A Black Florida mother is grieving after she claims her daughter died as a result of paramedics refusing to take her in their ambulance because they didn’t believe she could afford the $600 bill.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, on July 4 Nicole Black called 911 when she found her 30-year-old daughter, Crystle Galloway, semi-unresponsive and drooling over the bathtub some six days after she gave birth via a C-section.
Black claims that after calling 911, Hillsborough County deputies and paramedics arrived to the scene, but instead of assisting her daughter, they asked if Galloway could afford the $600 cost for a three-block ambulance ride. She said they also told her that perhaps her daughter had been drinking.
During this time, Black stressed that her daughter begged them for ten minutes to take her to the hospital, screaming that her head was hurting.
“The whole conversation as the EMS drivers put my child in my car was that [it] was best for us because we couldn’t afford an ambulance,” she told the news station.
After the medics helped bring Galloway down the three flights of steps in the apartment complex, Black admits she rushed her daughter to Brandon Regional Hospital on her own where doctors found bleeding on the new mothers’ brain. Soon after, they helicoptered her to Tampa General Hospital. Sadly, she slipped into a coma and died on July 9, leaving behind a two older children and a newborn.
“My daughter begged for her life,” said Black told the newspaper.
“The only thing they were worried about was my daughter had a new baby and she couldn’t afford an ambulance.”
The paramedics have a different story than Black, saying that the mother told them she going to drive her daughter the three blocks on her own. That, and they claim the mother is the one who initiated a conversation about the cost of the ride, not them, ABC Action News noted.
However, Four Hillsborough County Fire Rescue paramedics have been placed on paid leave after a county investigation found they failed to check Galloway’s vital signs despite the fact that the 911 call had been coded as a possible stroke case.
The investigation concluded that their actions were a “gross neglect of duty.”
The Tampa Bay Times reported that in written statements, the paramedics claim that all four of them spoke with Black about driving her daughter to the hospital and she only needed them to help her get her daughter down the stairs.
“If the daughter presented that she was critical, I’m certain our crew would have highly advised that the daughter be transported by EMS,” Lt. Morris wrote in a statement.
In the end, a devastated Black says because of their neglect and assumptions, she lost her daughter.
“She’s 30 years old and just graduated from college, she had her whole life ahead of her,” Black.
“You can tell me you’re sorry, you can give me your condolences but you still have to work this out with God.”
A disciplinary hearing will be held on Tuesday to determine whether or not the medics will keep their jobs.