. He was injured during his arrest Tuesday night following a weeklong manhunt.
    The same jury found Loyd guilty last week of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting 24-year-old Sade Dixon outside her home in 2016.
  6. The new owner of a dilapidated mobile home park on Gandy Boulevard has sued the city of Tampa over a record-setting fine levied against the property for a massive tree removal in August. [CHARLIE FRAGO | Times]
    A Gandy Boulevard mobile home park owner is suing the city of Tampa over a record $420,000 fine .
  7. Dashboard camera video shows a Tampa police cruiser pursuing Dusharn Weems through a parking lot. A second later, Weems is fatally injured when the car strikes him. Courtesy Haydee Oropesa
    The family of Dusharn Weems, 23, claims an officer intentionally struck him after he was spotted driving a stolen car.
  8. Evangeline Cummings posted a video on Twitter of what appears to be a wasp stinging a coral snake that was dangling from a branch attempting to eat a dead snake. Evangeline Cummings/Twitter
    A coral snake found that out the hard way and a Florida woman caught it all on camera.
  9. Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, a couple from Maryland, were found dead in their hotel room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Resort in San Pedro de Macoris on May 30. Facebook
    News of the deaths of American tourists went viral earlier this year. Theories of tainted alcohol have damaged tourism to the island country since.
  10. An arrest report says a Customs and Border Patrol agent put 40-year-old Carlos Alberto Munoz-Moyano through a routine check after arriving at Miami International Airport on a flight from Chile early Monday. WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    The flight attendants told agents they were smuggling the cash on behalf of someone else.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement