The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 20, 2013

Justice for Caylee

Mother fights against 'negligence' after daughter's death

By CALVIN ADKINS
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

TARBORO — A former Edgecombe County mother is blaming a military hospital for the unexpected death of her 16-month-old daughter last August 21 and she is preparing to get justice by any means necessary.

On that dreadful day, Timika Hall said she took her daughter, Caylee, to the emergency room at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson, Colo. where her daughter never received medical attention. She died in her husband's arms in the waiting room.

The story has garnered national attention including a telephone interview on a syndicated radio show, "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," and it was also published in the Army Times.

On the day of the incident, Hall, a 1997 graduate of North Edgecombe High School, was living in Colorado with her husband, Clifford Hall, who was assigned to a military base in Colorado Springs. The couple is now stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

Caylee's painful death has prompted Hall and her family to form Caylee's Heart Foundation to help raise awareness to hospital atrocities that lead to negligent deaths and also heart diseases. Caylee's Heart Foundation first event is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Bowling Center of Rocky Mount. The Hall family will fly from Illinois to Rocky Mount to attend the event.

"I felt like I had to have the first fundraiser at home," Timika said. "The people at home gave me so much support plus, I wanted a place that didn't seem so strange."

Unfortunately, Hall felt like she didn't get support from Evans Army Community Hospital. She said Caylee’s father took her to the emergency department because she was sick. She was diagnosed with a virus and was sent back home.

Later on that day, Caylee's health deteriorated and her parents took her back to Evans' emergency department.  

"It was a mother's instinct," Timika said. "I knew something was not right."

Within an hour, Caylee was dead.

"As we were sitting in the room waiting for a doctor to come, Caylee passed out," Timika said. "I rushed to the nurses' station and told them that Caylee had passed out and that we needed a doctor ASAP. They just gave me blank stares, but no one came to help us. I returned to the room to find Caylee in her dad's arm and he was trying to keep her alert by rubbing her back and calling her name. Well, it didnt work. Caylee went totally limp — like a rag doll.

"I went back to the nurses station again and told them that Caylee had passed out and that we needed a doctor. No one came. By the time the doctor and nurse made it to the room, my princess had taken her last breath. I saw my baby's eyes open the widest I had seen them open in two days. I saw life leaving my baby and as a mommy, I couldn't help her. My husband and I watched our baby die and not a sole in the hospital helped her until it was too late. It is so hard. You leave and go to the hospital with your child and you go back home without her.

Things would get even worse for the couple. Although the couple had insurance, they had to borrow money to pay for the funeral expenses. Timika explained that because of a delayed autopsy report, the insurance company did not release funds. The couple also wanted Caylee's final resting place to be in her mother's hometown, which created an enormous charge. To make matters even worse, a doctor told the couple that Caylee had Myocarditis, a rare heart disease. It wasn't so much of him telling them the cause of death, but how he told them.

"He just came out and said, 'She was going to die anyway.'" Timika said. "He said it without tact. That's wasn't right. Those are the reasons that I've started the Caylee's Heart Foundation. It is a charity organization that will raise funds for research, education, care and awareness campaigns aimed to prevent hospital negligence and bring awareness to a rare form of heart diseases like Myocarditis."

Along with her parents, Caylee is survived by her sister, Destini and two brothers, Damion and Malik.

For more information or to make donations go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/justice-4-caylee?c=pledges