A mother is furious after school officials contacted her instead of 911 when her teenage son suffered a stroke at school.
D’Andre Hicks, a junior at the Henderson Inclusion (Upper School) in Dorchester, Massachusetts, told the school nurse he felt “weak,” “shaky” and “numb."
According to Bayer, signs someone is having a stroke include numbness or weakness on one side of the body and dizziness.
Health care professionals advise "Whether or not you’re sure that you or someone else is having a stroke, seek medical help immediately."
But instead of recognizing warning signs suggesting the teen was suffering from a stroke, the school nurse contacted his mother, Alishia Hicks, to pick him up from school.
The problem was that Alishia was sick and not mobile since she is confined to a wheelchair.
“He came to the nurse’s office to report that he was feeling weak, shaky and that he felt numb weakness on his left side."
You can watch a news report, here:
Mother demands answers after school waited to call 911 after son had strokeyoutu.be
Alishia recalled telling the nurse:
“He’s going to die if he’s stroking, they’re taking too long to dial 911.”
During their 30 to 45-minute back and forth over the phone, the nurse allegedly told her:
“Well, my professional, my medical evaluation, it doesn’t look like he needs an ambulance, somebody should come pick him up.”
First responders eventually arrived after the school contacted the Department of Children and Families (DCF) when Alishia didn't come to the school fast enough.
Alishia recalled hearing another person in the background during the phone call instructing the nurse on the phone to "call DCF."
The teen eventually received the help he needed when he was taken to Tufts Medical Center–where he was diagnosed with having an acute ischemic stroke.
"Even I know the signs of a stroke," said Alishia.
"Why didn't the nurse?"
Alishia told Boston 25 that her family has a history of strokes and that she suffered three strokes in her life.
“Listen there’s a small vessel problem on my mother’s side of the family that causes a stroke easily if there’s any blockage in it. [It] is so important to get him to the hospital right away because he could die," she said.
After doctors stopped D'Andre's stroke with medication, he stayed at the hospital for two days.
He has since been home and hasn't been back to school.
“He’s not happy about the school right now, he doesn’t feel safe there,” said Alishia.
“His words when he was in the hospital, he said 'mom, I can’t believe they didn’t believe me.'”
A district spokesperson responded to the incident, saying:
“Our concern is first with the health and well-being of this student. We are glad to hear he is recovering well."
"This serious incident is being reviewed by appropriate BPS staff and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further on this specific matter.”
Alishia said Boston School Superintendent Brenda Cassellius apologized to her personally for the incident.
Based on the American Bar Association's research about “Implicit Bias and Racial Disparities in Health Care," Alishia believes race was a factor in the nurses' negligence.
The study claimed:
“Black people simply are not receiving the same quality of health care that their white counterparts receive.”
She intends to see the nurses handling her son reprimanded and retrained.