Lynn Savage, 70, was visiting her daughter in the hospital while she was recovering from a stroke. When the staff told her that visiting hours were over, Savage refused to leave, which eventually led to her being arrested and spending the night in jail.
Looking back, Savage says she stands by her actions “100 percent”.
Visiting Hours Are Over
Savage’s daughter, Amber, was recovering at UF Health North in Jacksonville, Florida after undergoing brain surgery.
While she was visiting, Savage says a doctor invited her to come into her daughter’s room to help her calm down after surgery. Amber is non-verbal and partially paralyzed following a stroke.
“As soon as I approached the bedside, she was fine. With all these people talking and all these things going on and she doesn’t understand it and not being able to talk, she just was frantic,” Savage said.
After a while, Amber finally calmed down, but visiting hours were quickly coming to an end. The staff told Savage she had to leave, but she reportedly refused. She said she had been at the facility since 6 AM that morning. She claims she wasn’t just there to comfort her daughter; she was also acting as an interpreter.
“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,’” Savage told a local news outlet. “’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 because COVID rules said that visiting hours were over at seven.”
The nurse contacted security and Savage was eventually removed from the building by a police officer.
“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,” Savage said.
According to the arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, “Ms. Savage is a twenty-year retired Deputy with the Stark County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office. She stated she understood but would have to be removed by force. Ms. Savage was cooperative, and I placed her under arrest. Once escorted outside the hospital, I pleaded for Ms. Savage to come to reason, leave and return in the morning when visitation opened at 0900 hours. She refused for the principle that if something happens to her daughter Amber, she was forced to leave her side.”
Savage ended up being booked for trespassing. She spent the night in jail with a court hearing set for Oct. 20.
“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,” she said.
After she was arrested, the hospital released a statement on what happened.
“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. Information about visitation limitations are placed in areas visible to those entering our facilities,” it said.
As for Amber, the doctors say she made it through the night and is still recovering.