Wrong mom called to the hospital after teen's seizure

Wrong mom called to the hospital after teen's seizure »Play Video
Daequan Samuels
TACOMA, Wash -- They share a high school - and the occasional class - but beyond that, the similarities between Daequan Samuels and Jayqwan Harris pretty much end there.

Except, perhaps, when their names are pronounced out loud.

So when 16-year-old Samuels had a seizure in class on April 10, paramedics were called - and so was his mother.

Or so his teacher thought.

"(The teacher's) like, 'Well, he just had a seizure.' Got a little chill down my body, like, oh god," said Angie Robinson, mother to 20-year-old Harris. "They (were) taking a test and he just passed out and she said they were scared."

Robinson told the teacher to send her son to Tacoma General Hospital. Thirty-minutes later, nurses led her into a room, where she found a stranger lying in a bed.

"It's like, that's not my baby," she said.

Samuels remembers little of the moments leading up to the hospital visit, beyond feeling unusual, as he describes it. The Lakewood teenager suffers from short-term memory loss - and the occasional seizure - since a car accident in 2009 nearly took his life.

"I was feeling, like, abnormal," he said. "I looked up and I was looking around, and that's when I blacked out. I tried to step and I fell and I started shaking."

While Samuels lay in the hospital, Robinson told nurses to track down his real mother, which they did.

That's when Dineen Smith's phone rang.

"The hospital calls me - not the school, but the hospital - calls me and says, 'Are you Dineen Smith?' I can't tell you how fast I ran down the stairs," she said. "As I'm going to the hospital, I'm like, 'Why did they bring him way down here?' I couldn't understand."

Smith found a note on her son's backpack at the hospital. It reads, "Mother called, Angie Robinson," along with a time stamp.

Smith started to string the events together.

"Had I not found (the note) I don't think I would've ever known," she says. "He had this badge on, with his name and his picture. I don't understand, because this other boy, Jayqwan Harris, wasn't even in class with him that day."

"How did you get these two boys mixed up?" she asks.

"Unfortunately, the instructor pulled the wrong contact information by mistake," said Shawn Jennison, director of college relations for Clover Park Technical College, which operates Northwest Career & Technical High School, where this happened. "We regret that this happened at all. We wish that we could take it back. (Daequan) was never in danger. He was always safe."

The school principal sent a letter of apology to both mothers, and is also putting emergency contact information on the back of ID badges, which all students in Samuels' nursing program wear. Administrators, in addition, are putting photos of students next to their contact information in teacher notebooks.

School leaders are also meeting Wednesday morning to review what happened and discuss additional changes.

In meantime, Smith isn't ruling out taking legal action.

"I'm a single mom but I'm advocating for him and other children," she said, before taking her son to school on Tuesday. "Yes, I'm one parent, but one parent can make a whole lot of changes."