An emergency room physician, Dr. Beth Keegstra, was suspended from the El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos, California, after mocking a black patient, Samuel Bardwell, on June 11.
Samuel was rushed by ambulance to the ER after collapsing during basketball practice with an anxiety attack. Samuel said he was unable to speak, numb and in pain.
Samuel said he has a history of debilitating anxiety attacks.
Samuel’s father, Donald Bardwell, told KPIX about this latest attack:
It’s just heartbreaking because I’ve seen him go in and out of consciousness.
Donald raced to Samuel’s side, but said they waited for more than three hours while the doctor joked and laughed with the nurses:
Waiting and waiting and then the nurses would come in and say, “It’s going to be a few more minutes.”
Samuel recalled that Dr. Keegstra finally showed up with a security guard:
I was just like, “Why would there be security, when I have done nothing wrong?”
Donald began recording with his cellphone and caught Dr. Keegstra sarcastically making excuses:
I’m sorry, sir. You were the least sick of all the people who were here who are dying. You want us to wheel you to your house in a gurney?
Samuel said he could not inhale, and Dr. Keegstra laughed:
He can’t inhale? Wow. He must be dead! Are you dead, sir?
Dr. Keegstra was filmed cursing and yanking Samuel’s arm when he could not sit up.
Samuel recalled that he was “completely calm the whole time.”
A spokesperson for El Camino Hospital told KPIX:
We are saddened and disappointed by the physician’s unprofessional interaction with the patient in the video. The physician is a contracted provider and has been removed from our ER schedule.
I think she needs to be terminated. On top of that, the hospital needs to be investigated.
Samuel and Donald believe Dr. Keegstra thought they were just there to ask for narcotics, but me3dical tests showed that Samuel was dehydrated.
Samuel was given fluids, and medications for anxiety and pain.