Story of Physical Abuse

Mistreatment and Physical Abuse at
Orange County's Anaheim Regional Medical Center in Anaheim, California

~ Sophia Yang Joon Kim ~

Story of Physical Abuse,

Anaheim Regional Medical Center

                     Patient # 80872643RM-C1251

Allow me to start with a question.

What do you call “Physical Abuse” on a terminally ill, frail, 5’ 3” (160cm), 87lbs (39kgs), 56 year old lady, just 9 (nine) days out of intestinal surgery recovering in a hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU), breathing via a ventilator tube taped to her mouth and face inserted down her throat, a second tube taped to her nose inserted down into her stomach, a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC Line) in her left arm, a second Intravenous (IV) in her right arm, a urinary catheter, Electrocardiograph (ECG) Leads attached to her chest, a heart rate monitor attached to her left index finger, wearing wrist restraints?


Friday, May 07, 2010

After Sophia was removed from the ICU ventilator, out of the blue without being asked about what she Sophia had written over the past couple of weeks, Sophia told me “Black Lady hit face, moved face like this” (motioned a open hand strike to the air, squeezing the air with both hands with a twisting motion), Sophia identified the physical description of Respiratory Therapist (RT) Josanna* (last name unknown) that works the night shift. Sophia alleged this first assault was punishment for removing the NG (Nasogastric) tube from her nose.

> This first alleged assault took place on Friday, April 23, 2010 around 11PM. I left Sophia’s room to allow RT Josanna a working comfort zone to perform the breathing treatment, when I returned near the end of the breathing treatment 25 - 30 minutes I noticed and mentioned to RT Josanna that Sophia was bleeding from her mouth (the right corner), RT Josanna replied that it was bleeding because the ventilator tube was breaking down Sophia’s skin, but the ventilator tube was in the left corner of Sophia mouth. The ventilator tube had not been repositioned; only a wider piece of tape was placed across the tape already in place, and the wider piece of tape was stretching Sophia’s mouth and face. I asked the RT “what was your name again?” I received no response, so I asked a second time, “can you tell me your name?” RT Josanna ignored me.

> RT Josanna’s hospital ID was flipped over only exposing the back of the ID, so I walked passed the nurses assignment board and saw the name Judy was written in for the RT on duty for that night, therefore I don’t know if her name was Josanna or Judy but on Monday, May 31, 2010* Sophia told me “think Big Black Lady name Josanna”.

> The following day, on Saturday, April 24, 2010 I told the hospital Social Worker Vernnie Williams that Sophia wrote “Black Lady punish to her” but I did not tell Vernnie that Sophia was bleeding from the mouth, only that the re-taping of the ventilator tube was stretching Sophia’s mouth and face and that Sophia wrote that it was too tight and hurt. I told Vernnie that I believed it was done to punish Sophia but Vernnie dismissed it gesturing with rolling shoulders and head, then saying “I don’t know”.

> On date unknown after April 23, 2010 as RT Josanna was performing a breathing treatment Sophia shouted “STOP, cannot breath”, I jumped to my feet, RN Micha (last name unknown) came running into Sophia‘s room asking what’s wrong, RT Josanna said “she’s refusing treatment so you’re going to have to chart it because I’m not going to deal with this”, “I said she’s not refusing, she just can’t breath, can’t you give her a 10 - 15 minute break in between treatments instead of 5 treatments, one right after the other!”, RT Josanna said “no she’s refusing” and turned to RN Micha and said “you’re going to have to chart it because the doctor ordered it and I’m not cutting corners”. RT Josanna walked out of the room, RN Micha followed Jossana to the nurse’s station, and I watched RT Josanna instruct RN Micha what to write in Sophia’s binder labeled 125.

> On this unknown date after April 23, 2010 RT Josanna’s hospital ID was also flipped over only exposing the back of the ID, so again I walked passed the nurse’s assignment board to find that no name had been written in for the RT on duty for that night. I feared asking the nurses for the name of the Black RT Lady because I had noticed a couple of the nurses had also started wearing their ID’s flipped over.


Friday, May 07, 2010 (Continued)

Sophia continued to say, “Black Asian hurt me a lot” (motioned as pushing down, squeezing and shaking downward on her stomach), Sophia identified RN Marie Gorriceta that works the night shift. Sophia alleged this second assault was to keep her from telling anyone that she was punished for removing the NG tube from her nose.

