Barbara Dawson

Barbara Dawson was insistent. 

Newly released audio reveals that the 57-year-old was in apparent distress, so she didn't want to leave the Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Fla., CNN reports.


"No, no, no, no," Dawson could be heard saying repeatedly to the officer in the clip that family attorneys released. 

"Please don't let me die!" she added, insisting that she couldn't breathe.

Nonetheless, she was escorted outside, where she collapsed and lay for nearly 20 minutes before she was taken back into the hospital, CNN notes. 

The officer appeared to believe that Dawson was being "noncompliant" and just did not want to leave to go to jail. 

"Falling down like this, laying down, that's not going to stop you from going to jail," the police officer could be heard saying. "This is only making things worse on you."


Later, an unidentified woman could be heard saying, "Ms. Dawson, come on now. There ain't nothing wrong with you."

Dawson had reportedly gone to Calhoun Liberty on Dec. 21, complaining of abdominal pain. Staff at the hospital examined and discharged her, but she refused to budge, saying that she wasn't feeling better. Instead of treating Dawson, hospital workers called the Blountstown Police Department. Officers handcuffed the 57-year-old, intending to escort her out, when she started to protest. 


After she collapsed, she remained on the ground for some 18 minutes while staff monitored her vital signs. Some 90 minutes after the officer arrived, Dawson was declared dead. 

"This is totally different than what she was when I was discharging her,"  a doctor said while waiting for a stretcher so that Dawson could be readmitted, CNN notes. 


As it turns out, Dawson died because of a blood clot in her lungs, a medical examiner's report revealed. 

"A pulmonary embolism is often immediate and fatal," the hospital said in December. "It is difficult to detect and can be impossible to treat."


Family members, however, are not satisfied with those answers and are considering legal action against the hospital and the local police. When asked why Dawson was discharged, family attorney Benjamin Crump said that there were no answers there, either.

"We haven't got a reason at all," he said. "They haven't said anything, other than she was stabilized and she was discharged, so she had to leave."


Crump acknowledged that Dawson had previously gone to Calhoun Liberty and been asked to leave when she tried to bring in someone else for treatment. According to CNN affiliate WTXL, incident reports show that hospital staff had called police several times since 2006 over alleged disturbances involving Dawson. 

Read more at CNN.

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