JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local 70-year-old great-grandmother spent a night in Duval County Jail.
“I stand by my actions 100 percent. I am not sorry that I made them take me out of there in handcuffs,” explains Lynn Savage.
Savage had refused to leave her daughter Amber while she was recovering from brain surgery at UF Health North.
“I could not in good conscience and good heart leave her bedside not knowing how she was going to make it through the night voluntarily.”
Savage says she had been by her daughter’s side at the hospital since 6:30 a.m. Her daughter is non-verbal and partially paralyzed on the right side after suffering a stroke. She was there not only for support but as her interpreter.
She says the doctor asked her to come into her room in the ICU to try and help her daughter calm down post-surgery.
“As soon as I approached the bedside, she was fine. With all these people talking and all these things going on and she doesn’t understand it and not being able to talk, she just was frantic.”
Savage stayed until she says she was told she couldn’t stay any longer.
“The nurse said that the visiting hours were over at seven and I had to leave and I said I’m not going to leave. I want to stay here with my daughter. Can you call the doctor because the doctor is the one that wanted me here with her? And she said no that they couldn’t do that that COVID rules said that visiting hours were over at seven,” exclaims Savage.
As a former deputy sheriff in Stark County, Ohio she knew what would come of her refusing to go.
According to the JSO arrest report, “security officers spent a couple of hours pleading for the suspect, Ms. Lynn Savage, to leave.”
“On 10/04/2021 at 2155 hours, I was dispatched to UF Health located at 15255 Max Leggett Parkway in reference to an individual refusing to leave the hospital after visitation hours ended. Upon arrival, I met UF Health Security Supervisor Marcus Hardaway. He and other security officers spent a couple of hours pleading for the suspect, Ms. Lynn Savage, to leave because visitation was over at 1900 hours. I then approached Ms. Savage in room #3104, where her daughter was recovering from surgery. I explained the reason security called the police for the trespass warning. She understood completely why the police were called. Ms. Savage is a twenty-year retired Deputy with the Stark County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office. She stated she understood but would have to be removed by force. Ms. Savage was cooperative, and I placed her under arrest. Once escorted outside the hospital, I pleaded for Ms. Savage to come to reason, leave and return in the morning when visitation opened at 0900 hours. She refused for the principle that if something happens to her daughter Amber, she was forced to leave her side. Ms. Savage understands the trespass is good for one year.”
“The sheriff’s office came up. They were also very polite. They kept trying to get me to leave and I said I’m not leaving; I’m not going to leave my daughter’s side.”
Savage says she spent roughly 24 hours in jail.
“Not an experience that I would ever want to do again for the rest of my life not ever. It was horrible. It was filthy, it was more like an insane asylum with the women screaming and hollering and banging on bars and banging on walls. It was just terrifying, but I would rather be there than know that I had walked away from my daughter.”
She was booked for trespassing and has a court hearing on October 20. Savage entered a written plea of not guilty on Wednesday. Her daughter did make it through the night, but is still recovering.
UF Health Jacksonville sent us this statement:
“Due to federal HIPAA privacy laws, we cannot comment on inquiries about specific patients. However, UF Health Jacksonville is dedicated to the well-being and safety of everyone who visits our facilities, especially patients and their families. Like health care organizations throughout the country, we have put policies in place to protect everyone from the COVID-19 virus, including patients, visitors and staff. Information about visitation limitations are placed in areas visible to those entering our facilities.”
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