70-year-old Lynn Savage spent a night in jail after refusing to leave her daughter’s hospital room. Savage said the jail was worth it and that she’d do it again to stay with her daughter, Amber.
The arrest happened on Oct. 4 at UF Health North in Jacksonville, Florida where Savage’s daughter was receiving brain surgery after a piece of her skull dropped and started to grow on her brain.
Savage had spent over 12 hours with her daughter after a doctor asked the woman to come to Amber’s room to calm her down after the operation. According to the doctor, the young woman was panicking and trying to pull out the wires attached to her. Savage’s daughter is nonverbal and paralyzed on her right side after suffering a stroke, so her mother acted as her interpreter along with supporting her recovery.
According to Lynn Savage, at 7 p.m. a nurse asked her to leave and she refused.
“The nurse said that the visiting hours were over at seven and I had to leave. And I said I’m not going to leave. I want to stay here with my daughter,” said Savage. “Can you call the doctor because the doctor is the one that wanted me here with her? And she said no, that they couldn’t do that. That COVID rules said that visiting hours were over at seven and I had to leave.”
The mother said that she couldn’t leave the hospital knowing that there was a chance her daughter wouldn’t make it through the night. Doctors had told the Florida woman that MRIs showed that Amber was not doing well even after her surgery.
Hospital security guards pleaded with the woman for hours before police were finally called.
Savage, who is a great-grandmother and a former deputy in Ohio, explained to officers that they would have to remove her by force and she was taken away in handcuffs. She spent 24 hours in the Duval County jail and according to the 70-year-old she doesn’t regret her decision one bit.
According to arrest reports, once officers got Savage out of the hospital they tried to reason with the woman to just go home and come back in the morning, but Savage still refused and told them that she wouldn’t leave.
“Not an experience that I would ever want to do again for the rest of my life, not ever. It was horrible,” Savage told WJAX. “It was filthy, it was more like an insane asylum with the women screaming and hollering and banging on bars and banging on walls. It was just terrifying, but I would rather be there than know that I had walked away from my daughter,” said Savage.
Officers charged her with misdemeanor trespassing and she pleaded not guilty in court. The mother’s next court date is scheduled for Oct. 20.
UF Health North released a statement to the media and said that they were just following Covid-19 guidelines to protect the safety of their patients.
The statement reads, “Like health care organizations throughout the country, we have put policies in place to protect everyone from the COVID-19 virus, including patients, visitors and staff. Information about visitation limitations are placed in areas visible to those entering our facilities.”
Lynn Savage has since taken Amber home to recover. She has another MRI in a month to check on her progress.