A Las Vegas man spent his final days alone in a hospital partially because medical staff assigned him a fake name rather than the “John Doe” placeholder.
Clifford Allen, 60, died July 27 at MountainView Hospital; however, his family was not made aware until several days later.
Allen was brought to the hospital roughly eight hours after he passed out in the extreme Las Vegas heat.
“I could have been there to hold his hand,” Allen’s sister, Lavonne Brubeck, told 8 News Now. “I could have called him by his name.”
Allen, who lived with his sister, left their shared home on July 16. While it wasn’t unusual for the 60-year-old to leave for days at a time, she became worried when he suddenly stopped answering her phone calls. He suffered from COPD and knew being out in the heat for extended periods of time wasn’t good for him.
“He didn’t contact me,” Brubeck said. “I kept trying to call him and his phone would go to voicemail.”
“I called every hospital in Las Vegas — every hospital,” she recalled. “I would ask for him by name and being in nursing I would say, ‘Do you have any John Does there?’”
Her pleas for help finding her brother went unanswered until the end of July when she contacted the coroner’s office.
It was at the coroner’s office that her worst nightmare was confirmed. Her brother was dead.
According to a Facebook post, Allen collapsed near a McDonalds drive-thru and gas station on July 18. He passed out and lay on the ground for eight hours in temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees.
When paramedics finally arrived, they found Allen “breathing but not responsive.” He was also missing his wallet, phone, fanny pack, and portable oxygen.
He was brought to a local hospital where he was given the name Nolan Doe, per the hospital’s policy.
Brubeck contacted MountainView Hospital multiple times among other medical facilities and filed a missing person’s report, but could not locate her brother.
“No John Does, no Clifford Allens,” she said. “’No,’ I can’t speak with administration. Everything was a ‘no.’”
Ultimately, “Nolan Doe” wouldn’t be formally identified until after his death when family went to the coroner’s office and positively identified the body belonging to Clifford Allen.
“Basically, he was in a coma, I guess for the 10 days that he was there.”
- Teen tries to apply for college, discovers he’s been a missing person for 12 years
- Police say man ‘missing’ for 8 years was actually home all along, mom lied to investigators