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Rawson-Neal patient dumping victim tells his story

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Updated: 5/02/2013 9:03 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- This is the emotional story of a man who says he was the victim of patient dumping.

James Brown, who suffers from schizophrenia, was put on a bus -- and sent out of state.

What happened to him has ignited multiple investigations of patient care at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital here in Las Vegas.

Brown told his story to News 3's Marissa Mike in an interview you will only see on News 3.

“I was fearful I was scared I was afraid,” Brown said.

It's the raw emotions felt by a man who says he was the victim of patient dumping or as some call it, "Greyhound therapy."

Brown, a schizophrenic and former patient of Rawson-Neal Hospital, was given a one way bus ticket out of state and left to fend for himself with no help. There were no family waiting for him at his destination.

“They offered to buy me a ticket and send me anywhere in the us,” he said.

His final destination was random -- Sacramento, Calif.

"I'd never been there never been to California," he said. "It was suggested I go to California because California has good mental health facilities and medical treatment."

Brown limped out of the hospital, with his bad hip to a parked cab waiting to take him to the bus terminal. Then, it dawned on him, he wasn't the only person being discharged. 

"Taxicabs were out front, snacks and off I went," he said.

Brown was overwhelmed knowing what would happen if his meds were to wear off.

"I start to hear voices in my head. I start having psychotic episodes if I don't take my meds," he said.

Arriving at the bus depot, a very long and draining road trip was next.

"I was on the bus for 15 hours. No ID, no food, no food stamp card, no money," he said.

But the hospital staff gave him a three-day supply of medication and words of advice for his arrival on the other end.
“They told me to call 911 get an ambulance to the nearest hospital and get my medication," he said.

Left to self-medicate on a nine-stop, 15-hour bus ride alongside other patients from that same hospital.

“We couldn't figure out my ticket just happeed to say Sacramento. They put me in a cab. No money. We all got on the bus," he said.

As passengers and patients trickled off the bus, Brown finally realized he was all alone.

“I think I was the last stop," he said.

And when the bus came to his destination, Brown said he was out of medication. The most recent pills wearing off, meaning the voices in his head were getting louder. 

Despite everything that happened to Brown, he's not angry, but he does not want this to happen to anyone else.

He said he felt as if he were being treated like no one cared about him.


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