By now, I am sure news-savvy islandistas have heard or read of the tragic story of Esmin Green’s emergency-room death at Kings Country Hospital in Brooklyn.
While others, including patients and a security guard looked on, Green who had been waiting 24 hours for a hospital bed, fell out of her chair to the floor. There, she thrashed about a bit, obviously in distress and even attempted to get on to her side to get herself back up. Then she fell still.
No-one came to her aid for over an hour. Security footage of the incident, released by lawyers who are suing KCH on an unrelated matter, showed a doctor passing by and peeking in at her and then going on about his business nonchalantly. A security guard also takes a look at her lying face down on the floor and a nurse who comes in prods her with her foot. Still no-one does anything – for an hour until a second nurse comes in and realises Ms. Green is dead. Esmin Green was left to die on the floor, worse than an animal.
So who is Esmin Green? My islandistas, she is one of us. A Caribbean woman – like us, striving to make a way for herself and her children and do better – just like us, or our mothers or aunts or grandmothers. She could have been anyone’s Caribbean auntie or granny or sister that was living ‘over in away’ and sent back remittances to help those at home. She could have been anyone of us.
According to CaribWorld News, the 49 year old Ms. Green…
Was a cheerful resident of St. Catherine, Jamaica who served for a while as a teacher while raising six children. … Eight years ago, in amove for greener pastures, Green migrated to the US alone. She became an integral part of a Canarsie, Brooklyn church community with many coming to know her simply as ‘Sister Green’. And she worked hard as a housekeeper and a day-care worker to send money back to Jamaica to take care of her children.
Two years ago, she apparently suffered a nervous breakdown and it is this condition that led her to KCH, where she was admitted involuntarily, suffering from agitation and psychosis.
Her children, including one who is just 14 years old, are devastated. Her eldest daughter Tecia Harrison was quoted as saying: “Not even a dog is treated that way.”
Making an already horrific situation worse, the second nurse who eventually called for help and too-late resuscitation efforts, falsified the records, saying she got up around 6 a.m. to use the bathroom when she actually collapsed at about 5:30 – half hour earlier. It goes on to say that she was “sitting quietly in the waiting area” at 6:20 a.m. – when the surveillance video shows her already sprawled on the floor.
Islandistas, I am heartsick. And afraid. We all know that there are more Caribbean people living outside of the region than in. We all know them – they are our family. They go to make better for themselves. And look at this. This woman was well-trained enough to be a teacher but ended up as a housekeeper in the US. And then in her dying moments she was just treated with a callousness and indifference that is shocking. They prodded her with their foot… like a dead animal in the road.
Bob said it best:
Man to man is so unjust…
You don’t know who to trust.