SHARE: The NAD Sues Johnson City Medical Center


Today, the NAD filed a new lawsuit against an organization called the Mountain States Health Alliance, which runs a number of hospitals, including Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, TN. That’s in eastern Tennessee. We’ve sued this organization because it refused to provide in-person interpreters and only provided a VRI machine that was not effective. The story is about a girl named Sydnei Cantrell (shows sign name). Sydnei is hearing, but her parents are deaf. Their names are Chris Cantrell and Donna Cantrell. One day, Sydnei became ill and decided to go to the hospital. Her parents accompanied her. They arrived at the hospital, which assessed Sydnei’s health and found that she was indeed seriously ill. She had cancer and might die. Sydnei remained hospitalized for a very long time – a total of 115 days over a period of six months. At the end of this six-month period, she passed away. During this six-month period, Sydnei’s parents stayed by her side day and night. They supported her, took care of her, comforted her, and helped her make important medical decisions. Unfortunately, the hospital refused to communicate with the parents. It refused to provide in-person interpreters. When the hospital did provide VRI, the VRI did not work. During this six months, a few particularly serious incidents happened. For example, one day, the mother was with Sydnei, supporting her at the hospital. A doctor came in and said something to Sydnei. She burst into tears – she was hysterical. The mother didn’t know what had happened. Sydnei was too upset to explain. The doctor had left, and the mother couldn’t understand him anyway. The mother didn’t know what to do. Later, the mother learned that the doctor had told Sydnei that she had no chance to live; it was certain she would die. The NAD is partnering with an organization called Disability Rights Tennessee. We have sued Johnson City Medical Center and the Mountain States Health Alliance, seeking an order stating that they failed to comply with the ADA and Section 504, requiring them to provide interpreters on site for deaf individuals going forward, and requiring them to help the parents heal from their experience. If you have any question or concerns, you may contact us through the following: 301-587-1788 and [email protected]

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