Man says Quitman County Hospital closure almost cost his granddaughter her life

A North Mississippi grandfather told FOX13 his granddaughter nearly bled to death, because emergency services were scarce.

FOX13's Tom Dees spent the day in Quitman County where that family's story is driving some change.

George Thomas shared with us the horror of a night he had last week.

His 14-year-old granddaughter Sameria knocked on the glass pane of a bathroom door. The glass shattered, and her arm went through the glass, cutting her deep.

"I could see her bone. I could see all the way to the bone in her arm, and the flesh was gone," Thomas said.

Thomas said he knew the local Quitman County Hospital had shut down. So, he tied a tourniquet on Sameria's arm and drove around the corner to Quitman County Ambulance Services. He forgot to call 911. 

"We did the next best thing. We did the next best thing and that would be to take her to the ambulance service," Thomas said

It was midnight. The ambulance drivers were asleep. Thomas told FOX13 when one finally came to the door, he was half dressed and rude.

Thomas decided to make the 26 mile drive to a Clarksdale hospital himself. He did not want to wait on the ambulance driver. 

"She really easily could have bled out, because the arteries were damaged as well. She was bleeding really bad," Thomas said.

Thomas met with Quitman County supervisors Monday morning to air out his grievances.

The Quitman County Ambulance Service drivers will be required from now on to sleep in their clothing and they are going to install a buzzer on the door, because according to them... the ambulance service is now acting more like an emergency room, and more people will likely be coming here.

"It's sad...it's wrong for a hospital not to be here. I mean, we now have to go out of town for help," said Sameria.

Thomas told us the changes to the ambulance services are not enough.

"Somebody is going to die. It is almost 30 miles each way to get to a hospital," Thomas said.

The Quitman County Board of Supervisors told FOX13 they are in the process of trying to recruit a new hospital to the old hospital property, but they will not say when that might be finalized.