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Mayo Clinic Seeks to Have Patient Held for Reasons Unknown

By Jack H. FarnbauchMarch 23, 2019

In one of the more bizarre news stories, a video has emerged of 18-year-old high school senior Alyssa Gilderhaus being rushed by wheelchair to escape from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota after she claims she was held captive. The video shows Alyssa’s stepfather helping her out of a wheelchair and into the family car while staff members come running toward them, yelling "No! No!" and one of the Mayo Clinic’s staff grabs Alyssa's arm. The car with Alyssa in it speeds away and Mayo’s security goes inside and calls 911. "We have had a patient abduction," the security officer tells police, according to a transcript of the call.

Alyssa originally entered a local hospital on Christmas back in 2016 after she suffered a brain aneurysm. Alyssa’s family decided that it would be best if Alyssa was transferred to the Mayo Clinic for surgery. Surgery went well and on January 30, 2017, Alyssa was transferred from the neurology unit to the rehabilitation unit at the Mayo Clinic. After this, however, there was tension between Alyssa and her family and the Mayo Clinic staff.

First, there was a dispute on the use of opioid medication and the family found that Alyssa had a bladder infection. Alyssa's parents say that at their request, they had a meeting with her care team on February 21. "I had two whiteboards filled up with questions left unanswered, tests left undone, and every other question we could think of," Amber (Alyssa’s mother) wrote on her Facebook page that day.

Amber continued to have run-ins with doctors and staff at the Mayo Clinic. Just before the escape, Amber remembers a final discussion between a doctor and her. "[The doctor] said to me, 'You are not allowed to participate in Alyssa's care. You are not allowed on Mayo property. You will be escorted off the premises right now,' " Amber recalled.

The next day, a plan was hatched to remove Alyssa from the Mayo Clinic. You can read more here.