This is Barbara Dawson. She lived in Bristol, Florida, a town about an hour away from us.
Ms. Dawson died yesterday at Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida. She was transported there Sunday night by ambulance after complaining of stomach pain. On Monday morning the attending physician at the community not-for-profit hospital discharged her. When Ms. Dawson complained and stated she felt she needed to stay because she did not feel well, hospital staff banned her and had her arrested.
Blountstown police were called to the hospital just before 5 am Monday morning and officers put Ms. Dawson in handcuffs and escorted her from the building, but Ms. Dawson didn’t even make it into the patrol car before she collapsed. She later was pronounced dead. The cause of death has been ruled blood clots to the lungs.
The local news have so far made hay of Ms. Dawson’s body size, the number of times she’s sought medical treatment from local hospitals, and her behavior at the hospital that some see as disruptive but to me looks like someone trying to stand up for herself. Why does all that matter anyway?
It’s Christmas, the holiest time of year for Christians, and that man whose birth we’re celebrating said that all are precious and worthy.
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
But we’re not all precious, are we? If black, or fat, or old, or lack health insurance, if dare speak up for ourselves, then we are not as worthy. Then it’s OK to deny care, disparage us, arrest us, and then, when when we die, throw up up your hands and say, “oh well, I tried.”
Here’s a news flash, people: Jesus doesn’t care if there is or isn’t a “War on Christmas,” but he does care that we love and take care of each other.
Matthew 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Rest in peace, Ms. Dawson.