Marlin hospital administrator sues Providence after stroke


The longtime administrator of Falls Community Hospital is suing a Waco hospital, claiming officials there failed to give him medication that could have prevented him from having a stroke after a medical procedure in August 2015.

Willis Reese, 78, is seeking more than $1 million in his medical malpractice lawsuit, filed Friday in Waco’s 170th State District Court against Providence Health Services of Waco.

Providence spokeswoman Erin Rogers declined comment Monday, saying the hospital does not comment on pending litigation.

Reese’s attorney, Dale D. Williams, also declined comment on the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Reese, who was 76 at the time, was admitted to Providence Health Center in Waco with symptoms of shortness of breath and a rapid pulse, which were related to a preliminary diagnosis of atrial flutter.

After he was admitted following treatment in the emergency room, a doctor ordered that Reese be given the drug Lovenox, an anticoagulant to prevent the development of blood clots.

The lawsuit claims “it does not appear in the records that Lovenox was administered” as ordered.

The next day, a cardiology consultant from Austin treated Reese and again, Lovenox was ordered to be given to Reese.

“Again, there is no documentation in the medical records that this anticoagulant was ever given,” the lawsuit contends.

The doctor performed a successful procedure to restore Reese’s heart to normal rhythm. Later that day, the doctor discontinued the order for Lovenox, “the anticoagulant that had not been given,” and replaced it with an order for Xarelto, which the lawsuit describes as “a new oral anticoagulant intended to prevent stroke.”

The doctor’s order was not carried out and Reese was not given Xarelto with his evening meal, the suit claims.

Reese remained in the hospital overnight and was seen by a nurse practitioner the next morning. The nurse practitioner again ordered Xarelto to prevent Reese from having a stroke.

“This order was not carried out, as the nurse withheld Xarelto because she had already administered a drug called Plavix. Plavix had been ordered to be discontinued prior to the administration on the morning of August 19, however, this order was not followed,” according to the lawsuit.

Also, the suit claims, the doctor was not contacted about the decision to withhold Xarelto.

Reese’s wife drove him home to Marlin later that morning and he suffered a stroke while taking a nap.

“It was only after he was brought back to the defendant’s hospital that it was discovered that plaintiff had not received the stroke preventing drugs ordered by the physicians,” the suit charges.

The suit claims the hospital was negligent in its care and treatment of Reese and failed to meet the proper standard of care.

Reese, who still works part-time at the Marlin hospital, suffered physical impairment and weakness to one side of his body; physical pain and mental anguish; loss of earning capacity; and past and future medical expenses, the lawsuit says.