Man Dies in Parking Lot After Hospital Refuses to Treat Him, Says His Widow
A Missouri family is mourning the loss of a beloved husband and father — and his wife says he died after the hospital he was taken to refused to care for him.
The hospital has declined to comment on the accusation.
David Alexander Bell, 39, died in the parking lot of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Peters, Missouri, earlier this month, his wife Sadie Bell told news station KMOV 4.
According to Sadie, David had been experiencing extreme chest pain the first week of January. She took him to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital emergency room twice that week, but she says the medical staff didn't admit him to the hospital. David was prescribed Ibuprofen and they were sent home, Sadie said.
David, the board director at Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR), returned to work, but was rushed to the hospital a third time by his colleagues, according to KMOV 4.
When Sadie learned that David's coworker had taken him back to Barnes-Jewish, she told the outlet she said, "Oh, I just wish you wouldn't have took him there."
"He said, 'Why not?' and I said, 'Every time that we have taken him, all they did was give him Ibuprofen and sent him home, and I'm really thinking they are missing something,'" Sadie told KMOV 4.
Sadie said she arrived at the hospital to find her husband sitting in a wheelchair outside the hospital. She said that she asked doctors to run tests, but was told, "he's already been here twice for the same thing and we've already diagnosed him."
Sadie said that David died as they were returning to the car.
"I don't know what they thought and I just don't understand why they wouldn't help him," Sadie told KMOV. "I don't want any family to feel what we're feeling right now."
"Our thoughts are with the family after this loss, as well as with the entire Central County Fire & Rescue team," the hospital said in a statement to PEOLPE. The hospital said it could not provide further comment due to patient privacy laws.
CCFR shared a tribute to David on Facebook, remembering him as having a "bright smile and welcoming personality."
"We are all better for having known and worked with you to support and protect our community. We overcame some tremendous challenges and accomplished some amazing things under your leadership," CCFR's statement said.
"The legacy you've left behind has undoubtedly made our community safer and better for having you at the helm for the past three years," it continued. "David, we will miss your smile and the positive presence you brought to any room. We know that your faith in God was an integral part of your life. Rest in peace, friend."
A GoFundMe campaign was established to cover funeral expenses and to establish a fund "to ensure that the educational and extra-curricular activities that he worked so hard to provide for his children while here can continue, even in his absence."
David is survived by Sadie and their three children.