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Florida woman claims her daughter died because emergency responders haggled over ambulance price tag

A mom says her daughter died because ambulance workers were more worried if she could pay for the ride to the hospital than trying to save her life. (OgnjenO/Getty Images)

A Tampa, Florida, woman believes her ill daughter died because emergency crews appeared more interested in whether she could afford the ambulance ride than they were in trying to save her life.

What happened?

Nicole Black called 911 earlier this month after finding her daughter, Crystle Galloway, slumped over the bathtub with her lips swollen and drooling from the mouth, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Galloway, 30, gave birth by Caesarean section six days earlier and when she came to, she started screaming, “Mommy, my head!” Black said.

Black, 53, claims that Hillsborough County deputies and paramedics arrived on the scene and questioned whether her daughter could afford to pay $600 for an ambulance ride to a hospital about three blocks away. They also suggested she had been drinking, the report stated.

“My daughter begged for her life,” Black said, the outlet reported. “The only thing they worried about was my daughter had a new baby and she couldn’t afford an ambulance.”

No one asked if she had insurance, which she did, according to Black.

Black said she pleaded with the crew to take her daughter to Brandon Regional Hospital, then finally decided to drive her herself after about 10 minutes passed. A CT scan at the hospital showed her daughter had bleeding in her brain.

The mother of three went into a coma and died on July 9, five days before her birthday, the report stated.

What did the paramedics say?

Four Hillsborough County Fire Rescue paramedics — Lt. John Morris, 36; medic Justin Sweeney, 36; medic Andrew Martin, 28, and acting Lt. Cortney Barton, 38, — were placed on leave for allegedly failing to take Galloway’s vital signs.

They face a disciplinary hearing Tuesday, according to published reports.

But they have a different take on what happened. All four paramedics gave written statements that indicated deputies Jacob Lamb and Michael Black had already spoken to Nicole Black and she said she would drive her daughter to the hospital. They maintain that she said they only wanted them to help get her down three flights of stairs and into the car.

A separate investigation by the sheriff’s office cleared both Officers Lamb and Michael Black of any wrongdoing, according to reports.

But Nicole Black believes the paramedics should lose their jobs.

Her daughter recently earned a degree in behavioral sciences and was known as the peacemaker in the family, Nicole Black told police.

Galloway leaves behind two daughters, ages 13 and 7, and her newborn son, according to media reports.

One last thing…
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