Katherine Mary recently posted a video on TikTok about the alleged racism she encountered while giving birth at a nearby hospital in Florida. In the clip, Mary explains that she was rushed to the facility 35 weeks pregnant after she felt a sharp pain in her back.
The model and actress said she was only asked once about her pain by a nurse and that she cried when she tried to answer. Mary started screaming and crying as if she were “dying,” and the nurse allegedly told her to “shut up” because she was typing.
Mary then claims the nurse told her she would have to leave the room. She said the nurse assumed she was on drugs and faking her pain to get prescription painkillers.
She said the nurse proceeded to administer a drug test instead of telling the doctor about Mary’s pain – even though Mary told the nurse she had never been on drugs before. The test came back negative.
“The doctor comes in and says that they need to do an urgent C-section to get the baby out because the baby’s heart rate is decelerating,” she says in the TikTok video. “The nurse looks at the drug screen results and sees that they’re negative and tells [me] in front of the doctor that [I] need to ‘Just tell them what kind of drugs [I’m] on’ so that they can help [my] baby.”
“Then, [I] go into the operating room and it takes them forever to do [my] spinal. When [I] lay down [I] lose consciousness within three minutes because [I] start going into a grand mal seizure. They determined that [my] blood pressure was 220 over 180 and [I] actually clearly had eclampsia.”
Mary claims she later experienced seizures and uterus rupture due to the nurse’s negligence.
After the diagnosis, Mary explains that both she and her baby had to be resuscitated. It took the staff over 17 minutes to revive them. She was placed in a medically induced coma while her baby was airlifted to another hospital for additional care.
But the story only got worse once Mary arrived at the other hospital to see her baby.
She claims she had to meet with a social worker while at the hospital because the staff at the other facility “lied” and said she was on drugs. She also alleges the hospital falsely claimed she was HIV positive.
Mary shared a series of follow-up videos on TikTok several months after giving birth. She explained that she sued the hospital and won two of three lawsuits. She also claims that the nurse who told her to “shut up” was fired within two to three weeks of the incident, but it had nothing to do with the lawsuit. The nurse was reportedly fired after the doctor on staff filed a formal complaint against her.
Reply to @jojo_m99
According to the CDC, black women are around 4 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. The major causes are variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias. It is also linked to the fact that the concerns and requests of black mothers are often overlooked in hospital settings. Medical professionals can also wrongly assume black people feel less pain than their white counterparts.
Thousands of people rushed to Mary’s defense on TikTok, including many nurses and mothers.
“Hell no. I would have went off. I’m a nurse and you never stay silent. We’re taught to not argue in front of a patient, but this is different,” wrote one person.
“It’s almost impossible to self-advocate when you’re in that kind of pain and you’re at their mercy. I’m so sorry this happened to you,” wrote someone else.
“How did the staff witness and do nothing? That absolutely breaks my heart for you. I hope your baby is okay. I can only imagine your pain 🥺,” added another.