Author Topic: Death at Boys and Girls Town of Missouri  (Read 6987 times)

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Offline Oscar

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Death at Boys and Girls Town of Missouri
« on: September 24, 2010, 08:47:42 AM »
An 18 year old woman was found dead - from

 Cause of teen’s death still undetermined, by Chris Daniels, Three Rivers Publishing, April 29, 2010

Quote
Although more information has been released about the sudden death of a teenage girl at the St. James campus of Boys and Girls Town, the cause of her death has still not been determined.

Heather Marie Hopkins, 18, was found unresponsive in the commons area at about 4:40 a.m. on April 2. Medical attention was administered by emergency responders, which included the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department and the St. James Fire and Ambulance districts. Hopkins was taken to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, where she was pronounced dead.

“She had a 103.8 degree fever the afternoon before,” said Debbie Hopkins, the girl’s mother. “She had been out at (the Wilderness Ranch in Steelville) and came back to (her) cottage. They gave her Tylenol and her meds. If she had been at home and was that sick, I would have taken her to the hospital.”

Debbie Hopkins and husband, Stephen, were informed early that morning what had happened to their daughter. Heather had been in the care of Boys and Girls Town for 35 days.

“The safety and health of our clients is our top priority,” said Marie McGeehan, senior director of communications for Boys and Girls Town of Missouri. “All Boys and Girls Town residential facilities have licensed nursing staff on campus or on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

In addition, McGeehan said, all of the youth care specialists working at Boys and Girls Town are fully trained in first aid and basic life-support techniques. The staff is also trained to respond promptly to any situations where clients indicate they are ill or may need medical attention.

“If there is any indication that a potential illness may be contagious, nursing staff is notified and appropriate clinical procedures are followed,” said McGeehan. “Procedures were followed in this situation and a nurse examined the child.”

Now more than 25 days since their daughter died, Debbie and Stephen Hopkins said they have received little information from anyone about what happened. They have been in contact with Phelps County Coroner Larry Swinfard, but autopsy results were not yet available as of Tuesday. According to McGeehan, Boys and Girls Town was “last in contact with the child’s parents at the memorial service held on campus two weeks ago.”

Funeral services for Heather Marie Hopkins were held April 9 at the West County Assembly of God in Chesterfield, Mo. She was buried at the St. Charles Memorial Gardens. Hopkins was born on March 31, 1992. Her family lives in the O’Fallon, Mo. area.
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Offline Ursus

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Parents seek answers for death
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 03:21:25 PM »
Another article which was also published that same day:

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St. James Leader-Journal
Parents seek answers for death
By St. James Leader-Journal
Posted Apr 29, 2010 @ 12:38 PM


St. James, Mo. — More than three weeks after their daughter's death, Stephen and Debbie Hopkins of O'Fallon still are looking for answers.

The parents of Heather Marie Hopkins, 18, are trying to learn what happened to their daughter, who died April 2.

Heather Hopkins was enrolled at Boys & Girls Town in St. James.

According to Lt. Rick Hope of the Phelps County Sheriff's Department, "This is still an open investigation, and I really can't say much more than that. I can tell you we don't expect any foul play, and it was neither an accident.

"We do expect an end to the investigation in the very near future."

A statement from Vince Hillyer, president and CEO, Great Circle (the parent agency name for Boys & Girls Town) said, "It is with great sadness that we report a young woman who was a resident at the Boys & Girls Town St. James campus passed away Friday morning April 2.

"One of our female residents appeared to have stopped breathing while she slept.  After our staff took extensive life-support efforts, she was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"We continue to work with local law enforcement and local health authorities in the investigation. We are still awaiting test results from the Medical Examiner, but all indications are that she died from natural causes.

"Our staff members and other residents are devastated by the death of this wonderful young person," Hillyer said. "Her family remains in our thoughts and prayers. They joined us for a memorial service on campus to honor their daughter. Boys & Girls Town counselors continue talking with residents and their parents to help them through this very difficult time."

Boys & Girls Town officials said they couldn't confirm the name of the female resident or provide additional details because of HIPAA privacy laws and because the case is still under investigation.

In the meantime, the Hopkinses say they are trying to piece together what happened.

Debbie Hopkins said she received a call from B&GT at 5:07 a.m. April 2 saying her daughter was unresponsive and that she was being transported to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla.

She said she received another call approximately five minutes later that her daughter had passed away.

Monday, Debbie Hopkins said she and her husband don't know much more than they did then.

She said she has talked with Boys & Girls Town but "they won't tell me what I want to know, which is what happened in that cottage."

She said she had talked with her daughter at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, and Heather told her she "was feeling bad," complaining of being sick with a fever.

