Patients all over the world struggling with sickle cell disease often go to the hospital when they are in a crisis and receive poor medical care from healthcare workers who have little to no knowledge of SCD. This has got to stop. In this section, we will be featuring real stories from sickle cell patients who have received care at the hospital. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. The hospital will be ranked on a 5-star scale. If you are an administrator from the hospital, please email us directly.
My name is <Name Redacted to protect Warrior>. I have sickle cell disease and I have been treated pretty badly in this small town of 5,000 people called International Falls, MN. When I have crisis I really can’t go to the ER here because they do nothing for me on purpose. Screaming at the top of my lungs they might give me Tylenol or Toradol and send me home. I’m isolated from from people who suffer from sickle cell and what’s even scarier is I’m far from any specialist.
This time I have a wide open sore where pus and blood drained from it. The spot is very tender, sore, and itchy. It’s very obvious that I was writhing in pain. At home, I was taking 4-5 Aleves (1,000mg Ibuprofen) to deal with the pain. I was so desperate for pain relief. My hematologist had a hard time telling me to go in the Rainy River ER (hospital) even though they are bullies and bully me every chance they get. I will take desperate measures just to not ask for their help.
I have done nothing wrong and deserve treatment. I need legal action. This cannot be happening when someone darker than the paper bag walks in to a public place.
For the last week, I have been in excruciating pain in my ribs, back, and arms. I have to gasp for air because my ribs are that tender. I have constant heat on the area. I went to the hospital last week and Dr. P. Ericsson said he would not help me with pain medication and definitely nothing IV. This was the first time meeting him. He said he’d give me Toradol. Then I asked for fluids and he asked if I had been throwing up. I said no and he said, “Then you don’t need any.” I contemplated suicide because that would be the only relief from the constant pain. I’m honestly not drug seeking – I need medical treatment. The pain is so strong I can barely move.
This town is so racist it’s unbelievable. Most doctors won’t ask where the pain is or what it is on a scale. They simply tell me they can’t help me. I wait until I’m in dire need before stepping foot in Rainy River medical center. I need to get my records so I can see how badly they trash talk me. I know many whites who use the ER every week and they never get harassed. They always tell me if you’re in pain go to the ER. I always have to explain that they won’t treat me because of the color of my skin. Most of these people I know abuse and have a history of abusing their mediation. The doctors won’t even do labs because it would prove how sick I really am. So they give me a shot of Toradol and send me home. Remember, I am the only person in International Falls with sickle cell anemia. Please help me. I’ve even tried reporting it to no avail.
I really need help before I die.