This is a place for members of Home of the Brave to post thoughts, insights, and opinions about events related to the investigation of non-combat deaths of US soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Our loving husband, father, son, and brother has become the latest victim of a routine surgery turned deadly due to medical negligence of hospital base staff. On September 19, 2013 Master Sergeant William D. Cornett went in for a routine tonsillectomy, following the surgery MSGT Cornett was released from the base hospital with discharge instructions. On September 22, 2013, 3 days post-op, MSGT Cornet returned to the base Urgent Care Clinic as instructed on the discharge instructions with chief complaints of fever, night sweats, and spitting up bright red blood. His heart rate and blood pressure were significantly increased over his pre-op heart rate and blood pressure. These are the very symptoms listed on the discharge instructions for him to report back to the hospital and should have been easily recognized by any licensed medical professional as suggestive of an acute process (i.e. active bleed/ hemorrhage and infection). MSGT Cornett was sent home without having any blood work done and without being admitted for 24 hours as an inpatient with monitoring; little did he know what would happen next.
MSGT Cornett progressively got worse of the next few hours, a kind friend drove him back to the base hospital as his pregnant wife stayed home to care for their sick daughter, no one knew that would be the last time they would ever see MSGT up and walking. Upon returning to the base hospital in a “critical state” the staff performed lab work revealing that our loving family member had an infection and was diagnosed with an active bleed. MSGT Cornett was taken in for emergency surgery, but when hospital staff failed numerous times to establish an airway, he hemorrhaged blood into his lungs and his heart stop. It took several minutes to regain a pulse; MSGT Cornett was then transported to an off-base hospital prior to being stabilized for more advanced care; however it was much too late. The off base hospital stabilized MSGT Cornett, but the damage was already done several test revealed that our loving husband, father, son, and brother had suffered severe brain damage as a result of the lack of oxygen to the brain. He died 18 days later after life support was turned down…
MSGT Cornett leaves behind a beautiful 4 year old daughter and a pregnant wife. He was an ideal Airmen serving as a mentor and leader to many Airmen. He was the kind of man we all hope our sons will grow up to be, the kind of father we want as children, and the kind of husband every woman deserves. He led an active healthy lifestyle and spent free time volunteering for local orphanages. His death not only broke the hearts of his immediate family, but broke the hearts of hundreds.
Sadly, MSGT Cornett is not the first victim of military medical negligence and unless change is made he won’t be the last. Below are links to similar cases in which our soldiers died seeking medical care during non-combat, non-hostile, and peace-time conditions. There are multiple other cases, just see the comments left on this petition or search the internet.
These families and our family have been left broken and unable to pursue legal action due to the Feres Doctrine. This doctrine prevents soldiers and their families from suing for medical negligence. It prevents these “negligent” medical professionals from being held accountable for their actions even when they blatantly fail to follow the medical standards of care.
Until there is accountability for these military medical professionals equivalent to that of their civilian counterparts or in a criminal court of law; the incidences of these egregious deaths of our brave service members and their families will continue to increase.
Please help to protect our military families. Help us to Revoke the Feres Doctrine and hold military medical personnel accountable to the same standards as their civilian counterparts during non-hostile, non-combat, and peacetime operations/conditions.