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Hospital’s Mistake Killed Mother

Elisha Crews Bryant died May 26, from an overdose of medication at South Florida Baptist Hospital.

Video: Hospital Admits Mistake

The Tampa Tribune

PLANT CITY - Preston Bryant was so happy to learn that his wife was in labor - albeit a few weeks early - that he forgot to clock out at his construction job at a mobile home factory.

In a few hours, though, Bryant would be a widower with a premature son fighting for life in a neonatal unit.

His wife, Elisha Crews Bryant, 18, died May 26 about three hours after a veteran South Florida Baptist Hospital nurse mistakenly administered an overdose of a drug commonly used to stop premature labor.

Elisha Bryant was buried June 1, the day after her husband’s 21st birthday.

“She was beautiful,” he said of Elisha, whom he started dating six years ago. He was in high school then, she in middle school. The couple had a daughter, Tailor, who is almost 3, and married two years ago.

“I couldn’t ask for a better mom and a better wife.”

The young mother’s death left a family grieving and the hospital staff in emotional pain.

On Wednesday, Preston Bryant blamed South Florida Baptist as he fought tears and occasionally broke down while speaking to reporters.

“It should have never happened,” he said.

The Plant City hospital acknowledged Wednesday that an employee made a tragic mistake and said it had offered its apologies to the Bryant family. Hospital Chief Operating Officer Bill Ulbricht said the nurse who administered the dose is on administrative leave pending an investigation.

“She is extremely devastated,” Ulbricht said of the nurse, who he said has more than 20 years of experience. He would not identify her.

“This is a tragic, isolated incident. The entire health care team at South Florida Baptist Hospital is truly devastated by this situation, and we are providing emotional counseling for them,” Ulbricht said.

Common Medication

When Bryant arrived at South Florida Baptist with labor pains about seven months into her pregnancy, her physician ordered magnesium sulfate, a common medication to stop premature labor, Ulbricht said. The nurse miscalculated and administered the medication via an intravenous line too quickly, he said.

The young mother began having trouble breathing, went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived, said Doug Burnetti, a Lakeland attorney who represents Preston Bryant.

Burnetti said medical records show Elisha Bryant received 16 grams of magnesium sulfate, four times the proper dose.

Ulbricht said this is the first time in his 11 years at South Florida Baptist that he can recall such a mistake. The hospital has about 500 deliveries a year. According to news reports, overdoses of magnesium sulfate were blamed for the deaths of at least three pregnant women in the United States in the past 13 years.

Ulbricht said the 147-bed hospital provides good care and that steps are being taken, such as more supervision, to ensure the error does not happen again.

A spokesman for the medical examiner’s office said the results of an autopsy on Elisha Bryant, who was a YMCA child-care worker, will take another four to six weeks.

Burnetti said a lawsuit against the hospital is possible and that his law firm is investigating the case. He said the hospital has been apologetic and cooperative.

Hospital Delivered Their 1st Child

Elisha Crews was a Durant High School student when she became pregnant the first time.

Tailor, who still cries out for her mother, had an uneventful birth at South Florida Baptist, her husband said. Preston Bryant said the couple made arrangements for the birth of their son at the same hospital.

He said he knew something was wrong shortly after the medication was administered and said at first he couldn’t get the staff to listen to his concerns. He was hustled from the room as her condition worsened.

Levi Bryant, taken by emergency Caesarean section, weighed 2 pounds, 10 ounces at birth and was 16 1/4 inches long. Bryant and his attorney would not say where the baby is hospitalized, but he is expected to require care for at least two more months.

“He’s not going to give up, and I’m not going to give up on him,” Preston Bryant said.

Sherry Crews described Elisha as a perfect daughter who didn’t smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs.

Crews said the death has turned her world upside down. “It’s been a nightmare.”

