Retired Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson passed away on December 31 at her Dallas home, following an infection linked to alleged medical negligence.
The family’s attorney, Les Weisbrod, who is also a longtime friend of Johnson, announced plans to file a lawsuit against Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation, according to The Associated Press. This facility is where Johnson reportedly received substandard care after her back surgery.
“She was being unattended to. She was screaming out in pain and for help,” Kirk Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson’s son, said at a news conference. He described finding his mother in a deplorable condition on September 21, lying in her own waste after receiving no response to her calls for help. The administration’s alleged lack of immediate attention led to a critical delay in care.
Weisbrod shared that Johnson had entrusted him with the legal case following complications from the infection. Despite initially expecting a recovery, the severity of the situation led to a tragic outcome. Baylor Scott & White Health honored Johnson as “an inspiration to all” and expressed commitment to resolving the matter with the family and attorney. The health system has not yet made a statement regarding the allegations.
Johnson’s medical records, as detailed by the outlet, showed complications arising after the operation. Her orthopedic surgeon documented the development of purulent drainage from her lumbar incision, a common sign of infection. Laboratory reports identified organisms in the wound directly related to fecal matter.
Johnson’s career included becoming the first black chief psychiatric nurse at Dallas’ Veterans Affairs hospital and leading roles in the Congressional Black Caucus and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
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