Charges dropped for mother who refused to leave daughter alone at hospital

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Trespassing charges were dropped Wednesday for Lynn Savage, a 70-year-old mother who refused to leave her daughter alone at UF Health North.

Action News Jax first reported that Savage faced a trespassing charge after the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office took her out of the hospital in handcuffs Oct. 4th.

She was staying with her daughter, Amber Miller, who was recovering from brain surgery.

Savage said her daughter is nonverbal and paralyzed on the right side of her body after suffering from a stroke in 2015.

Savage said she was at the hospital from 6:30 a.m. that day, but was told she had to leave at 7 p.m. because visitation hours were over.

The police report stated, “[Savage] understood but would have to be removed by force. Ms. Savage was cooperative and I placed her under arrest. Once escorted outside the hospital, I pleaded for Ms. Savage to come to reason, leave and return in the morning when visitation opened at 9AM. She refused for the principle that if something happens to her daughter Amber, she was forced to leave her side.”

Savage was booked in the Duval County jail for about 24 hours.

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“I just had no idea whether [Amber] was alive or dead, and I’m sitting there waiting and waiting and waiting,” Savage told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant. “Don’t get me wrong — jails should be awful. They should be so bad that you never want to go back for people who break the law. But I didn’t [break the law].”

Savage is a former deputy with the Stark County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office.

“[Amber’s] defenseless enough with no communication. She’s defenseless enough being paralyzed on one side. She’s defenseless enough with part of her skull missing,” Savage said. “There was no way that I was going to leave there on my own just because they tell me to leave.”

In a statement to Action News Jax, UF Health Jacksonville said, “Due to federal HIPAA privacy laws, we cannot comment on inquiries about specific patients. However, UF Health Jacksonville is dedicated to the well-being and safety of everyone who visits our facilities, especially patients and their families. Like health care organizations throughout the country, we have put policies in place to protect everyone from the COVID-19 virus, including patients, visitors and staff. Information about visitation limitations are placed in areas visible to those entering our facilities.”

Savage learned Thursday that her trespassing charges were dropped.

“‘Thank God’, I said. I’ve never been arrested in my whole life. I would hate for my claim to fame at 70 years old to be a criminal.”

She’s now fighting to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.