A 70-year-old Florida mother was sentenced to prison for putting her daughters’ wellbeing ahead of COVID-19 regulations.
When Lynn Savage’s daughter Amber was recovering from brain surgery at UF Health North in Jacksonville, she ran afoul of hospital rules. She was arrested and imprisoned after refusing to leave her daughter’s side, Western Journal reported.
“I stand by my actions 100 percent. I am not sorry that I made them take me out of there in handcuffs,” Savage said, according to WJAX-TV.
“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,” she said.
Savage had been in the hospital since 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 4, the day she was detained. After a stroke, her daughter was partially paralyzed and unable to talk. She mentioned that a doctor requested her assistance in calming her daughter following the 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,” she said.
When it was time to leave the hospital, though, Savage allegedly refused.
“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,'” she told Action News Jax. “‘ 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.”
She resisted until Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived to take her away.
“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,” she said.
“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,” reads an arrest report viewed by Action News Jax. “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.”
Savage was taken away at 10 p.m., according to a sheriff’s office report. She said she was in jail for about a day.
“Not an experience that I would ever want to do again for the rest of my life, not ever,” she said. “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.”
Savage’s trespassing accusation will be heard in court on Oct. 20, according to Fox5Atlanta.
In a statement to Action News Jax, UF Health Jacksonville said, “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,” it added.