DELTONA, Fla. - The parents of a senior at Deltona High School are outraged after their 17-year-old son had an asthma attack at school and the school nurse would not let him use his inhaler.
Sue Rudi got a call from her son’s school letting her know that her son was having trouble breathing. When she arrived and was taken back to the nurse’s office, they found her son, Michael Rudi, on the floor.
“As soon as we opened up the door, we saw my son collapsing against the wall on the floor of the nurse’s office while she was standing in the window of the locked door looking down at my son, who was in full-blown asthma attack,” Rudi said.
Michael said his inhaler was confiscated on Friday after the school dean found it in his locker. Even though it was still in its original packaging with his name on it and directions for its use, it was taken away because his mother had not signed the proper form for him to have it.
In order for students to carry their prescribed drugs with them in school, parents must sign a medical release form each year. The school had no such form for Michael to have his inhaler at school. Michael’s mother says that even so, her son has been at the school for years and they have a record of her son’s asthma.
But regardless of the signed paperwork, she is horrified that her son could have died over a technicality. Michael echoed the same sentiments — especially regarding the school nurse he says locked the door as soon as he felt like he was going to pass out.
“It’s like something out of a horror film. The person just sits there and watches you die,” said Michael Rudi. “She sat there, looked at me and she did nothing.”
But the Volusia County School officials are standing by the unnamed nurse’s decision to keep Michael from using his inhaler during his asthma attack, citing the medical release form they had no record of. However, they are looking into why 911 was never called — which is district policy when a student cannot breathe.
Sue Rudi doesn’t think that’s enough and has filed child endangerment charges against the nurse with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
“I mean its common sense if I saw an animal on the street in distress I would probably stop to help, why wouldn’t she help a child,” Sue Rudi said.
Personally, I think the mother shares some blame. If you have a kid prone to asthma attacks and know you need to have certain paperwork signed in order for him to possess his inhaler, as asinine as that can be in some situations, making sure the school has that form should be a pretty high priority each school year.
But I don’t get Nurse Ratchet. Following school policy or not, I cannot understand how she could watch a kid who having an asthma attack (which I imagine are terrifying), and not just simply give him the one thing he needs to be able to breathe.