Woman Dies after Knee Surgery at Holy Family Hospital – Son Calls for Criminally Negligent Homicide Charges

Helen Bousquet with William Shatner at Fenway

By: Tom Duggan – October 28, 2012

When Hampton Beach NH resident Helen Bousquet was admitted to the Holy Family (Caritas) Hospital for Knee surgery last month, her son, Haverhill native Brian Evans, says he had no idea she would never be coming home again.

“It’s been unbelievable from A to Z,” Brian Evans told the Valley Patriot in an exclusive interview.

“My Mom went in for knee surgery and now she’s dead. This place [Holy Family Hospital] has been unbelievable; they screwed up everything from beginning to end. It was knee surgery. She went in for a basic routine procedure and she never came home and I want someone held accountable.”

“First,” Evans continued, “they put it in her medical chart that she had a heart condition and they also put it in her chart that she had sleep apnea, and had been prescribed by a doctor to be on a sleep apnea machine when she sleeps. So, despite this, she comes out of surgery and they put her in recovery with no machine and no monitor, and for one minute they shouldn’t have taken her off a heart monitor, or a monitor to monitor her breathing” he said emotionally.

After holding his mom as she died, Evans says he immediately went to the Methuen Police and the Massachusetts State Police to file criminally negligent homicide charges against the doctors and the Hospital for causing her death but ran into interference from police.

“The hospital  never did an autopsy, yet they listed multiple causes of death including sleep apnea. She asphyxiated on her own vomit and there was nobody in the room monitoring her when it happened. Why is there nobody monitoring a women who had surgery when she has a heart condition, sleep apnea, is dosed out on morphine and is throwing up all day?

“The nurse actually told me when she died that they don’t put people on sleep apnea machines until 9pm when patients go to sleep. But she was on morphine, she was sleeping on and off all day. What is wrong with these people,” he asked.

“Then they released the body without the next of kin’s permission, the body was cremated before an autopsy and to top it all off, when the funeral home picked up the body a few days later, the Holy Family didn’t even know the body was gone.”

“But they still had the death certificate and it lists seven causes of death. How did they determine her cause of death without an autopsy? I will tell you in my opinion that the cause of death was their own negligence and if this doesn’t meet the definition of criminally negligent homicide, then I don’t know what does,” he said.

Big Band Singer Bran Evans with his mom Helen Bousquet
Big Band Singer Brian Evans “At Fenway” with his mom Helen Bousquet.

Helen Bousquet, Posthumous Celebrity

“If they can do this to me just think about what they are doing to other people and other people’s moms?” Evans added.

Evans, who is famous in his own right as the crooner whose new song “At Fenway,” a tribute to Fenway Park in its 100th year, has been chosen by the Boston Red Sox to be played at Fenway park during games, and has been added to The National Baseball Hall of Fame library. Major League Baseball has licensed the song for game use which is the first time any song has had that distinction in the league.

Evans says he just wrapped up shooting his music video for the song, which his mom was featured in with Hollywood Star, William Shatner.

“Shatner loved my mom,” Evans said. “She was really looking forward to the release of this video, she had such a blast making it too. She was so excited about it. She was so proud. She was so excited that Shatner was in the video with her, and Shatner loved my mom. He asked for her all the time when we spoke. Little did any of us know when we were having fun making the video, that my mom would never get a chance to see it. All because the incompetent workers at the hospital didn’t do their jobs,” Evans charged.

“My mom asphyxiated in their care, she was throwing up all day, she was sitting in that room unchecked. She kept calling me telling me she wasn’t feeling well.”

“And it never dawned on anyone that I kept asking how her vital signs were? The nurse responded they were fine,  but how did they know if she wasn’t on the monitor?”

It never dawned on them to find out why? They knew full well about her heart condition and sleep apnea problem.”

Police run around?

“The first thing I did was go to Methuen police. Actually, first I called them and they said this sounds like a civil case, you should call the hospital administrator. Why would I do that? They are the ones whose negligence killed my mom, in my opinion” he alleged.

Evans says he called the Massachusetts State Police and eventually went down to the State Police Barracks in Boston where he was told he had to file a report with the Methuen PD and that they would, in fact take the report.

“Methuen tells me to go to the State Police and the staties say go to the Methuen police, I wasn’t going to let this go. I was going to keep going back and keep calling everyone I could until I got someone to pay attention to me. My mom went in for knee surgery and she is dead. What part of this was so hard for people to understand? How is this not a criminal case? Just because the building says hospital doesn’t give them a free pass.”

Methuen PoliceReport_HelenBousquet_

“I mean, my mom had been calling me complaining that the nurses weren’t paying any attention to her. They were treating her like a pain in the ass and they never did what they were supposed to do, and now she is dead.”

Family friend Mark Biltz said he accompanied Evans at the hospital and said that the surgeon Dr. Ronald Marvin, admitted to both he and Evans that a heart monitor “may have made the difference.”

“I was there as a witness,” Biltz told the Valley Patriot.

“We talked with the doctor about why she wasn’t on a heart monitor and asked if it would have made a difference and he said it may have made a difference if she had had one. We asked why she didn’t have one given her pre existing conditions that they knew about and he said he didn’t know.” 

“I can also tell you that the conditions at the hospital were terrible. The bathroom near the ICU had human feces on the men’s room toilet seat that wasn’t cleaned for the two days we were there,” he concluded.” 

