Family: Heart Attack Victim Moved for Michael Jackson Feb. 25, 2005 — A woman who had suffered a massive heart attack died after hospital personnel moved her out of a trauma room to accommodate a flu-stricken Michael Jackson, the patient’s family said. Jury selection in Jackson’s child molestation child had to be temporarily postponed Feb. 15 when the pop star was taken to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, Calif., complaining of flu-like symptoms. Manuela Gomez Ruiz, a 74-year-old grandmother, was moved from the primary trauma room and taken off the machine ventilator, with her breathing instead assisted manually by hand pump, until she was relocated to a smaller room nearby, her family told ABC News. The larger room was kept for Jackson, the family says. Hospital records show Jackson, 46, told emergency room staff he had severe abdominal pain. His body temperature, 96.9 degrees, was below normal and he had tears in his eyes. The initial emergency room report said he could go home anytime. There was no doubt Jackson was sick — as a doctor assured the judge presiding over his trial — but how sick? Anna Ruiz, Ruiz’s daughter-in-law, says she watched as Jackson entered the emergency room. “He walked in,” she said. “When I saw him, he was walking unassisted.” Anna Ruiz was in the emergency room with her mother-in-law who was in the primary trauma room, attached to IVs and a ventilator. “It’s a large family and the mom is the heart of the family, ” she said. Ruiz was a mother of eight, grandmother of 24 and great-grandmother of 26. But Ruiz’s heart was failing rapidly. She would have two more heart attacks before she died that day. The family has hired an attorney to sue both the hospital and Jackson. ‘They Shouldn’t Have Treated Us Any Different’ Maria Elena Ortiz, the ailing woman’s daughter, said she was in the room when Jackson came in. She was also present when her mother was moved and objected. “Why does she have to be moved if he’s coming in for a stomach flu?” Ortiz said. “I said, ‘My mother just had a heart attack and I think it’s more critical than a stomach flu.’ They didn’t say anything.” No one knows if moving Ruiz added to her trauma, but family members said they were told her heart was functioning at 30 percent and other organs were failing. But they say the chaos caused by Jackson’s arrival distracted staff, and robbed them of precious time with their mother and grandmother as she died. When Ruiz was moved to a smaller room, the family says equipment had to be crammed into the room. They also were limited to two visitors at a time. Once those visitors were in the room they could not leave and let other family members in because the hospital restricted movement in the hallways after Jackson arrived, the family says. “This was the last time we might be able to talk with our grandma. They took that from us,” said Marcos Meraz, one of Ruiz’s grandsons. Meraz said the hospital could have given Jackson privacy without imposing restrictions on Ruiz’s family. “They shouldn’t have treated us any different,” he said. “Close the door, keep him in the room, let us spend time with our grandma. We weren’t there for him. We were there for my grandma.” Family Struggles With Funeral Costs The family is adamant in saying that they have nothing against Michael Jackson. But Anna Ruiz believes that if someone with the flu can take precedence over someone with a heart attack, the hospital’s policy “needs to be changed.” The hospital expressed its deepest sympathy to the Ruiz family for its loss. In a statement to ABC News, hospital officials said patient privacy laws prohibit any comment on patient care, but “we are confident, however, that our patients have and continue to receive high-quality compassionate and timely care.” [b]Jackson’s publicist, Raymone K. Bain, issued the following statement: “Michael Jackson sends his condolences to the family of the deceased. However, it is outrageous that Michael Jackson’s name would be invoked into a situation of which he had no authority or control. It appears that ABC is deliberate in its attempt to circumvent Michael Jackson from receiving a fair trial.” In the meantime, the Ruiz family says it has struggled to find a way to pay for the funeral. [/b]Family members told ABC News they have had to take out a loan to pay for funeral costs. Reported by ABC News’ Jim Avila on “Good Morning America.” Source: http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/MichaelJackson/story?id=529513&page=1 :nav [url=http://forums.mjeol.com/showthread.php?t=4731]Your comments?[/url]

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