Quadriplegic patient felt 'violated' by University of Michigan doctor
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Williams, 19, said the doctor was angry about what he perceived to be a threat Williams made to a nurse.
Because Williams was having difficulty breathing, he said he criticized the nurse for not suctioning the mucous out of his lungs more frequently.
Williams, who was paralyzed last year from the neck down after his cousin accidentally shot him in Ypsilanti Township, said he wants the doctor prosecuted.
"It's different if I had my arms and we could fight or something," Williams said Wednesday during an interview at his Romulus home after he was discharged from his latest stay at the Ann Arbor hospital.
"He was shaking it like I control you. That's what it meant to me. You think I can really do something to you? All I can do is talk."
University of Michigan police investigated the Feb. 29 assault allegation and turned their findings over Wednesday to Washtenaw County prosecutors, who will review the case for possible criminal charges, police spokeswoman Diane Brown said. Police said the doctor allegedly grabbed Williams' arm once during a heated argument.
The doctor’s clinical privileges remain suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case and the hospital's own investigation, said Kara Gavin, director of public relations for the U-M Health System. For now, the doctor can't see any patients at the health system.
The doctor declined comment Thursday. AnnArbor.com is not identifying him because he has not been charged with a crime.
Police have said they responded to Williams' room earlier that day after security reported that Williams threatened staff members with physical harm. Officers also were called Feb. 9 to investigate a similar allegation. In both cases, police found Williams didn't do anything illegal.
Williams said the doctor assaulted him a day after Williams was transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit to another area of the hospital.
Williams had been speaking with his parents on the phone, telling them he didn't feel safe because he was having difficulty breathing. Williams' mother, Luneshia Williams, said the doctor got on the phone and complained about the threats Williams had made. The doctor threatened to put her son in jail or have him kicked out of the hospital, she said. Then, Williams' parents said, the doctor threatened to hurt Williams. Luneshia Williams said her son pleaded with her to come to the hospital. The phone went dead. She called 911. Lukequan Williams said the doctor then got in his face, shook his left arm and again threatened to hurt him.
Luneshia Williams said the doctor called her later and apologized, but it wasn't sufficient. She is a nurse and said when she gets frustrated with a patient, she walks away.
"I've been spit on," she said. "I've been bitten and I've never reacted the way this doctor reacted."
She acknowledged that her son has refused care in the past and threatened to spit on people or bite them. He's still coming to grips with his injury, she said.
"He feels like a prisoner in his own body," she said. "I don't think I could deal with what he deals with every day."
Lukequan Williams was paralyzed early June 3 when his cousin, Jerome Dye, was playing with a handgun at a Harry Street home and it discharged, court records show. Williams was shot in the neck and his spine was damaged.
Dye, 23, later pleaded no contest in Washtenaw County Circuit Court to discharging a firearm resulting in injury, discharging a firearm in a building and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. He is serving a minimum of two years in prison.
Williams requires round-the-clock care and will be moving to a group home in Romulus in a couple of weeks. He takes numerous medications; his catheter has to be changed every few hours, and he must be repositioned every two hours. At times, he gets frustrated.
"Sometimes, I just wake up angry because of the situation I'm in," he said.
He has made some progress. In January, he learned to use his shoulder to raise his left arm and touch the back of his hand to his face. He said he'll be fine, but he doesn't think the doctor needs to see any more patients.
"He made me not trust anybody."
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.