Alex Sims was in labor, worrying about a possible C-section, when the doctor arrived. Instead of allaying her fears, his banter with the nurses only made the expectant mom more concerned.
While Sims was preparing to give birth, her doctor was enjoying a few drinks at a local bar’s happy hour. Now, the angry mom says the doctor’s impaired judgment caused a lifelong injury to her son.
As KTNV News reports, Sims’s ob-gyn was out of town when she was induced, leaving the mom at the mercy of Sunrise Hospital’s doctor on call, Dr. Frank DeLee.
The Sims family was recording the birth on a camera phone and caught the shocking interchange between DeLee and a nurse. Unaware that he was being taped, Dr. DeLee made it clear that he was drinking right before his arrival:
“Wasn’t that many people in the bar when I left.”
The nurse then asks whether DeLee had to “waste a drink,” and follows up with a question about his beverage of choice:
“So… Is Belvedere that you just had to pour out? Is that what…?”
Dr. DeLee’s responded:
Later conversations between the nurses and doctor confirm that Dr. DeLee was at happy hour when he was called to the hospital for Sims’s delivery. Whats more, it appears he had been there for some time. At one point, a nurse can be heard saying:
“He’s been at happy hour since he left my C-section.”
Sims’s mother, Sheree, tells KTNV that it was actually her comment about the smell of alcohol that triggered the staff’s discussion about the doctor’s happy hour habits:
“I smelled alcohol. That’s what preceded the conversation about him coming from the bar. Because I said, ‘Oh, he smells like alcohol.'”
The doctor’s appearance during the procedure wasn’t comforting either. In the video, he appears to be barefooted and wearing shorts underneath his coat.
Sims remembers that DeLee’s manner during the delivery was equally unappealing. She tells KTNV:
“I kept telling the doctor I can feel everything. I think the epidural wore off. And he’s like, ‘Oh just scoot your fat ass down’ and ‘Oh, I bet you wish your doctor would have came back in town.'”
The video corroborates Sims’s account of the doctor’s statements during her labor. For this Nevada mom, it turned the experience of her son’s birth into a bewildering and upsetting time:
“It was just jaw dropping. I just couldn’t fathom why all this was going on in the midst of me having a child.”
But the unpleasant experience alone isn’t why Sims is now suing Dr. DeLee, the nurses, and Sunrise Hospital.
Sims says that DeLee’s rough handling of her son during the delivery caused permanent nerve damage to the boy’s arm. Her lawsuit cites medical experts who say that DeLee used “inappropriate techniques” in pulling on the baby’s arms during delivery. The doctor allegedly compounded the problem by failing to diagnose the shoulder injury he’d caused.
KTNV later learned that this isn’t the first time that DeLee has been accused of malpractice. Moreover, the doctor once settled a suit for a negligent birth which resulted in the same shoulder injury as in the Sims case.
Alex Sims says that she’s standing up for her son and trying to prevent another mom from the same awful situation. As she tells KTNV:
“It’s very surprising because if he has a track record, I don’t understand why he still has a license to practice.”