A Southfield, Michigan family is suing the city and four first responders they called for help after they accidentally declared 20-year-old Timesha Beauchamp dead even though she was still reportedly very much alive. Sadly, months after the EMTs’ mistake, Beauchamp passed away in October, according to the Associated Press.
On August 23, Beauchamp’s family called 911 when they found the 20-year-old struggling to breathe. However, when the EMTs and paramedics arrived, they declared her dead. Beauchamp had cerebral palsy.
As the AP reports, one of the paramedics was on the phone with a doctor and told that doctor that Beauchamp had been “unresponsive for 30 minutes and showed no signs of life.” As a result, Beauchamp wasn’t taken to a hospital but rather Cole Funeral Home in Detroit.
An hour later, the funeral home called 911 again, the AP reports because Beauchamp was very much alive. Staff at the funeral home said they “saw her chest moving when they went to collect her from her Southfield home.”
Every since that day, Beauchamp had been hospitalized in critical condition. In a statement shared by her family on October 19 revealed how upsetting the last several weeks had been for them.
“This is the second time our beloved Timesha has been pronounced dead, but this time she isn’t coming back.” Now the family is suing the city of Southfield and the four first responders for $50 million.
Geoffrey Fieger, the attorney representing the family, revealed that Beauchamp “died as a result of massive brain damage that was suffered when Southfield paramedics wrongly declared her dead and failed to provide her much needed oxygen. Instead, she was sent to a funeral home which then discovered that her eyes were open and that she was alive.”
According to Fieger, Beauchamp was “left without oxygen for 4 hours, suffering severe hypoxic brain damage.”
An investigation into what happened that August night remains open. According to the AP, Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee told reporters that Beauchamp might have been found alive due to “Lazarus syndrome,” in August. Lazarus syndrome is when “people come back to life without assistance after attempts to resuscitate have failed.”
Now the family believes that “all of this could have been avoided, had more care been taken.” Our thoughts are with the Beauchamp family during this very difficult time.
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