A suburban St. Louis woman is saying a local hospital’s repeated failures to treat her husband contributed to his death just outside of the facility that refused to admit him.
Sadie Bell was next to her 39-year-old husband David Bell as he passed away of unnamed causes in the hospital’s parking lot on Jan. 12.
“I felt like what he was going through was urgent and I thought that’s what emergency rooms are for,” Bell told KMOV News 4.
David Bell had been suffering from severe chest pain since early January, so Bell went with him to the Barnes-Jewish emergency room twice.
According to Sadie Bell, each time medical staff prescribed him Ibuprofen but did not admit him.
“We went because it was close,” Bell said in a recent interview with KY3. “I know I can’t blame myself, but I wish I could’ve took him somewhere else,” she said. “He would give his last to anybody.”
On Tuesday, Jan. 12, David experienced difficulty breathing for a third time while at work and he was returned to the same St. Peters, Missouri, hospital.
David Bell was a director for Central County Fire, and Bell says she called his colleagues, hoping that he was not stationed at the same hospital as before.
“I called his fireman, because one of his firemen took him, I said, ‘Which hospital did you take him to?’ he said, ‘I went on and took him back to Barnes-Jewish because I know that’s where you all had been going.’ I said, ‘Oh, I just wish you wouldn’t have took him there.’ He said, ‘Why not?’ and I said, ‘Every time that we have taken him, all they did was give him Ibuprofen and sent him home, and I’m really thinking they missing something,’” Bell said.
Sadie Bell says by the time arrived at the hospital, he was sitting outside in a wheelchair, and she said doctors were refusing to take him to run tests.
“He said, ‘ma’am he’s already been here twice for the same thing and we’ve already diagnosed him,’” Bell told KMOV.
She had planned to transport her husband to another medical center, but they did not make it that far.
“We got halfway to the car and he said, “Oh, Sadie.’ And I said, ‘Baby, what’s wrong?’” she said. “I started running and screaming, ‘Help me, please, help me.’ His eyes went in the back of his head, and he slumped down and I already knew, I knew. When he needed the help, they didn’t help him.”
Bell says her husband passed away because staff refused to tend him and continued to downplay his symptoms.
“I don’t know what they thought and I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t help him,” she said.
Barnes-Jewish released a statement to KMOV that said, “Our thoughts are with the family after this loss, as well as with the entire Central County Fire & Rescue team.” They said that due to HIPPA laws they could not disclose details about David Bell’s case.
“When people ask you for help and they need help, I shouldn’t have to come 1, 2, 3 times. I shouldn’t have to be sitting here grieving my husband. I shouldn’t have … My children shouldn’t not have a father,” Bell said.
Central County Fire & Rescue posted a lengthy tribute to David on Facebook, honoring his life and the work that he did for the community, and its opening summed up the impact his loss had on the community: “It is with profound sadness and the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Central County Fire & Rescue Board Director David Bell. David leaves behind a wife, three young children, and a host of family and friends who will miss him dearly, including the entire CCFR family.”