“After calling everyone I could and writing letters to everyone I could,” Evans added, “finally I got Methuen to take a report. Then I got a call from Agent Mike Lawrence of the FBI who said they are going to assess this and check the history of the hospital and all those involved. I have written every congressman, state senator, legislator, the Surgeon General, The White House, everyone I could think of. I even filed a complaint with the state medical examiner’s office, with separate complaints to the board of medicine, for the nurses, doctors, the hospital, and Steward Health Systems, who owns this hospital. I also filed a complaint with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and the Attorney General’s Office for the misleading name of Holy Family Hospital which, in my opinion gives elderly people a false sense of confidence when this hospital is a business as evidenced by the Dunkin Donuts in the lobby.” 

The Attorney General of NH and the governor’s office in addition to those in Massachusetts are also looking into it, as it is their duty to protect citizens of their state in situations like this.

Letter to Medical Examiner

Funeral Home Backs Evans’ Story

The Evans family funeral home director John Brewitt of the Brewitt Funeral Home in Epping, New Hampshire confirmed that Evans had contacted him about his mom. Brewitt confirmed that the death certificate listed seven causes of death and that the body was released without a death certificate.

“We contacted a funeral home in Methuen to aid us and give us some advice on how to handle this since they were local and they would be handling the cremation. Brian wanted cremation as soon as possible so we engaged Catautadella,” Brewitt told The Valley Patriot.

“Once we straightened out that confusion, we got a call from Holy Family who said they could not release the body until the family was aware there could be an autopsy. That’s not standard, we don’t see that very often at all.”

Brewitt admitted that the body had already been released when he got the call.

“They weren’t offering to do one. They knew Brian was upset, and they wanted to make sure he knew he could get one independently if he was questioning cause of death. I called Brian but I couldn’t reach him,” Brewitt recounted.

“ But, there was a husband and he is legally the next of kin so I got a hold of him and he happened to be three miles down road when we spoke. He went down there and stopped in and straightened it out. They released the paperwork, we got the death certificate over the weekend, and that’s when I went to the police station and proceeded as Brian would like us to.”

“I can tell you Brian was very upset when we spoke. He was very emotional as you might expect. He said there had been no monitoring of his mom and they didn’t follow her medical history. He was very upset and frustrated that the hospital had filled out an extensive death certificate and put everything in her medical history on it even though there was no autopsy. I suspect they did that to cover themselves. There were maybe, excessive amounts of causes and contributing factors to the death of Mrs. Bousquet,” said Brewitt. 

“The cause of death didn’t matter at that point,” Evans said.

“If she was monitored, she’d have had a fighting chance. Although I wasn’t legally her next of kin at the time, I told them I didn’t want her to be given an autopsy because I didn’t want this hospital to do anymore to her than they already did. I am her son, and I couldn’t protect her from these morons. How does a woman without an autopsy have so many causes of death on her certificate. Shouldn’t it just say “undetermined due to no autopsy”? Not at this hospital, where they listed seven causes without one,” says Evans.

Kerry Calls for Investigation

Senator Jon Kerry said in a letter to Evans that he has referred the case “directly to the Board of Registration in Medicine and asked them to carefully review the concerns of your letter.”

Evans said he is not letting the death of his mom go until someone is held responsible for her death.

“The disrespect they showed for my mother, both alive and dead is just shameful. They were even parading medical students into her room while she was trying to recover and the nurses were joking and laughing in her room, one of them even put a pen on her chest like she was a desk, like she wasn’t even a human being. My mom was the most important person in my life but she sure as hell wasn’t all that important to the people working at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen I will tell you that. She will be important to them now.”

Who was Helen Bousquet?

Helen Bousquet grew up in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She gave birth to Brian Evans after she met Brian’s dad, William Evans in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

After working for AT&T for nearly seven years, she quit to move to Los Angeles with her son Brian so that he could pursue his career. She was in the studio audience when Brian filmed his first TV sitcom (“Full House”).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdJCezOO_ag&w=380&h=260]
Evans says on a website set up to memorialize his mom that his mother was always in the front row “at every show I’ve ever done. In Las Vegas, Jay Leno (whom I was the opening act for) called her “backstage mamma,” and she appears in the Best Buy commercial I did with Jim Rice. Jim Rice loved my mom, simply saying “I’ve got my eye on you,” jokingly towards her. He later signed a photo saying just that to her. In 2006, The Massachusetts State Senate issued her a Citation for her support of my career, signed by state senator Marc Pacheco. My mother is also a high school graduate.”

“My mother was my rock. She was my entire family in one person. She was my best friend. She traveled to Cannes, France with me in 2000 (where she celebrated her 50th birthday), and we walked along the Riviera together. I was there for the Midem music festival (midem.org). It was there where my music was first licensed for distribution.” 

“She co-created a project I am working on right now entitled “Horrorscope.” She was the inspiration for the story as well. It’s about a psychic forced to tell predictions for the mob. Upon the psychic’s death, a physical manifestation of the signs of the Zodiac come to life to seek revenge by wiping out the mafia who killed her. She also wrote the song “Croonerman,” which will be on my next CD, produced by Narada Michael Walden (the Grammy winning producer of Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, as well as all of her #1 hits).” 

William Shatner texted “I am so sorry,” followed by an emailing permitting his photo with Evans’ mother to be used in stories honoring her.

Narada Michael Walden simply said “She loved you so much.”

Ernie Boch, Jr. also extended condolences simply advising me to stay strong.

Jim Rice texted “You are in my prayers, I am so sorry.”