This is not about politics, it’s not about plane pr0n or the military – however it is something that should concern all of us. I would be willing to wager this happens more times than we ever know – which makes my flesh crawl.
Being an asthmatic who has had several asthma attacks I know how frightening the feeling is. Your entire body nearly seizes with panic; you can’t swallow because you can’t breathe.
Like a herd of elephants is sitting on your chest and adding more beasts with each passing second. It’s like you’ve taken a deep breath and are now trying to breathe thru a blocked straw.
The human desire to breathe is one of our strongest reflexes and when your own body betrays that reflex, the terror that ensues consumes you.
The only thing that will rescue you is your inhaler; go too long without it and you will pass out and your brain will immediately begin being deprived of oxygen. Death … follows pretty quickly.
Which are the thoughts that went thru the mind of Michael Rudi, a 17 year old high school senior in Deltona, FL … when the school nurse refused to give him the rescue inhaler that he desperately needed:
In order for students to carry their prescribed drugs with them in school, parents must sign a medical release form each year. The school had no such form for Michael to have his inhaler at school. Michael’s mother says that even so, her son has been at the school for years and they have a record of her son’s asthma.
While it may be true that the mother bears some responsibility for not ensuring that the all-important medical record was up-to-date with signatures…
…the nurse is a monster.
Sue Rudi got a call from her son’s school letting her know that her son was having trouble breathing. When she arrived and was taken back to the nurse’s office, they found her son, Michael Rudi, on the floor.
“As soon as we opened up the door, we saw my son collapsing against the wall on the floor of the nurse’s office while she was standing in the window of the locked door looking down at my son, who was in full-blown asthma attack,” Rudi said. [emphasis mine]
This chilled me to the marrow. A nurse is supposed to be there – particularly in a school environment – to ensure the safety and well-being of the students.
Bad enough she refused to give Michael Rudi his inhaler – but to lock the boy inside the office while he was in a full-blown asthma attack shows a depraved indifference to human suffering. He indicated that when his eyes started closing, he assumed he was going to die.
That’s not teenage melodrama; that was real fear that he never had to experience.
For this incident she should be fired and have her State of Florida nursing license revoked – permanently.
Which brings us to what could be the worst part of this horror story. The Volusia County School Board is supporting the nurse’s actions.
So they would be totally OK with the death of one of their students – while their nurse watched – all because some stupid piece of paperwork was not up-to-date, despite the fact that they had years of similar paperwork already on file for Michael Rudi.
As Sue Rudi pointed out so eloquently:
“I mean its common sense if I saw an animal on the street in distress I would probably stop to help, why wouldn’t she help a child,”
Which is a damn good question. No form signed? OK. Call 911 for god’s sake. Don’t stand there like a worthless pile of shit – DO. YOUR. JOB. If you don’t feel like you have the fortitude to defend your actions to your superiors in saving the life of a student by giving him the medication he needs, call 911.
That’s what it’s there for and schools get priority service.
I have written a very strongly worded e-mail to the Volusia County School Board. For your convenience I have provided names and e-mail addresses below, if you feel properly motivated:
- Dr. Al Williams, Chairman Volusia County Schools: email@example.com
- Judy Conten, Vice Chairman Volusia County Schools: firstname.lastname@example.org
I attempted to find the appropriate channel with the Florida Department of Health to file a complaint about the nurse. As you would expect their process is onerous and in fact can’t be done without the medical records related to the incident. So much as I’d like to rake this nurse over some very hot coals in her state – their process prohibits it. Surprise, surprise.
The nurse should be fired and never allowed to treat patients ever again. The members of the School Board should be forced to watch a video that depicts what it’s like to suffer an asthma attack. Or better yet, they should go thru a medical simulation that mimics the experience – personally.
Each and every one of them.