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Mother demands answers after school waited to call 911 after son had stroke

Mother demands answers after school waited to call 911 after son had stroke
Mother demands answers after school waited to call 911 after son had stroke 02:08

BOSTON - A Mattapan mother is demanding answers from Boston Public Schools. She says her son was having a stroke at school and instead of calling 911, they called her to come pick him up.

D'Andre Hicks is 17-year-old junior at the Henderson Upper School in Dorchester. "In the situation I do feel kind of like I was let down a little bit," D'Andre said.

The situation was when he suffered a stroke while in class last week.

His mother, Alishia Hicks, says the school called for her to come pick up D'Andre, but she repeatedly asked them to dial 911. "He's going to die if he's stroking, they're taking too long to dial 911," Alishia said.

She says once the nurse described how her son was feeling, she immediately was concerned he had a stroke. "He came to the nurse's office to report that he was feeling weak, shaky and that he felt numb weakness on his left side," Alishia said.

Because she uses a wheelchair, Alishia knew 911 could get him help faster. She is frustrated the school officials put off calling for help.

"She said, 'well my professional, my medical evaluation, it doesn't look like he needs an ambulance somebody should come pick him up,'" Alishia said.

She said after more than 30 minutes, the school called for an ambulance. Her son was treated at Tufts Medical Center for an acute ischemic stroke.

Alishia is speaking out because she believes the situation could have been a lot worse. "Even I know the symptoms of a stroke. Why didn't the nurse? So that's what I would want the school department to emphasize better training," she said.

Boston Public Schools released a statement: "Our concern is first with the health and well-being of this student. We are glad to hear he is recovering well. This serious incident is being reviewed by appropriate BPS staff and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further on this specific matter."

Alishia said Boston School Superintendent Brenda Cassellius personally reached out to her with an apology, stressing the district is looking further into the incident. 

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