A doctor at a hospital’s emergency room in northern California cursed and mocked an African-American athlete who suffered a panic attack during a basketball practice.
Samuel Bardwell, 20, was rushed to El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos after he got ill during the game. Dr. Beth Keegstram, who worked as a contract doctor, was captured on camera making fun of the athlete who was in pain.
The encounter was filmed by the athlete’s father, Donald Bardwell.
“You are the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying. So you put your head up. Don’t try to tell me you can’t move. Come on. Sit up,” the doctor can be heard in the video.
She then tried to pull Bardwell up and said, “You want us to wheel you to your house in a gurney?”
The doctor then asked the athlete to inhale but Bardwell told him he was unable to do so.
“He can't inhale? Wow. He must be dead! Are you dead, sir?” the doctor then said.
Keegstram is then heard cursing the patient several times. She was later removed from her post.
According to the athlete’s father, the 20-year-old has a history of panic attacks and takes the drug Klonopin to treat the problem.
However, he missed his medicine two days before the game because he failed to get it from the pharmacy which led do the attack during his first summer basketball class at West Valley College.
“He was on medication for his anxiety, but was off his [medication] for two days because he couldn't get to the pharmacy before it closed,” said his father.
He added the doctor also accused the two of looking for drugs.
“She said, ‘I know why you people are here, you people who come here for drugs,’ and I said ‘What do you mean you people?’ She was rambling on so angrily that’s why I pulled out my phone,” recalled the father.
West Valley basketball coach Scott Eitelgeorge also confirmed that the athlete’s health deteriorated during the game.
“He wasn't looking too good. It looked like he was having a pretty severe anxiety attack. Sam played for maybe five minutes before he had to step out,” he said.
Bardwell later said he waited three hours to see a doctor and finally when Dr. Keegstra arrived in the ER, she showed up with a security guard.
Emeryville-based Vituity, the healthcare delivery organization Keegstra worked with, released a statement and confirmed the doctor’s removal.
“We are saddened that a patient in our care was affected by this behavior and are working to ensure this never happens again. We are conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. Keegstra has also been removed from the schedule at all the hospitals she works at,” said spokeswoman Allison Kundu.
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