Debbie Hopkins said her daughter had been at Boys & Girls Town 35 days and was due to stay another 60.

She said Heather had been diagnosed as bipolar, with depression and ADHD and had been battling medication issues.

Prior to Heather being admitted to Boys & Girls Town, "There had been a lot of shuffling of Heather among hospitals," noted Debbie Hopkins. "She had been receiving excellent care" up until an apparent medication overdose resulted in another round of hospital changes.

Stephen Hopkins said the family had asked for an autopsy, looking for some definitive answers.

Debbie said she had been told it would take at least six to eight weeks before the results would be available.

 
Copyright 2010 Leader-Journal.
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Offline Pile of Dead Kids

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Re: Death at Boys and Girls Town of Missouri
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2010, 06:52:58 PM »
Ooh, another one for the... wait, no.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
...Sergey Blashchishen, James Shirey, Faith Finley, Katherine Rice, Ashlie Bunch, Brendan Blum, Caleb Jensen, Alex Cullinane, Rocco Magliozzi, Elisa Santry, Dillon Peak, Natalynndria Slim, Lenny Ortega, Angellika Arndt, Joey Aletriz, Martin Anderson, James White, Christening Garcia, Kasey Warner, Shirley Arciszewski, Linda Harris, Travis Parker, Omega Leach, Denis Maltez, Kevin Christie, Karlye Newman, Richard DeMaar, Alexis Richie, Shanice Nibbs, Levi Snyder, Natasha Newman, Gracie James, Michael Owens, Carlton Thomas, Taylor Mangham, Carnez Boone, Benjamin Lolley, Jessica Bradford's unnamed baby, Anthony Parker, Dysheka Streeter, Corey Foster, Joseph Winters, Bruce Staeger, Kenneth Barkley, Khalil Todd, Alec Lansing, Cristian Cuellar-Gonzales, Janaia Barnhart, a DRA victim who never even showed up in the news, and yet another unnamed girl at Summit School...

Offline Ursus

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Re: Death at Boys and Girls Town of Missouri
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2010, 07:19:32 PM »
Quote from: "Pile of Dead Kids"
Ooh, another one for the... wait, no.
Really?

She was at Boys and Girls Town... Celebrated her 18th birthday there. The next day she had a fever of 103.8°F. Somehow that did not warrant her being seen by a physician. The day after that ... she was dead.
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Offline Whooter

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Re: Death at Boys and Girls Town of Missouri
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2010, 07:37:14 PM »
Quote from: "Ursus"
Quote from: "Pile of Dead Kids"
Ooh, another one for the... wait, no.
Really?

She was at Boys and Girls Town... Celebrated her 18th birthday there. The next day she had a fever of 103.8°F. Somehow that did not warrant her being seen by a physician. The day after that ... she was dead.


From what I have read they don't know the cause of death at this point.  We are not sure what caused what or what treatment she received.  We have no details around what occurred leading up to her death.  I wouldn't assume she didn't get proper care at this point.



...
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Offline Ursus

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103.8°F temperature + taking a lot of psyche meds
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2010, 09:03:16 PM »
Quote from: "Whooter"
I wouldn't assume she didn't get proper care at this point.
It would appear that her mother would have handled it differently. From the article in the OP:

    "She had a 103.8 degree fever the afternoon before," said Debbie Hopkins, the girl's mother. "She had been out at (the Wilderness Ranch in Steelville) and came back to (her) cottage. They gave her Tylenol and her meds. If she had been at home and was that sick, I would have taken her to the hospital."[/list]
    « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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    Offline Whooter

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    Re: 103.8°F temperature + taking a lot of psyche meds
    « Reply #6 on: September 24, 2010, 09:40:47 PM »
    Quote from: "Ursus"
    Quote from: "Whooter"
    I wouldn't assume she didn't get proper care at this point.
    It would appear that her mother would have handled it differently. From the article in the OP:

      "She had a 103.8 degree fever the afternoon before," said Debbie Hopkins, the girl's mother. "She had been out at (the Wilderness Ranch in Steelville) and came back to (her) cottage. They gave her Tylenol and her meds. If she had been at home and was that sick, I would have taken her to the hospital."[/list]

      Yes, but how do we know that is the right decision?  If you call up the doctors and you child has a 103.8 fever they would ask you to try a few things to bring it down and ask you questions about her health before deciding if the child should be brought in or not.
      Sometimes fevers spike and then go down again.  I think we need to hear the whole story first before blaming anyone.

      On another note: I read all the time here that program parents make really bad decisions regarding their childs safety.  Why are you assuming they would have made the right one if this child had been home?  Why the turn around in your thinking?

