Ethel Easter said that despite being in need of emergency surgery for a hernia, a doctor at a county hospital in Texas said she would have to wait two months for the procedure. When she said she refused to wait that long, Easter claims the doctor’s response was, ‘…Who do you think you are? You have to wait just like everybody else.’
His unprofessional tone prompted Easter to hide a recorder in her hair during her surgery. At the time, she had her hair in braids which she placed in an updo. She hid the device amidst her bundles and the conversations that took place about Easter and her body were shocking.
“She’s a handful she had some choice words for us in the clinic when we didn’t book her case in two weeks” said the surgeon on tape.
Another voice is heard saying, “That doesn’t seem like the thing to say to the person whose going to do your surgery”
Mocking Easter he added, “I’m going to call a lawyer and file a complaint.”
Easter said the anesthesiologist implied that she was a “big fat black woman” because the recorder caught him repeatedly calling her “Precious”.
While she did not share this part of the audio with the media, Easter said that the staff made jokes referencing her unconscious state and the Bill Cosby scandal. A nurse also made distasteful comments about the her body including,“Did you see her belly button?” which the staff joked about.
Easter has since reported the incident to the Harris Health System which oversees the county operated hospitals. FOX was denied an official comment due to “patient confidentiality laws”.
However, in a letter sent to Easter, Harris Health System said that it would use the situation as a teaching tool to remind the OR (Operating Room) staff to be mindful of their comments at all times.