Reporter Ray Reyes and researcher Michael A. Messano contributed to this report. Contact Dave Nicholson at (813) 865-4432 or

Elisha was not only my cousin but my best friend. It has been a month now and the pain and sorrow is still fresh. I can still hear my Aunt Sherry screming in my sleep. I miss her and pray for my family,Aunt sherry ,Uncle Rick , Josh ,preston ,tailor and Levi. To all you guys I love you. And may God bless you.

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for alll the people that keep sayind “oo he’s going to get rich” that dont matter to the family they all have family and dont need the money! that wont bring her back!and i think that the nurse that did this should not return!

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Hey guy’s just want to say that this is a very sad day for all the people that knew and loved Elisha. Elisha is a very close friend that I miss everyday. We had many good times together last good memory was our weekend at the beach. As for how she died was really messed up. The nurse should of been more careful.  I hope she will never practice again. She does not need to have the lives of others in her hands. I hope everyday she wakes up feeling like a killer because that is how we all see her.

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Rebecca- You are pathetic!

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To everyone who is bickering and losing sight of this families tragedy, I think K. Benjamin R.N.says it all. Condolences and prayers for the family as well as the nurse who made the MISTAKE. I hope she finds the strength to forgive herself.

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It should not be surprising how crule some people can be.  These kids are young, they fell in love, they had two children (together), and they were bringing them up properly.  Suing, getting rich, etc. etc. etc. is nothing in comparison to the young life that was lost. I wish more people would think about what they were saying before smarting off and being so insensitive.  My family and friends will be praying for this family, for the nurse who made the error, for the hospital and its staff, and for the hearts of the ones who make such sarcastic comments.  One last thing I’d like to say to any one of the people who made sarcastic comments is; I hope, if they experience anything this tragic in their lives, they won’t have to endure the pain and cruelty of comments such as theirs.  Thank you.

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My prayers go out to this young family. It is a tremendous tragedy. I am 20 years old with two children and one on the way. I understand being young with children and it doesn’t make you a bad person so I don’t know what some of these peoples problems are. But just stay strong. I pray for you little one in the NICU.

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Oh my goodness, what a sad sad situation. I pray for the whole family, the young father who lost his young beautiful wife. Look after the children and yourself. You are in my prayers. Makes me wonder, actually what I was getting administered during my deliveries, I trust my life on them, and their decisions they made for me. Althought it wasnt at this hospital. For a nurse, who is a 20 yr veteran, WOW how could this happen? Well she is a human being, definitely overworked one, this will haunt her forever and ever.

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This comment is for Rebecca Apponey. You did not know this young lady. I’m 19 with a 4 and 2 year old. I’m also Married. Just to let you know if her and Preston were both under age how is it rape you Dumb A**. So what.. she had kids when she was young. Who cares? Does that make her a bad person? If it does then I guess I’m going to hell.At lease she took care of them. Taking care of Kids is hard and I respect her for that. This Lady is no longer with us and I keep reading stuff about how young she was with two kids. Get over it. Let Preston and his family grive for their loss. If you dont have anything nice to say then dont say anything. Dont judge people you dont know. RIP Elisha you were soooo pretty and did not deserve to go like that. You were young and its true the good die young. Miss her but let her go. She will be forever with you in your hearts. Once again sorry for everybody’s loss. God Bless

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No drugs, alchol, cigarettes.  Sex was OK for this teenager?  Sixteen is rape in some states.

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To Tristin KamreC:
  Who said anything about not wanting to be a nurse. No one was complaining. I only wanted people to realize that the nurse did not go to work and say “I think I feel like killing someone today.”  Nurses care alot about patients. Several people on this site have written words like the nurse murdered this poor girl on purpose.  I only wanted to point out that nurses work very hard and they live with a fear of making a mistake-not the evil people that some have made them out to be. Nurses realize that their mistake could cost someone their life. It is not just a job - it is a way of life. I think the hospital made a good choice by being open and honest about it. It is just too sad that this beautiful young mother will not be around to raise her children-as a mother I know that is my greatest fear. Nothing will ever replace her. My heart breaks for her family. Please be kind. Pray for everyone that has been tragically changed and hurt forever-including the nurse.

