A former Wisconsin nurse is facing felony charges after she amputated a dying patient’s foot without orders from a doctor, police said.
Mary K. Brown, 38, a former hospice nurse who was responsible for taking care of the victim at Spring Valley Health and Rehab Center in Spring Valley, Wisconsin, was charged with physical abuse of an elder person, intentionally causing great bodily harm, and mayhem, according to a criminal complaint reviewed by local news outlet WQOW.
The dying patient, who was under Brown’s care, had severe frostbite on both of his feet and was admitted to the nursing home in March 2022, and was believed to be close to death toward the end of May, according to the outlet.
According to WQOW, Brown amputated the dying patient’s right foot, which was only being held on by some skin and a couple of tendons, on May 27, despite not having permission from the doctor or being asked by the patient.
Brown admitted to police officials that she amputated the patient’s foot to make him more comfortable, according to WQOW.
A nurse who witnessed the amputation told police officials that the patient gripped her hand tight and moaned during the procedure, according to the local news outlet.
Another nurse who spoke with the patient after the procedure said he told her that it hurt and he felt everything during the operation, according to WQOW.
According to the local news outlet, another nurse told police that the amputation was done poorly. The nurse also told the outlet that Brown mentioned her family had a taxidermy shop, where she said she intended to preserve the foot and put it on display with a sign that reads, “wear your boots kids.”
“We have and will continue to fully cooperate with the investigation into this matter,” Kevin Larson, the administrator and CEO of Spring Valley Senior Living and Health Care, told WQOW. “The person identified is not employed with our community.”