Seven hours after she was examined by doctors at St. Mary’s Health Center, 29 year-old, Anna Brown sits on a wheelchair in the waiting room, draped in a sheet. She continues to complain to security personnel, yelling that the pain in her legs is so bad that she can’t stand. St. Mary’s Health Center is her third hospital visit that week. She’s been in pain since spraining her ankle and she’s refusing to leave.
A doctor clears her as healthy enough to be locked up, and she’s arrested for trespassing. She tells the officers that she can’t get out of the car and is dragged into the station by her arms. She’s left lying on the floor of the cell having difficulty breathing and moaning in pain. Fifteen short minutes later, she’s found dead by a jail worker.
It’s believed that she was using drugs, but an autopsy revealed that she died from blood clots that began in her legs, and lodged in her lungs. She did not have drugs in her system.
Who’s to blame for this tragedy? The hospital says they did all they could. Law enforcement says they acted on the medical clearance of the doctor. Was it an error in judgement, or was simply people passing judgement. She was homeless and suffered from mental illness. Her sister said:
“She was not a drug dealer or a hooker or doing other things that she could’ve ended up dead for,” the sister said. “People assume things because of they way they talk or the way they live or the things they do.
“My sister is not here today because people passed judgement.”