JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a story that gained national attention.
A 70-year old great grandmother was hauled off to jail last month after refusing to leave her critically ill daughter’s side at UF Health in Jacksonville.
On Thursday, News4Jax learned the misdemeanor charge of trespassing have been dropped.
“I was not looking at spending any time in jail,” Lynn Savage said.
Savage said she is happy the charges were dropped but she says the UF Health nurse who called security on her should have recognized her as her daughter’s advocate.
The last time News4Jax spoke with Savage she had just been released from jail after being arrested on a charge of trespassing.
Savage was arrested after she refused to leave her daughter’s bedside at UF Health after her daughter had just undergone brain surgery.
“It makes sense to me that they would drop the charges. It didn’t make sense that they would arrest me at all,” she said.
Savage said she’s her daughter’s caregiver, advocate and interpreter since her daughter is mostly non-verbal after suffering a brain injury. She says her daughter’s doctor had asked her to be at the hospital to calm her down following the surgery.
“I was being instrumental in helping them communicate with her, then all of a sudden they wanted me to leave,” Savage said.
Savage was asked to leave after visiting hours ended. According to UF Health, those hours end at 7 p.m. due to COVID-19 restrictions. According to the arrest report, security and police pleaded with Savage for two hours to leave after visitation ended. Savage says she asked the supervising nurse to call the doctor that asked her to be there but says the nurse refused so she refused to leave.
“We’re not asking for anybody to bend the rules. We’re asking people to provide the same service to her that are provided to people without a handicap. The ADA ruled on that,” Savage said.
In other words, because her daughter can’t effectively communicate, she feels the nurse should have recognized that she is her daughter’s communicator. Amber Miller was only able to explain in one word what it was like when her mom was taken away in handcuffs.
“Stressful,” she told News4Jax.
Although the charges have been dropped, it’s still unclear if Savage is still banned from the hospital. Her daughter has to undergo another surgery.
News4Jax reached out to UF Health for a statement but we haven’t heard back yet.