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All i have to say is that Elisha is a beautiful person. Her heart and personality were unique. She will be missed by many people. I pray that God will bring comfort to the family.

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angry How could someone not know they were giving too much medication once it had been measured up in a syringe??? They should have doubled checked and even asked if they thought there was an extreme amount of medication to be given.

Now there is a grieving widower, grieving child and grieving mother’s family, that is totally uncalled for.

My heart goes out to this family

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I am a nurse. As I read this article I sat and cried for the loss of life. For the infant ,toddler and husband that have lost the center of their lives. You see we don’t become nurses as a job, it is who we are,it is inside us. We love people and want to serve people not just bring home a paycheck, you can’t just “quit” being a nurse. No one can know what happened in the head of the nurse when this mistake was made, but I assure you this nurse will live with this for the rest of her life. If it were me I would probably have to be institutionalized. Don’t think that this won’t haunt her for the rest of her life. This will not bring the beautiful Elisha back, I pray for the family and pray that Levi makes it. Please, pray for the nurse, have mercy. Believe me , we try to be perfect, but as you see, we are not. And when we make mistakes,it may be a more critical mistake than one could ever imagine. 
God Bless this family
My sincere condolences

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I feel so sorry for the family. Especially the father of these 2 children. I will pray that God blesses you with the strength you will need to raise these babies. When I seen your daughter on TV crying for her mother…I just cried. I have a daughter her age and could not even imagine being pulled away from her and not being able to watch her grow up not to mention your new son. I will pray for his health and your entire family.
God bless you all and know that LOVE lives forever in your heart.

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I am blessed to have known such a wonderful girl. I will never forget the friendship Elisha and I had. Rick and Sherry, I hold you in my prayers, you were great parents. Preston, you were a great husband, and you’re an awesome father. I’ll come see Tailor and the new baby Levi sometime. God Bless you guys.  long face

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To Rick and Sherry Crews - In this world there’s no two people any better than you two - Jim and I hadn’t heard
about Elisha - if we had we would have
been there for you.  All our prayers
and love go out to you and Preston and
your granddaughter and little grandson.
God Bless You all.  Love and Prayers
Jim and Lory

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I feel for the family in this unfortunate situation. As a nurse, I know that nurses are overworked and have minimal staffing per hospital administrators. RN’s are asked to take on three to four times the amount of patients and responsibility for care of the patients than they should be. Nurses can not administer medications without a written order from the doctor. I’t appears the hospital and treating doctor need to take some responsibility for what happened, and not blame the whole sitiation on the nurse. What would the world of medicine be without nurses?  Again, my heart goes out to the family.

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Just wanted to send my condolences to family, my prayers are with you in this tragic time.

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This is a heart wrench story.  However, my thoughts are concern with the nurse giving her the drug.  Nurse cannot give a drugs unless told by a doctor.  So I don’t think the nurse is to blame…it should be the doctor who is suppose to be watching the patient and what is given to them. 

I had a friend who was hospitalize and the doctors load him up with drugs…not concerning with what was already given to him.  His heart failed and they were able to revive him but because of that he has slight brain damage.  So I say the nurse has some blame but not all.

My heart goes out to the family and the nurse.  God Bless.

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Nurses are human - so this one should have maybe been retired?? - 20 year vetran - so we as patients have to say - oh poor nurse she is human too -

If you don’t like the choices you made in life re: becoming a nurse then do something about it - but stop bloody complaining -

Very very sad!

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It’s too bad that their is going to be a nasty legal battle over a mistake that should have not been made.  I’m sorry for the family, but not for the hospital.

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Oh, how sad for all involved. There’s not one person mentioned in this article that’s not a victim. Even the nurse; that poor woman. My prayers are with you all.  shut eye So painful.

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