      Ursus, it is obvious that you cherry pick sound bites to meet your agenda.  Why dont you just let the investigation take its course and find out what happened instead of trying to push a negative spin on programs all the time?



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      Offline Ursus

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      Re: 103.8°F temperature + taking a lot of psyche meds
      « Reply #7 on: September 25, 2010, 12:13:02 AM »
      Quote from: "Whooter"
      Quote from: "Ursus"
      Quote from: "Whooter"
      I wouldn't assume she didn't get proper care at this point.
      It would appear that her mother would have handled it differently. From the article in the OP:

        "She had a 103.8 degree fever the afternoon before," said Debbie Hopkins, the girl's mother. "She had been out at (the Wilderness Ranch in Steelville) and came back to (her) cottage. They gave her Tylenol and her meds. If she had been at home and was that sick, I would have taken her to the hospital."[/list]
        Yes, but how do we know that is the right decision?  If you call up the doctors and you child has a 103.8 fever they would ask you to try a few things to bring it down and ask you questions about her health before deciding if the child should be brought in or not.
        Sometimes fevers spike and then go down again.  I think we need to hear the whole story first before blaming anyone.
        Yes, bringing her to the hospital would have been the right decision. It could have quite possibly, perhaps quite probably, saved her life.

        Quote from: "Whooter"
        On another note: I read all the time here that program parents make really bad decisions regarding their childs safety.  Why are you assuming they would have made the right one if this child had been home?  Why the turn around in your thinking?
        No "turn around" at all, on *my* part. You must be stereotyping me, just like you seem to do with a lot of other survivors here who do not support your propagandizing efforts.

        Not all parents are alike. Some are not exactly what one might call "program parents." Some have little or no say in the decision to put their kid in a program. And some might well have made a different decision had they fully understood what they were dealing with.

        Quote from: "Whooter"
        Ursus, it is obvious that you cherry pick sound bites to meet your agenda.  Why dont you just let the investigation take its course and find out what happened instead of trying to push a negative spin on programs all the time?
        Are you talkin' to me 'bout cherry picking? LOLOLLLLL. Go talk to George Washington about his cherry tree.  :D
        « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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        Joel

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        Joel

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        « Reply #9 on: September 25, 2010, 01:17:08 AM »
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        Offline Whooter

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        Re: 103.8°F temperature + taking a lot of psyche meds
        « Reply #10 on: September 25, 2010, 07:54:09 AM »
        Quote from: "Ursus"
        Yes, bringing her to the hospital would have been the right decision. It could have quite possibly, perhaps quite probably, saved her life.

        I agree with this the same way I agree that staying home on September 11, 2001 if you worked in the World Trade Center in NYC.

        If I worked there I would have called in sick that day for sure.



        ...
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        Offline Ursus

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        Re: 103.8°F temperature + taking a lot of psyche meds
        « Reply #11 on: September 25, 2010, 10:19:51 AM »
        Quote from: "Whooter"
        Quote from: "Ursus"
        Yes, bringing her to the hospital would have been the right decision. It could have quite possibly, perhaps quite probably, saved her life.
        I agree with this the same way I agree that staying home on September 11, 2001 if you worked in the World Trade Center in NYC.

        If I worked there I would have called in sick that day for sure.
        Mmm, yes. But that would have entailed having information which was not then readily available to the masses. Perhaps not to anyone, but discussion of those possibilities is far beyond the focus of this thread.

        In the case of Heather Marie Hopkins, pertinent information was readily available. Boys and Girls Town of Missouri just chose to interpret it in the least proactive and involved way possible.

        At some point during the afternoon prior to her death, I'm assuming it was towards evening, Ms. Hopkins was running a fever of 103.8°F. According to the second article above, "Parents seek answers for death," her mother:

          ...said she had talked with her daughter at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, and Heather told her she "was feeling bad," complaining of being sick with a fever.[/list]

          Also according to the second article above, Ms. Hopkins had already had some medication issues and mishaps:

            Debbie Hopkins said her daughter had been at Boys & Girls Town 35 days and was due to stay another 60.

            She said Heather had been diagnosed as bipolar, with depression and ADHD and had been battling medication issues.

