Memorial Hermann Hospital Awarded Donkey Of The Day For Mistakenly Informing Woman Her Husband Had Died

Memorial Hermann Hospital Awarded Donkey Of The Day For Mistakenly Informing Woman Her Husband Had Died

A Texas woman said she is still trying to process a "horrifying" mix-up when a hospital called to tell her that her husband was dead — when he was actually at a rehabilitation center recovering from knee surgery.

Betty Harris said she had visited her husband, Bryant Harris, on March 7 at Deerbrook Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The visit went well, but the following day she said she got a call from Memorial Hermann Hospital in Humble.

"[The doctor] said, 'It's about your husband.' I said, 'My husband was in a rehabilitation.' He said 'No, your husband is at the emergency room,'" Harris told NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston.

"I said, 'What's wrong? Is he alright?' [The doctor] said 'No, he's dead,'" she said.

Harris, shocked and confused by the news, said she started calling family and friends.

Her friend, Cheryl Baker, said Harris called her screaming and crying.

"I knew something was wrong," Baker told the news station. "I just said 'Hey! Catch your breath,' then she said 'Bryant is dead!'"

Harris said the hospital realized the mix-up when she went to Memorial Hermann to identify the body and Harris did not recognize the person she was looking at.

A spokesperson for Memorial Herman did not directly respond to the incident. Deerbrook Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center apologized for the mix-up.

"At Deerbrook Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation our patient's health and safety remain are our number one priority. We strive to deliver high-quality care every day with compassionate nursing and caregiving staff. Regrettably, our team transferred a patient to the hospital with incorrect identifying paperwork," the facility said in a statement.

"We have communicated with the hospital and families involved to address this situation and are truly sorry for our mistake."

Harris told the news station that she learned that someone at Deerbrook passed off her husband's chart while rushing another patient to the hospital.

She said the entire ordeal has been "horrifying" and wants the hospital and rehabilitation facility to have better communication between the two.

[via NBC News]

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