A 70-year-old mother from Florida spent a night in jail after she refused to leave her daughter's bedside. Lynn Savage's daughter Amber underwent brain surgery at UF Health North in Jacksonville, and the doctor asked her to come into the ICU to help calm her down.
Amber is non-verbal and partially paralyzed following a stroke and was having difficulties after waking up in the hospital.
Savage was able to calm her daughter and planned to stay with her through the night. Unfortunately, visiting hours ended at 7 p.m., and Savage was told she had to leave.
"The nurse said that the visiting hours were over at seven, and I had to leave, and I said I'm not going to leave. I want to stay here with my daughter. Can you call the doctor because the doctor is the one that wanted me here with her? And she said no that they couldn't do that that COVID rules said that visiting hours were over at seven," Savage told the station.
Instead of leaving, Savage refused, forcing the hospital to call the police. Deputies spent several hours trying to convince Savage to leave and return the next day at 9 a.m.
"The sheriff's office came up. They were also very polite. They kept trying to get me to leave, and I said I'm not leaving; I'm not going to leave my daughter's side."
Eventually, deputies took Savage into custody, and she spent about 24 hours in jail on a trespassing charge. While she said that spending the night in prison was a horrific experience, she does not regret her decision.
"Not an experience that I would ever want to do again for the rest of my life, not ever. It was horrible. It was filthy. It was more like an insane asylum with the women screaming and hollering and banging on bars and banging on walls. It was just terrifying, but I would rather be there than know that I had walked away from my daughter."
The hospital defended its policy on limiting visitation hours because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Like health care organizations throughout the country, we have put policies in place to protect everyone from the COVID-19 virus, including patients, visitors, and staff," UF Health North said in a statement.
"Information about visitation limitations are placed in areas visible to those entering our facilities," the statement continued.