Published 2021-12-01
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Turned Off A Strangers Life-Support! A Murder Or A Hospital Mistake?

One of the most difficult moments in someone’s life is having to make a decision whether to pull the plug on the life support that is keeping their loved one alive. It is a tough decision, which is often aided by the doctors who weigh in on whether there is a chance a person will get better. But can you imagine making this heartbreaking decision to turn off the life support of your family member only to then be told that it was a complete stranger? That is exactly what happened to a woman from New York who thought she said goodbye to her brother but it turned out to be someone else. What exactly happened that led to this? Where was the woman’s brother? And who is the man who lost his life? Read on to find out this shocking story.

40-Year-Old Man Rushed To Hospital

This whole shocking story took place when 40-year-old Freddy Clarence Williams was admitted to the St. Barnabas Hospital hospital in New York City. He was unconscious from an apparent drug overdose. The man had his Social Security card on him, and it identified him by that name, yet the hospital contacted Shirell Powell telling her that her brother Frederick Williams who is also 40 but has no middle name, was admitted to the Bronx hospital and that he was near death’s door. Soon enough, the people believed to be his loved ones, would go through some of the worst moments of their life. Read on to find out what happened next.

Shirell Powell Visits Her “Brother”

Upon receiving the news, the woman who has not heard from her brother for weeks rushed to the hospital. When she first came into the room at first she wasn’t 100% convinced that it was her younger brother but despite the tubes in his mouth, the neck brace, and some swelling on his face, he did resemble her brother and so that woman accepted it. And since the man was unconscious, he couldn’t say otherwise.

The Terrible News

She stayed by her ‘brothers’ side, caring for him, and after two days of tests, the doctors at St. Barnabas told her that he was brain-dead. As the woman recalled, speaking to the press, given that it was her little brother it was really hurtful and she was hurt, crying and screaming and calling everybody. Then with no hope for the man’s recovery, she had contacted relatives who lived in the South, telling them to come and say their goodbyes to Frederick. Did no one notice that the man in question wasn’t who the doctors said he was? Read on to find out.

Some Doubts About The Man’s Identity

When Shirell’s sister arrived and saw the man on the bed for the first time, she had questioned whether it was really their sibling. As Powell recounted, when she first walked into the room the other woman said “That is not my brother” and when asked what made her think that she said he was much bigger than Frederick. But as she walked closer she too saw the resemblance and so no one else questioned his identity. It was several weeks later, with her family by her side, the woman had signed off and authorized the hospital to turn off the life support of Frederick Williams.

Many Tears And Mourning

As you can imagine, this was a devastating moment for the whole family, but it was especially difficult on the man’s two daughters Brooklyn (17) and Star (18). The teens were living in Virginia and had traveled to NYC to say goodbye to the man they believed was their father. However, once the family was getting ready for the funeral, they had received a call that changed everything. Following an autopsy, the Medical Examiner’s Office called them with the news that the man in question was in fact a stranger by the name of Freddy Clarence Williams. Speaking about what had happened, the woman said, “I nearly fainted because I killed somebody that I didn’t even know. I gave consent.” However, she said the person who called them with the news did so just in time otherwise they would have buried someone else. But what exactly happened to Shirell’s brother? Find out on the next page.

Where Is Her Brother?

Finding out that the man whose life-support she agreed to turn off and whom she had mourned over was not her brother, left Powell even more devasted as she didn’t know where her brother was. Then, as it turned out, the actual Frederick Williams was at Rikers Island jail on an assault arrest. The woman went to the Manhattan Supreme Court for her sibling’s next hearing weeks later just so that she could lay eyes on him and be sure that it really was her brother. When she did see him, she was very relieved and as soon as she could, she got in touch with Frederick.

Conversation With Her Brother

Once the man was back at Rikers Island she called him on the phone and as you can imagine, they had quite a conversation about Shirell pulling the plug on him. But as it turns out, at first he was a little surprised that she would do such a thing but then once she explained to him that once you’re brain-dead there is nothing else that can be done, he forgave her. However, was angry at the hospital that such a thing even had happened and that his family was put through such an ordeal. But speaking of the hospital, have they accepted the blame? Find out on the next page.

Lawsuit Filed & Hospitals Response

As a result of what has happened, the woman has not been able to sleep, constantly thinking about the entire ordeal and how she pulled the plug on some complete stranger. Since then she has been suffering emotionally and has been going to therapy. Due to all this, the woman decided to file a lawsuit against the hospital for unspecified damages. According to CNN, her lawyer admitted that there was a resemblance between the two men but that it does not absolve the hospital of wrongdoing, noting that they neglected to check details that would have shown the two were completely different people as the dates of birth and social security numbers were different. However, in light of the pending lawsuit, the St. Barnabas Hospital spokesperson has claimed that they believe there is no merit to their claims.

Who Is The Man That Died?

And while for the family of Frederick Williams, everything had turned out to be alright, given that their loved one was alive, there is still the question of who was the man who died? Powell, through her lawyer, wanted to get more information about Freddy Clarence Williams and/or his family so that she could send them her condolences, however, the Medical Examiner’s Office had denied her request citing privacy concerns. However, according to the latest updates on the case, as per CNN, the man remains a mystery as no family or close ones have come forward to claim him. As of now, it is not known how Powell’s lawsuit will end or if it already has, but it will not be up to the court to decide who was at fault here, a distressed family member who took the hospital’s word or whether the doctors should have double and triple-checked their work before telling someone their loved one was on the verge of death.

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