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A 17-year-old Boston student has a stroke in class.  The school nurse argues with his mother to pick him up instead of calling 911.

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A 17-year-old Boston high school student suffered a stroke in class but did not receive the medical assistance he needed after officials called his mother instead of 911.

D’André Hicks with his mother. (Screenshot from CBS Local Video)

The teen’s mother, who is in a wheelchair, is furious, asking why the school nurse didn’t recognize the signs of his failing health when the boy complained of feeling tired and his side was numb.

D’Andre Hicks, a junior at Henderson Inclusion (Upper School) in Dorchester, Mass, fell ill while under the school’s supervision in early May 2022.

After telling his school nurse that he felt ‘weak’, ‘frail’ and ‘numb’, she called his mother Alishia Hicks to pick him up from school, ignoring signs suggesting that the boy had a stroke and the mother’s request for treatment. more immediate help for her child.

“He came to the nurse’s office to report feeling weak, shaking and feeling numb weakness on his left side,” the mother said.

She remembers telling her nurse, “He’ll die if he touches himself, they’re taking too long to dial 911.”

Alishia argues that the school’s top medical professional should have considered first responders reaching the boy first, noting her closeness to school and her inability to move quickly because she is confined to a wheelchair rolling.

Instead, the nurse said to the mother, “Well, my professional, my medical assessment, it doesn’t look like he needs an ambulance, someone should pick him up.”

Eventually the school called 911, which arrived 30-45 minutes after the initial call to the mother – although the teenager was still in crisis. The call was made after the school contacted the Ministry of Children and Families because the mother did not come immediately.

“You could hear the other in the background,” Alishia recalled. “The other nurse said to call DCF.”

Once an ambulance showed up, the young man was taken to Tufts Medical Center where he was diagnosed with an acute ischemic stroke. Doctors stopped the stroke with medication but kept the child for two days.

The mother knew this all along, saying, “Even I know the symptoms of a stroke. Why didn’t the nurse do it?

Boston 25 News reports that Alishia herself has had three strokes in her lifetime. She further explained that her family had a history of strokes.

“Look there’s a little vessel problem on my mum’s side in the family that easily causes a stroke if there’s a blockage it’s so important to get her to the hospital right away because he could die,” she shared.

“Your professional eye may not see the shot,” Alishia said as she tried to communicate. “It’s not visible, but if he tells you he’s weak on the left side, please, at this point, I’m pleading with all the intensity I could muster speechless. If he please take my son to the hospital, please.

D’Andre said: ‘They start arguing with her about it while I’m here fondling the bed trying to stay awake. I was afraid that if I fell asleep or something like that, I was going to fall into a coma or probably for the worse.

His mother says, “He’s not happy with school right now, he doesn’t feel safe there. His words when he was in the hospital, he said ‘Mom, I can’t believe they didn’t believe me.’

Boston school superintendent Brenda Cassellius personally contacted the mother to apologize; Alishia shared. Cassellius told him that the district was already looking into the incident.

In a statement released by Boston Public Schools, officials wanted to clarify that their primary concern is “the health and well-being of this student first.”

“We are happy to hear that he is recovering well,” he continued in part. “This serious incident is under review by appropriate BPS personnel and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further on this specific matter.”

Although the mother acknowledged the superintendent’s awareness, she couldn’t help but think that race had played a role in the school’s response.

His thoughts on race and medical care are consistent with a recent study published by the American Bar Association on “implicit bias and racial disparities in health care.” They claim that “Black people simply don’t receive the same quality of health care as their white counterparts.” His son is proof of that.

The school also issued a statement to the students’ families informing them of the arrival of paramedics on campus. Instead of referencing D’André’s plight, they shared with parents that paramedics were called to support a student having a diabetic episode.

Neither the school nor the DCF issued a public statement, but did confirm that the Hicks incident was under investigation.

No word on whether the family will file a civil rights lawsuit, alleging their rights have been violated.

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