DENVER — On his way to pick up a family friend from Denver Health, John De Leon never thought he’d end up helping a complete stranger.
Outside the hospital, De Leon saw a man in a wheelchair bleeding from his head. He was unresponsive.
"He looked battered. He looked beat up. He had a big gash on the top of his head," De Leon said. "You could see all the pasties that they use inside the ER. He had all that stuff on him still. The pictures I took show that the gash clearly opened, blood streaming from the gash from the top of his head down his face."
Immediately, De Leon said he started asking hospital staff who were walking outside for help. He said one hospital employee stepped in.
"She came out and we were told that he had been seen in the emergency department and that they decided that they weren't going to see him after all because he was combative. And so they rolled him out to the curb right there and they left him right there," De Leon said.
Eventually, he called 911.
In total, he said he was with the patient for about one hour.
"I had to call 911 and I got the paramedics there. And the paramedics along with the charge nurse — they finally walked him back in," De Leon said.
The first time Denver7 reached out to Denver Health, we were told that due to patient privacy the hospital couldn’t comment on details but the patient was in good condition and being treated.
During the second conversation, Denver Health revealed the patient was outside waiting for transportation and the hospital cannot stop anyone from leaving.
In a statement, Denver Health said: "Our number one priority is providing high quality health care to our patients. A patient's health information is private and protected by law and we cannot disclose details. However, patients are free to leave the hospital, even when it is against the medical advice of doctors and at any point during their treatment. If a patient chooses to leave against medical advice, we are not in a position to give them care over their objection or bring them back into our facility against their will. However if circumstances change and the patient returns and requests care, we are always willing to provide that care. We respect the rights of all our patients regardless of circumstance or medical limitation to make choices on the medical care they wish to receive."
De Leon said he does not want to "bang on" Denver Health, but couldn't understand why the man was outside a hospital in his condition.
Denver7 is not naming the patient.