The body of Timesha Beauchamp, a Detroit woman diagnosed with cerebral palsy, was sent to a funeral home where she was discovered alive Aug. 23. She was reportedly in a body bag for two hours at the James H Cole funeral home.
Last week, the state suspended the license of Southfield firefighter and paramedic Michael Storms, who was part of the four-member team that responded to Beauchamp’s home after her family called 911 to report she was experiencing breathing problems.
After lifesaving efforts failed, the paramedics called a doctor, who declared her dead over the phone. Southfield fire Chief Johnny Menifee said he believes his paramedics followed proper procedure and that the 20-year-old Beauchamp could be alive because of “Lazarus syndrome,” a reference to people who come back to life without assistance after attempts to resuscitate have failed.
Still, he said the incident remains under investigation. Another paramedic, Scott Rickard, also was suspended over the incident. Letters of intent to suspend the licenses of the other two paramedics at the scene were served by the state.
All four have been placed on leave. A hearing for the men is scheduled for Tuesday. Regulators listed a series of missteps allegedly made by Storms during the Aug. 23 response.
He stopped lifesaving efforts six minutes before getting permission from a doctor over the phone. Storms also went back into the home when family members said Beauchamp appeared to be breathing and had a pulse, regulators said.
A monitor placed on Beauchamp showed electrical activity and revealed she “was not deceased.” Apparently, no action was taken.
Beauchamp remains hospitalized in critical condition. The family’s lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, said only her brain stem is functioning.
“This appears be one of the worst cases of gross negligence that I’ve ever encountered,” Fieger said Thursday. “She wasn’t dying or near death. Had they got her to the hospital, none of this would have happened.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.