Two paramedics suspended after grandmother alleges they falsely pronounced teen’s death

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Two Houston paramedics have been suspended for seven days following an investigation involving the resuscitation of a teenage boy that failed to meet “standards expectations,” authorities confirmed to Fox News.

Stacy Williams dialed 911 on Jan. 26 in search of a catheter for her 14-year-old grandson Jacah, a survivor of shaken baby syndrome, who had been administered two doses of trazodone was asleep for an extended time, as expected. Williams grew concerned after Jacah didn’t urinate all day.

The boy’s lips were turning white when Williams pressed on his nails, the color wasn’t returning, she told Fox News. She wasn’t alarmed because the child’s body temperature heart rate typically run low. 

Jacah endured a 31-day long hospital stay following the January incident, his family told Fox News.
(Courtesy of Stacy Williams)

In an emailed statement to Fox News, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said: “The vast majority of our employees serve our community with care, honor distinction. I do not believe the high standards expectations we have for our employees their work were met in this particular case, when that occurs, we will hold ourselves accountable. At the conclusion of the investigation I found cause to sustain on rule violations, which resulted in a 7-day suspension without pay.” 

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The case, believed to be a cardiac arrest, involved two other investigations: The City of Houston Office of Inspector General “found insufficient evidence” for a discrimination complaint on the basis of race disability, according to documents shared with Fox News, a Department of State Health Services-led investigation of each employee is ongoing, Peña said.

According to Williams, two paramedics from the Houston Fire Department responded to the January call at a hotel where the family was staying.

“The heavy set [paramedic] took Jacah’s wrist, he said, ‘Oh yeah ma’am he’s gone,’ I said, ‘What?’ ‘Yeah ma’am. He has no pulse, he’s gone,’” Williams recalled. Medical records note the patient was cold to the touch didn’t appear to be breathing.

Williams allegedly urged the paramedics to take action after which they set up a heart monitor to check the boy’s pulse, but again declared the boy dead, she said.

Williams said she grew frustrated, scooped Jacah up to head for the hospital when one paramedic offered to perform CPR. 

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“When I passed by [the paramedic], he had his hon his hip said, ‘Ma’am, I’ll be honest with you, it’s gonna take an act of God.’ I said, ‘Well I believe in him, so do something,’” Williams added.

Jacah began to vomit out of his nose, while Williams prompted the paramedics for a suction machine, another paramedic appeared on scene took action by starting CPR on the boy, Williams said.

Jacah was ultimately transported to Memorial Hermman Northeast Hospital where he went on to endure a 31-day hospital stay, according to Williams, claiming the boy’s tonsils partially collapsed due to insufficient oxygen supply to the brain, potentially spurring added brain damage.

The morning after Jacah was admitted to the hospital, staff allegedly informed Williams that the child’s organs were shutting down he was dying.

“They put me in the bed with him to tell him goodbye, I laid in that bed I looked at my child I told my husband, ‘Get me out of this bed. I’m not doing this I’m not leaving this hospital without my kid, so you do whatever you have to do,'” Williams said.

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Jacah Jefferson, 14, endured a 31-day hospital stay after the incident in January, his family told Fox News.

Jacah Jefferson, 14, endured a 31-day hospital stay after the incident in January, his family told Fox News.
(Courtesy of Stacy Williams)

A surgery to treat the tonsils was planned for June, but due to all the complications recent cardiac arrest, the procedure was canceled, Williams said. 

Jacah was removed from a ventilator but a feeding tube resulted in significant weight gain, the family is left investing in medical equipment to move lift Jacah, according to Williams, who said Jacah is “not the same kid.”

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“He’s been through a lot, that’s why I fight the way I do for him because he deserves life, he deserves the world, he was never given a chance,” Williams added.

The Houston Fire Chief, Peña, intends to personally meet with Williams in the coming days to discuss the incident, now that the administrative process is complete, he said.

A rep for Memorial Hermman Northeast Hospital did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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