November 1, 2020

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Sacramento family claims improper care at Sutter Health put loved one on life support

The victim’s family says doctors did not follow proper procedures, which they say resulted in Keona Hankston now being on life support.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento family is demanding justice from Sutter Health doctors and officials after they say one of their loved ones is on life support due to complications from COVID-19 and a pregnancy.

Keona Hankston’s family held a press conference outside Sutter Health to demand an explanation from hospital administration. The family of the 23-year-old allege Hankston, who was six months pregnant, went to the hospital for stomach pain on July 19. 

According to family, Hankston tested positive for COVID-19 while at the hospital. They say doctors soon recommended she have an emergency C-section.

“A few days later she was fine, feeling better, it was unbelievable,” Hankston’s cousin and family spokesperson Pastor Leon Scoggins said. 

According to Scoggins, Hankston was recovering quickly, but a few days later, doctors said she needed surgery to remove a blood clot. That’s where the proper procedures weren’t followed, Scoggins said. 

According to Scoggins and other family members, the surgery was performed in inadequate conditions.

“The doctor didn’t give us the proper explanations. I work in the medical field and I know something wasn’t quite right,” Hankston’s sister Regina Gadlin said during Monday’s press conference.

“An hour operation became a 7-hour operation,” Gadlin said. “They told me all they had to was to take out a blood clot and that it could be done in the bedside,” she explained. 

However, Gadlin says doctors changed their explanation just a day later.  

“A day later they called it something else, they said it was a hematoma,” she added. “I asked them to call me before they did any procedure, asking to speak to the anesthesiologist, but I haven’t been able to talk to anyone.”

Hankston’s family says because the doctors did not follow proper procedures she is now being on life support. 

“I can assure you COVID-19 was not the cause of my sister becoming brain dead,” Gadlin said fighting back tears. “To the doctors at Sutter Health Medical Center, what would you have done differently had she not been black?”

According to the family, Hankston’s case is only one of many happening across the state. They claim black lives are not only being taken by officers, but also by the mishandling of some doctors. 

“This is not OK. We will not be silent,” Scoggins said.

A Sutter Health spokesperson sent ABC10 the following statement:

“Providing compassionate, safe patient care is our highest priority and the core of our mission. Our commitment to patient privacy, as well as legal requirements, prevent us from providing additional information.”

Hankston’s family told ABC10 they haven’t been able to communicate with hospital administration for several days. 

“All we want is for the hospital to admit it was their fault,” Scoggins said.

“There were too many inconsistencies in the care that my sister received,” Gadlin added.

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Read more from ABC10

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