The 20-year-old student Samuel Bardwell is a college athlete who suffers from debilitating anxiety and panic attacks who take the prescription drug Klonopin for his condition, and even if he misses a day’s dose, it can have drastic consequences.
“He was on medication for his anxiety but was off his meds for two days because he couldn’t get to the pharmacy before it closed,” his father, Donald Bardwell, told The Mercury News.
Bardwell’s condition became so bad at the end of the two days without meds that he collapsed during summer basketball practice after suffering a panic attack. Bardwell was immediately rushed to El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos, California by paramedics after examining him at the scene.
“He wasn’t looking too good,” his coach, Scott Eitelgeorge, said. “It looked like he was having a pretty severe anxiety attack. Sam played for maybe five minutes before he had to step out. He collapsed on the grass outside the weight room. When we went outside he tried to get up but fell back down.”
Bardwell’s dad, Donald, followed closely behind the paramedics and met his son at the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, Donald expected to be met with professionalism and empathy – however, they received quite the opposite treatment.
The suffering patient and his dad were shockingly met with harassment and humiliation by one of the hospital’s physicians, Dr. Beth Keegstra – and it was all caught on tape. Since the release of the horrifying video below, Dr. Beth Keegstra has since been suspended.
“They treated us like we were there just to get drugs,” Donald Bardwell said. “We were there for four hours and the doctor finally came in with a security guard. She didn’t even say hello or ask why he was there, just came in with guns blazing. That’s why I started the video,” Bardwell’s father said.
In the video, you can clearly hear Dr. Keegstra’s disgusting comments toward Bardwell. “I’m sorry sir, you are the least sick of all the people who are here who are dying,” Keegstra can be heard saying. “He can’t inhale. Wow! You must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don’t understand. You are breathing just fine.”
As if the comments weren’t horrific enough, the doctor then grabs Bardwell’s arm, yanking it, telling him that he’s “full of shit.” Thankfully, there was a nurse on staff that had the wherewithal to do a drug test on Bardwell to rule out any drug abuse. Of course, there were no drugs in his system.
“They did not give him Klonopin,” Donald Bardwell said. “All he needed was a pill or two until he could get his prescription.”
After the release of the video, Keegstra was removed from the hospital schedule.
“We take this matter very seriously and the contracted physician has been removed from the work schedule pending further investigation,” El Camino Hospital CEO Dan Woods said in a statement, according to KMOV.
The hospital also said that they’ve contacted Vitality, the contracted provider that employes Keegstra, and asked them to remove her from their list of trusted emergency room doctors.
“We are saddened that a patient in our care was affected by this behavior and are working to ensure this never happens again,” Vituity spokeswoman Allison Kundu said. “We are conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.”