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Man sues hospital for not allowing him to visit wife due to COVID-19

by Boris Mullan (2020-05-21)

\A Florida man and his family members have filed a lawsuit after they were banned from visiting his wife in a hospital ICU unit, even though she does not have coronavirus.

Lindsay Kennedy, 38, of Fort Lauderdale was hospitalized on April 21 at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood for health issues related to an aneurysm she suffered over 10 years ago.   

However, her husband Jayson Oneschuk, 50, and Kennedy's relatives have been denied medical visitations to see her due to coronavirus limitations. 

On Monday Oneschuk, Kennedy's mother-in-law Kathleen Carr and Kennedy's youngest brother Andrew Kennedy filed a civil lawsuit against Memorial Healthcare System saying Kennedy has been denied visits through improper restrictions, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.  

Florida man Jayson Oneschuk, 50, filed a lawsuit against Memorial Healthcare System for barring him and other relatives from visiting his wife Lindsay Kennedy, 38, who was hospitalized for aneurysm-related health issues and does not have coronavirus. Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood above 

'Besides the painful surgical interventions and treatments, the patient is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, upload depression, isolation, social deprivation, oral deprivation and absence of loving touch from her family and is at serious risk of severe and imminent harm and deterioration of her medical condition,' the lawsuit states. 

They are seeking for Kennedy to be allowed to have one visitor per day in the lawsuit where Memorial Healthcare System and South Broward Hospital District are listed as defendants.

Oneschuk says he feared for her life last week when Kennedy was rushed into emergency surgery for hydrocephalus, a condition where fluids build up in the brain, and her heart rate dropped to 20 beats per minute. 

After weeks of being in critical condition, Kennedy is now stable.  

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, visitation hours at Memorial Regional Hospital are limited and temporarily suspended.

The hospital has a sign outside its doors that says visiting hours have been temporarily suspended except for one significant other who is allowed to be with obstetric patients, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit says this exception, while denying Kennedy's visitation privileges, is discriminatory. 





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Oneschuk was able to visit Kennedy just once on May 6 for three hours in the three weeks she's been hospitalized. 

The next day the hospital told Carr, Kennedy's designated healthcare surrogate, that she would be allowed just one visitor a week for 30 minutes and the hospital must be notified one day before the visit. 

Kennedy's surgeon reportedly informed the hospital that she needed more visitation time for her well being. 

However, Kennedy and her relatives weren't given a written notice of the visitation policy. 

'She's had so many surgeries. Her head has been cracked open so many times. She has got two external brain drains, one out of each side of her head. Basically, she needs someone here with her,' Oneschuk said to the Sun Sentinel. 

'If your wife is having a baby, you can go in as a visitor. If she's dying, you cannot. And it's disgusting,' Oneschuk said. 

Kerting Baldwin, Memorial Healthcare System's Administrative Director of Corporate Communications, said the limited visitation hours was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

'Memorial Healthcare System recognizes the value of patients and families staying connected during a hospital stay and ordinarily has an open visitation policy,' Baldwin said. 

'However, COVID-19 remains a grave threat to our community, and we must restrict visitations to protect the safety of our patients and employees, while also having the flexibility to safely make specific exceptions as the one already made in this case. While these difficult decisions are never easy to make during these unprecedented times, it helps to stop exposure and spread of this highly infectious disease, keeping our community safe.'

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