> This second alleged assault took place on Sunday, April 25, 2010 around 8PM after RN Marie Gorriceta ordered me to leave the room while she changed Sophia’s dressings. When I returned to Sophia’s room 15 - 20 minutes later I could see that Sophia was in a great deal of pain, and that she was trying to touch her stomach but unable to because of the wrist restraints. Since Sophia was on a ICU ventilator, she was unable to speak so I released one of the restraints and I asked Sophia to write down what was hurting her. Sophia only wrote “Black Asian threaten to me”, I asked Sophia “who threatened you, one of the Asian nurses at the desk or the Asian nurse at the water fountain”, Sophia cautiously tilted the head of the black marker pointing it at RN Marie Gorriceta who was standing at the water fountain. I asked Sophia “do you fear for your life?” and Sophia nodded yes.

> I called Sophia’s daughter from the pay phone outside the waiting room, “collect”. Sophia’s daughter gave the phone to her husband, I told her husband what had happened and both Sophia’s daughter and son-in-law arrived within 20 minutes to witness the pain Sophia was in. I asked Sophia’s son-in-law to follow me to the waiting room where we could speak without being over heard by the nurses. I told Sophia’s son-in-law, Sophia was fine when I left the room, and when I returned she was in the pain you’re seeing her in now, and that Sophia wrote that RN Marie Gorriceta threatened her, and I showed him the paper on which Sophia had written, “Black Asian threaten to me”.

> Around 10PM RN Marie Gorriceta gave Sophia a blood transfusion which was witnessed by myself, Sophia’s daughter and son-in-law, I whispered to them, isn’t it odd that the she (RN Marie Gorriceta) made no mention as to why the transfusion was taking place or who had ordered it, nor did she (RN Marie Gorriceta) request a patient signature, or a signature from either one of us, and that no nurse was assisting her (RN Marie Gorriceta) perform the name and birth date routine before each blood transfusion, and that there were 3 other nurses just sitting there who could have helped her.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Around 6PM, Dr. Mule` began to examine Sophia surgical wounds, as he removed the dressings he started to give RN Ruel Mallilin a brief history of Sophia’s surgery. Dr. Mule` told him “the 2nd surgery was to stop the bleeding”, RN Ruel Mallilin made no comment other than, I’m sorry Dr. I have to prepare for the shift change, he then excused himself to Sophia and to myself. I asked Dr. Mule` “wasn’t the 2nd surgery a scheduled surgery?” Dr. Mule` said “no surgery is schedule in an emergency she was bleeding so we had to go in to stop it”.

> The “2nd surgery” was on Tuesday, April, 27, 2010, 2 days after I found Sophia in pain, the same night Sophia wrote and identified RN Marie Gorriceta as the nurse that threatened her.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Today Sophia told me again how she was Physically Abused in the ICU, and I believe the traumatic events resurfaced when I left her alone in the hospital to go home for 2 hours. Sophia called me at home asking me to return to the hospital immediately because they had changed her diet back to liquid, when I arrived she was visibly distressed and expressing her fear of being left alone in the hospital.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Around 10PM Dr. Kayaleh told Sophia that she would be discharged from the hospital tomorrow, after Dr. Kayaleh left the room Sophia told me “I never want come back to hospital again, 2 girls hit, breathing treatment lady spray something in face like perfume, I cannot breathe and another man look like you, hit too”.

> There were only 2 male RNs working at night in the ICU, Luke and Mel; I asked Sophia was it Luke or was it Mel, Sophia said “don’t know name, not Luke”.

> RN Mel (last name unknown) was never assigned to care for Sophia however on date unknown in April 2010 I asked RN Mel if he had seen RT Kevin (last name unknown), RN Mel asked if there was something wrong, I said the ventilator sounds like the breathing frequency is too fast and that Sophia’s face and hair were wet from sweating. At that moment 2 RTs walked passed (I can only recall the tall Black RT with leucoderma), I asked him if he had seen RT Kevin, RN Mel said “sir please don’t bother them”.

> The reason I sought assistance from RT Kevin was because when I left Sophia’s room after RN Marie Gorriceta had ordered me to leave Sophia’s room around 11PM while she changed Sophia’s dressings, Sophia was breathing calmly and normal, but when I returned Sophia’s breathing frequency had changed. I did not leave the ICU area, I stood at the opposite corner of Sophia’s room near the ICU entrance, I saw no one else enter Sophia’s Room 125 except for RN Marie Gorriceta meaning that no one else could have changed the breathing frequency of the ventilator but RN Marie Gorriceta.

> After RN Mel told me not to bother the RTs I walked 50ft. away towards the Blood Gas Room near the vending machines hoping to find RT Kevin or another RT but I found no one so I quickly returned to stand by the ICU entrance to see RN Mel and RN Marie Gorriceta enter Sophia’s room. RN Marie Gorriceta closed the door and curtain, both RN’s remained in the room for approximately 10 - 15 minutes. When I saw them both leave the room I returned to Sophia’s room to find the frequency of the ventilator sounding normal, and Sophia was no longer breathing fast nor perspiring. Sophia’s face and hair appeared to have been cleaned and dried. A few minutes later I saw the 2 RTs mentioned previously leaving Room 131, I proceeded after them to ask if they could check the ventilator, the tall Black RT with leucoderma asked “is there something wrong?”, I said, “please come check it for me”. The Black RT with leucoderma observed the parameters, briefly explained the parameters and assured me that everything appeared normal.

