Nurse Charged With Amputating a Patient’s Foot Appears in Court
On Tuesday, a Wisconsin nurse made her first court appearance to face charges for amputating a man’s foot. In an earlier blog, we shared the initial news report about the victim, including how he was first admitted to the Spring Valley Health and Rehab Center in March 2022 after suffering a fall at home. The nurse, Mary K. Brown of Durand, aged 38 years, faces felony charges of abuse of an elder person and mayhem. If Brown is convicted, she faces up to a 46-year prison term and up to $100,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint that was filed, the man suffered severe frostbite on both of his feet at home because the heat was not turned on. An assessment of the man’s feet determined the tissue was necrotic. His right foot was reportedly severe enough that only a tendon and approximately two inches of skin kept it attached.
According to a recent news article, the filed complaint includes a statement from Brown’s coworkers. They say she told two nurses during a shift change that she was “going to cut off the victim’s foot for comfort.” The statement says the two nurses told her not to do this. Coworkers also state that they observed the patient’s foot was still attached to his leg on the morning of May 27.
That same day, Brown went to attend to the man’s foot and change his bandages. Two certified nurses accompanied her. However, one of the nursing assistants who accompanied her said that instead of changing his bandages, Brown amputated the man’s foot. According to the complaint, Brown removed the man’s foot, but she had neither a doctor’s order to do so nor permission from the male patient in her care.
According to a nursing assistant, he did not appear to be in pain while his foot was being amputated. However, another nurse spoke to an investigator about what happened and said the man had told her afterward that “he felt everything and it hurt very bad.”
Judge Elizabeth Rohl, who heard the charges, set a $150,000 signature bond for Brown. What this means is that the bond exists, however, she does not have to pay the funds up front. However, if she fails to appear for any scheduled court appearance, she could then be ordered to pay the bail bond in full.
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