Black woman claims her autistic son’s school would have ‘treated him right away if he was different race’ after the school nurse asked the mother to pick him up instead of calling ambulance while the teen had stroke
School officials are expected to create healthy and safe environment for students while in school where students can focus on studying and social interactions. As a part of creating that environment, most schools nationwide have school nurses who are expected to always be there for students in case they need immediate health care, which in dozens of cases, has proven to be life-saving.
While in most of the cases that works in practice, the 51-year-old A. Hicks claims that her teenage son almost died earlier this month when he suffered a stroke while in class and she accuses the school nurse for not acting properly in that situation. Fortunately, the 17-year-old boy was later transferred to hospital for treatment and he is expected to fully recover.
According to Hicks who spoke to Newsweek few days ago, the school nurse called her early May and informed the mother her son felt dizzy, he was shaking and numb on the left side. The wheelchair-bound mother, who lives with her three sons in Massa., immediately thought that her son D’Andre had suffered stroke since many of the family relatives had previously suffered stroke.
In the last 10 years, Hicks had also suffered three strokes as she continues to live with side effects, including weakness on her left side and reliance on a wheelchair. Considering the symptoms and the fact their family is prone to strokes, Hicks immediately informed the school nurse citing the emergency of the situation. But then she got the most unexpected response:
“He looks okay to me. Are you going to come pick him up?,” the school nurse reportedly told Hicks. Then Hicks explained that she is in wheelchair and she won’t be able to arrive at the school fast enough. “I said, ‘Please dial 911, he could be stroking,'” Hicks recalled. “She said, ‘I don’t think so, I don’t think it’s that serious, I don’t think I need to dial 911.'”
Despite Hicks’ efforts in explaining the seriousness of the situation, the nurse allegedly continued to refuse to call 911 and Hicks eventually hang up. It was sometime later when the hysterical mother received a call from the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) after calling the school’s front desk again, repeating that her son might had suffered stroke during class. Almost an hour after the initial call, 911 was finally dispatched.
D’Andre was transferred to a local hospital where it was confirmed that he had suffered an ischemic stroke and removed the blood clot from his brain. Fortunately, he was properly treated and discharged from hospital two days later, but his mom says he is still very “traumatized” of what he went through that day. D’Andre, who also has autism, still feels weak on the left side, but is expected to fully recover in the upcoming period. But Hicks is seeking answers from the school and wants to know why her son was treated the way it was.
“I hate to say it was a racial thing, but it really seems as though if my son was a different race they would have treated him right away,” Hicks said. “My son said he felt like they didn’t take him seriously.”
While it remains unclear if the family plans to file a lawsuit against the school, the school and the school district were under fire from the local community eventually resulting with an issued statement regarding the incident:
“Our concern is first with the health and well-being of this student. We are glad to hear he is recovering well,” said a district spokesperson. “This serious incident is being reviewed by appropriate BPS staff and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further on this specific matter.”