We put a lot of faith in our doctors. We expect them to comprehend what they’re doing, act professional, and help take care of us.
That’s what Las Vegas mother Alex Sims thought when she went into labor, but when her doctor stepped in, it was clear something was strange.
Alex’s original doctor was on vacation, so she was told on-call obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Frank DeLee would be helping her deliver her baby alternately.
When he came in the room, though, Alex’s mom, Sheree, said she could smell the liquor on his breath. Then Dr. DeLee started speaking about how he had just come from happy hour.
“I smelled alcohol,” Sheree remembered. “That’s what preceded the conversation about him coming from the bar. Because I said, ‘Oh, he smells like alcohol.’”
She started to film the doctor with her phone, and what she caught is truly alarming.
“Wasn’t that many people in the bar when I left,” he explained to one of the nurses.
“I’m sorry. Did you waste a drink?” she asked.
They then began to joke about his favored choice of alcohol – tequila – and one of the nurses noted that DeLee had “been at happy hour since he left my C-section.”
That’s when Sheree realized something that truly startled her – under DrLee’s gown he was barefooted and wearing Bermuda shorts!
Then things got even more dangerous.
“I kept telling the doctor, ‘I can feel everything. I think the epidural wore off,’” Alex remembered. “And he’s like, ‘Oh just scoot your fat ass down,’ and, ‘Oh, I bet you wish your doctor would have came back in town.’”
“It was just jaw-dropping,” she said next. “I just couldn’t fathom why all this was going on in the midst of me having a child.”
If all of that wasn’t already bad enough, when Alex’s son, Jared, finally came out, it was obvious there was something wrong with his arm. Doctors later discovered that DeLee’s harsh delivery had caused Erb’s Palsy – paralysis of the arm due to nerve damage.
Alex now has a lawsuit against DeLee, as well as the nurses, who should have made him leave when they realized the doctor was not fit to be working.
She has since discovered that this was not the first time DeLee has been involved in malpractice. In 2012, he settled a case of “negligent vaginal delivery resulting in shoulder dystocia,” and also has another half dozen stories of potential malpractice that have involved insurance payouts equaling more than $2.7 million.
Now Alex is seeking not only justice for her and her child. She wants to make sure DeLee can’t be in the situation to hurt anyone else.
“Someone needs to be accountable,” she said. “And I just feel like, if I don’t speak up for my child, who will?”