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Family’s fight with hospital leads to rally outside St. Elizabeth Hospital

The family of Grace Schara says it wants the truth about how she died after she was brought in for COVID-19 treatment
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 4:21 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2022 at 4:46 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - A Town of Freedom family is fighting Ascension Wisconsin’s St. Elizabeth Hospital over the way they allege their daughter was treated before she died from COVID last October. It led to a rally Friday outside the hospital in support of 19-year-old Grace Schara, who was living with Down syndrome.

Schara, who family members say was not vaccinated, was brought to the hospital when her family says her symptoms of COVID-19 intensified. Days later, she passed away.

But her parents say her death wasn’t caused by COVID. Rather they allege it was the medication she was given and a Do Not Resuscitate (D.N.R.) order which they claim no one from the family ever signed.

We should make it clear these are allegations by the family and not confirmed by the hospital.

Hundreds of people showed up for Friday’s event, which lasted about two hours. It was held across the street from the hospital near a church, and the city blocked off the street so the family could set up a stage to host speakers. Signs were held with Schara’s picture on it. A number of billboards have also gone up across the Fox Valley.

Her parents say she also wasn’t wearing a D.N.R. bracelet, and on the day she passed away the family claims they pleaded with nurses through a Facetime call to step in and revive their daughter.

Schara’s dad, Scott Schara, recalled, “My wife and I hollered to the nurses, ‘Please save our daughter.’ The nurses stood out in the hallway. They would not come in that room. They hollered back, ‘She’s D.N.R., do not resuscitate.’ That’s the first we knew. She’s not. We screamed back, ‘She’s not D.N.R. Save our daughter.’”

Action 2 News reached out to the hospital. Ascension Wisconsin told us it cannot comment out of respect for the individual’s privacy and state and federal laws.

A complaint filed by the family with the Department of Health and Human Services did clear the hospital in regard to patient rights and nursing services, meaning the hospital did nothing wrong.

So far, no lawsuit has been filed.

“We think there will probably be a justice phase of this. We don’t know what that looks like exactly. If there is, we would participate in it. We already said publicly we’re not going to take any money. All we would like to have happen is the death certificate changed to the truth,” Mr. Schara said.

The family of a young Town of Freedom woman says she died days after being admitted for COVID but claims it wasn't COVID that killed her.

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