(WSVN) - You don’t want to have to go to the hospital, but if you are admitted and then want to be transferred to another hospital, can you leave? It’s a question one South Florida family faced, and the answer brought them to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

It’s hard for Obie to just say only one great thing about his daughter Kaswania.

Obie Johnson Jr., upset by medical care: “Good mom, good daughter, good friend, good auntie, everything.”

A good person, with bad health.

Obie Johnson Jr.: “Yeah, she got a lot of medical issues.”

Three months earlier. Kaswania had gone into the hospital with a foot infection.

The family was told the surgery went well. The recovery did not.

Kavon Moore: “They weren’t doing their job. They weren’t doing their job at all.”

When Kavon went to visit his mother, he found her in terrible condition.

Kavon Moore: “I witnessed it, when she pooped on herself. I don’t know if they’re short of staff or something.”

Obie Johnson Jr.: “I told them three or four times, I’m always going to tell them, ‘Listen, my daughter needs to be cleaned.'”

Then it got worse. Bed sores developed.

Obie Johnson Jr.: “They weren’t changing her foot dressing. They weren’t cleaning her feces. That’s why she got all these bed sores. They were actually not doing nothing.”

The family says it was clear: the nurses could not move Kaswania to clean under her or even turn her over.

Kavon Moore: “She’s a little heavy-weighted, and she can’t really do things on her own, so she’s like a baby, so you’ve got to take care of her, so that’s a lot of work.”

At that time, Kaswania was conscious and ready to move to a different facility.

Obie Johnson Jr.: “She was able to make her own decision at that time, and her decision and wishes were to get transferred out of that hospital.”

But Obie says the medical staff would not let her transfer to another hospital.

Obie Johnson Jr.: “They told me all kinds of, ‘Oh, you might have to pay for this yourself.'”

Suddenly she got worse, slipped into a coma and went into intensive care.

Obie Johnson Jr.: “Just the last time, when I seen her, I said to myself, ‘My daughter is going to die here because they’re just letting her lay here and deteriorate.'”

The family still tried to get her transferred to another hospital. No luck.

Obie Johnson Jr.: “Yes, I’m upset, I’m upset. Why wouldn’t I be? The way my daughter’s been treated, you would be upset, too, if you saw all the stuff I saw.”

And, on the day we talked to Obie and Kevan, they waited with Kiswania, in a hospital she wanted out of.

Obie Johnson Jr : “I believe another hospital would have done a better job.”

It’s a simple a question: does a patient have the right to move from one hospital to another? Howard?

Howard Finkelstein: “It’s a yes or no question, but it’s very tricky to answer. A patient can leave the hospital if they don’t like the care they are getting, but that doesn’t mean another hospital has to accept them, because they have rights as well, such as the right to expend their resources on the patients they think they can help. And, even if you get that worked out, you have to get your insurance to pay for the transfer, and that can be very difficult with quality of care issues.”

But before we see what we could do for Kaswania, we were contacted by Kavon. His mother had passed away.

Kavon Moore: “Yeah, I was not surprised at all, ’cause the hospital, it’s not good.”

We met Kavon at the funeral home, where family and friends had come for services for Kaswania, wearing T-shirts remembering the woman they all adored.

Kavon Moore: “A mentor, a good mentor. Every time you saw my mama, she had a smile on her face. I know God got her and everything. She is a better place. She ain’t gotta suffer like she did.”

So sorry, Kavon and Obie, so sorry.

Now, if you are in a similar situation, many hospitals have what’s called patient advocates. Ask for them, because their job is to explain you rights and see what they can do to help you.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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