            Prior to Heather being admitted to Boys & Girls Town, "There had been a lot of shuffling of Heather among hospitals," noted Debbie Hopkins. "She had been receiving excellent care" up until an apparent medication overdose resulted in another round of hospital changes.
            [/list]

            Now, I don't know what meds she was on, and whether these meds might alter body temperature regulation under circumstances of undue or unfamiliar exertion. Moreover, whether her symptoms might mask some other condition, perhaps even more serious. What was she doing while at the Wilderness Ranch in Steelville? From the first article above, "Cause of teen's death still undetermined,":

              "She had a 103.8 degree fever the afternoon before," said Debbie Hopkins, the girl's mother. "She had been out at (the Wilderness Ranch in Steelville) and came back to (her) cottage. They gave her Tylenol and her meds. If she had been at home and was that sick, I would have taken her to the hospital."[/list]

              It seems to me, when you're dealing with a kid who may or may not have unpredictable reactions to certain medications, who appears to have been involved in some activities that may or may not involve levels of physical stress that her body may be unfamiliar with, and with whom staff members themselves are less than fully familiar with (she had only been at Boys and Girls Town for 35 days), that a fever of 103.8° would prompt a prudently immediate visit to the ER.
              « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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              Offline Whooter

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              Re: 103.8°F temperature + taking a lot of psyche meds
              « Reply #12 on: September 25, 2010, 11:48:28 AM »
              Quote from: "Ursus"
              ....that a fever of 103.8° would prompt a prudently immediate visit to the ER.

              I dont know if 103.8 degree fever justifies a trip to the ER.  I think we would have to determine if this is the best course of action.  I am not a medic so I would have to look this up.
              I have had kids with fever that high and we certainly stayed up and watched over them, but we didnt go to the ER for it.  The fever came down eventually on its own.  Fevers are a way to burn off stuff in our bodies and are also a warning that something serious could be wrong if it lasts a long time.

              I think we need more details.



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              Offline Ursus

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              Re: 103.8°F temperature + taking a lot of psyche meds
              « Reply #13 on: September 25, 2010, 12:07:57 PM »
              Quote from: "Whooter"
              Quote from: "Ursus"
              ....that a fever of 103.8° would prompt a prudently immediate visit to the ER.
              I dont know if 103.8 degree fever justifies a trip to the ER.  I think we would have to determine if this is the best course of action.  I am not a medic so I would have to look this up.
              I have had kids with fever that high and we certainly stayed up and watched over them, but we didnt go to the ER for it.  The fever came down eventually on its own.  Fevers are a way to burn off stuff in our bodies and are also a warning that something serious could be wrong if it lasts a long time.

              I think we need more details.
              You are taking my statement out of context from the rest of that paragraph which, in this case, is quite pertinent.

              Let me refresh your memory:

                Quote from: "Ursus"
                It seems to me, when you're dealing with a kid who may or may not have unpredictable reactions to certain medications, who appears to have been involved in some activities that may or may not involve levels of physical stress that her body may be unfamiliar with, and with whom staff members themselves are less than fully familiar with (she had only been at Boys and Girls Town for 35 days), that a fever of 103.8° would prompt a prudently immediate visit to the ER.
                [/list]

                I should also say that all of the above could easily mask something more serious as well. It is best to be prudent.
                « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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                Offline Ursus

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                Heather Marie Hopkins - R.I.P.
                « Reply #14 on: September 25, 2010, 12:15:53 PM »
                The Legacy.com Memorial/Obituary for Heather Marie Hopkins has already slipped into the pay-per-view, but here is another Obit that is still readily accessible:

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                Archived Obituaries

                Information
                  Name: HOPKINS, Heather Marie
                  Date of Death: Apr 2, 2010
                  Location of Service: Alternative Funeral & Cremation Services - Saint Peters
                  Category: Archived Obituaries[/list][/size]
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                  Heather Marie Hopkins, age 18 passed away April 2, 2010. She was born March 31, 1992. Loving daughter of Stephen Dale & Debbie Sue Hopkins. Loving sister of Steven Christopher Hopkins. Loving step-granddaughter of Charles Arnett. Loving granddaughter of Roger & Mary Lee Hopkins. Loving niece of Sheila & Brian Gales, Jennifer & Chuck Banderbol, Chris & Lisa Hopkins and Matthew. Was a loving aunt to many nieces & nephews. She was preceded in death by grandfather James Bowman & grandmother Flora Arnett. Funeral Services will be 10:00 A. M. Friday April 9, 2010 at West County Assembly of God 13431 N. Outer 40 Rd. Chesterfield, MO 63017. Visitation will be 4-8 P.M. Thursday April 8, 2010 at the church. Burial will be in St. Charles Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family.

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                  Location Name Alternative Funeral & Cremation ServicesMap
                    Location of Services: Alternative Funeral & Cremation Services
                    Street: 2115 Parkway Drive
                    ZIP: 63376
                    City: Saint Peters
                    State: MO
                    Country: us[/list][/size]
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