Woman claims ER turned away diabetic daughter

Published: Aug. 5, 2018 at 10:32 PM CDT
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Last Sunday, 18-year-old Josephine Gonzalez was showing no signs of illness. But not even twelve hours later, she ended up in a Wichita ICU.

"I was sick. And I knew I was, and it didn't physically look sick but I knew I was and you know your body." says Josephine Gonzalez.

She has type 1 diabetes, and when she started showing symptoms of a serious complication her mother wasted no time in getting her help.

"I drove up to the hospital, dropped her off at the door - cause she was not doing real good. I went and parked and as I went to walk in she walked out. I said what are you doing?" says Kristen King, Josephine's mother.

That's when her daughter told her she was denied service at the South Central Kansas Medical Center's emergency room.

"I walked in and spoke with the registrar, she said I'm really sorry, I hate turning her away but our server's down - IT's working on it. The ER's closed we can't take her."

King drove her daughter to Winfield where hospital staff arranged EMS transport to Wichita. That led to a three day stay in intensive care.

Josephine is in better health now, but her mother says others might not have been so lucky.

"I don't want this to happen again - you know we can't close hospitals because a computer server went down. Computers go down all the time, that's just the world we live in. We have to be able to function without it - we need a plan B we need a plan C" King says.

"I work at the local donut shop, and when we have computers go down we write everything down and we put it in the computer later - and we always have a backup plan for something. The fact that the hospital didn't have a backup plan is kind of frustrating." says Josephine.

We reached out to the hospital for comment, but no one was available to speak on the matter. Kristen King says she's been in contact with a hospital board member as well as their attorney, who say they're looking into what happened.