> About an hour later, RN Marie Gorriceta entered Sophia’s room walking directly over to the ventilator. I watched RN Marie Gorriceta touch the control panel pressing a couple of the touch keys pad and saw her view a graph and some parameters, then she returned the screen to it’s normal view and walked out of the room. I was sleeping until I felt RN Marie Gorriceta enter the room at which points she stepped past me, allowing me to observe her (RN Marie Gorriceta) manipulate the ventilator control touch panel. I personally never saw any other RN beside RN Marie Gorriceta touch the ICU ventilator.


Monday, May 31, 2010

On the night Sophia was discharged from the hospital around 9PM Thursday, May 27, 2010, as we drove away she said “I never want go back to hospital again, tried to kill me, 2 girls hit like this, choking, hurt me a lot” (motioned as open hand strike to her face, then a 2 handed squeeze of her mouth and face with a twisting of her head in a circular motion).

> Since Sophia’s discharge from the Anaheim Regional Hospital in Anaheim, California Sophia has on a daily basis repeatedly told me of the abuses, and even told me of them 4 to 5 times a day until today, when Sophia said, “I need write diary, book, piece of paper about hospital”.

> I allowed her to finish, I then told Sophia I had already started to write of the abuses she had to suffer in the hospital, and that one of the alleged assaults was an Attempted Murder on her life in my opinion, and that on Friday, May 7, 2010 I even sought help from ProPublica investigative reporter Charles Ornstein who told me to contact the California Department of Public Health .

> I then allowed Sophia to read this letter, and within seconds Sophia said, “Who is Judy?! Sophia said “Big Black Lady came to me, she asked me every time, remember me, remember me, I say yes”. Sophia then said “think Big Black Lady name Josanna, who is Judy?”

> I told Sophia that on the night I told the Black RT lady you were bleeding from your mouth she refused to tell me her name, and that Josanna or Judy had turned her badge over so I could not see her name so I walked passed the nurses assignment board, and saw the name Judy was written in for the RT on duty so I thought her name was Judy, and the last time I saw Josanna or Judy was when I over heard her telling the other nurses of her vacation at her daughters house in Georgia.

> After Sophia read this letter, Sophia said “don’t throw away, keep for me”, and Sophia never mentioned the abuses again.


~ Words that told the story of Physical Abuse were Sophia’s ~


Friday, August 17, 2012

In a letter from the State of California Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification Program (L&C), post marked AUG 08 2012.

Attached was a form letter (Fill in the Blanks) completed by Barbara Ruger RN, HFEN who stated on October 6, 2011 that she "was unable to substantiate the complaint allegation(s) and found no regulatory violations". 

Jacqueline A. Lincer, District Manager who mailed me this letter wrote "L&C made an unannounced visit to the facility on October 29, 2010". "L&C was not able to validate the complaint through direct observation, interviews, and/or review of documents". COMPLAINT NUMBER CA00247016.

No doubt this "unannounced visit" was made during business hours after contract employees, vendors, housekeeping, and administrative staff have gone home.

Sophia was assaulted and threatened by the above mentioned nurse(s) between the hours of 11PM and 4AM, I know because I remained at Sophia's side anywhere from 18 to 30 hours daily, only to be relieved by Sophia's daughter or Sophia's son-in-law.

Behind Closed Doors, after the 8PM general announcement that visiting hours have ended is when patients are most susceptible to use of force, not during business hours.

Protect your loved one from nurses, doctors that may have a tendency to use force on patients.

DO NOT be afraid to question other families or friends visiting loved ones if they fear for the safety of their loved ones. Too many nurses, doctors, and administrators are only in the medical profession for an income, a crime in itself.

DO NOT allow your loved one to remain Behind Closed Doors alone with someone your loved one fears.

DO NOT obey any hospital employee that tells you, you must leave the room if you're a blood relative or legally married to the patient. 

Make eye contact with your loved one and maintain it, then ask your loved one in front of the nurse, doctor telling you to leave the room if you can stay in the room, the nurse, doctor cannot refuse a patients request, the curtain can be drawn if privacy is requested by the nurse, doctor, but do not leave the room.

In my opinion any nurse, doctor, administrator can become partners in crime in a heartbeat.


Links of interest:

Anaheim Regional Medical Center - 20% ICU Mortality Rate.

Hospital Comparison Rating - Orange County, California.

See rating for a specific hospital in California.