Nurse hired by DOE killed our disabled son: suit

Nurse hired by DOE killed our disabled son: suit

February 19, 2019

A devastated Queens family is suing the city Department of Education for $21 million, saying a careless therapist dislodged their disabled son’s breathing tube — sending him into cardiac arrest and ultimately killing him.

“For 12 years, we took care of him. Right now, our life is empty without him,’’ a weeping Sultana Rahman, the mom of deceased 12-year-old Sajid Rahman, told The Post.

“I want justice for my son and I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

The Ozone Park boy had cerebral palsy after suffering from bacterial meningitis as a baby.

He was confined to a wheelchair and required a tracheostomy tube to breath — but was otherwise a healthy and happy kid, beloved by his parents and youngster sister.

A private nurse paid for by the department cared for Sajid while he attended PS/IS295 in Queens Village, where he also underwent daily physical therapy, according to the suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court last week.

But the treatment designed to help Sajid turned deadly on Nov. 27, 2017, when the nurse was distracted and DOE-employed occupational therapist Donna Kosina tried to remove the boy from a harness that kept him in the wheelchair to get him ready for that day’s session, the suit alleges.

Instead of pulling the harness the correct way, by unclipping it sideways, she tried to pull it over his head — and dislodged the tube in the process, the papers state.

“He began to gasp for air. [The nurse] said, ‘Stop!’ But she couldn’t see if the trach had dislodged — it had dislodged internally. He evolved into respiratory arrest,” said the family’s attorney, Carmine Rubino.

Sajid was rushed to nearby Cohen Children’s Medical Center and placed on a ventilator, but the damage was too great, and he was taken off life support three days later.
Sultana said she was only informed that her son was in the hospital from the nurse.

“His school never told me in person. They did not follow up later on after the accident happened. They never followed up with me about anything. I’m so furious,” she said.

“My son didn’t have any voice. He couldn’t tell me what happened.”

The family is suing both the Department of Education and Kosina for emotional and financial damages.

The department is doing its own investigation and has interviewed Sultana, but the family says it hasn’t seen the report.

Rubino says he also hasn’t heard of any disciplinary measures taken against Kosina, and the DOE refused to say if it’s still employing her.

City records show the department paid her more than $76,000 in 2018, according to online database See Through NY.

When reached by phone, Kosina said, “I don’t have any information,” and hung up.

The city’s law department said in a statement: “The loss of a child is a tragedy no family should endure. We’ll review the lawsuit.”

Additional reporting by Ruth Brown and Selim Algar

Source: Read Full Article