In A Small Pennsylvania City, A Mental Crisis Call To 911 Turns Tragic : Shots

Rulennis Munoz (center right) outside Lancaster Courthouse Oct. 14, after learning that the police officer who fatally shot her brother had been cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Lancaster County District Attorney. Her mother, Miguelina Peña, and her attorney Michael Perna (far right) stood by.

Brett Sholtis/WITF


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Brett Sholtis/WITF

Rulennis Muñoz remembers the phone ringing on Sept. 13. Her mother was calling from the car, frustrated. Rulennis could also hear her brother Ricardo shouting in the background. Her mom told her that Ricardo, who was 27, wouldn’t take his medication. He had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia five years earlier.

Ricardo lived with his mother in Lancaster, Pa., but earlier that day he had been over at Rulennis’ house across town. Rulennis remembers that her brother had been having what she calls “an episode” that morning. Ricardo had become agitated because his phone charger was missing. When she found it for him, he insisted it wasn’t the same one.

Rulennis knew that her brother was in crisis and that he needed psychiatric care. But she also knew from experience that there were few emergency resources available for Ricardo unless a judge deemed him a threat to himself or others.

After talking with her mom, Rulennis called a county crisis intervention line to see if Ricardo could be committed for inpatient care. It was Sunday afternoon. The crisis worker told her to call the police to see if the officers could petition a judge to force Ricardo to go to the hospital for psychiatric treatment, in what’s called an involuntary commitment. Reluctant to call 911, and wanting more information, Rulennis dialed the non-emergency police number.

Meanwhile, her mother, Miguelina Peña, was back in her own neighborhood. Her other daughter, Deborah, lived only a few doors down. Peña started telling Deborah what was going on. Ricardo was becoming aggressive; he had punched the inside of the car. Back on their block, he was still yelling and upset, and couldn’t be calmed. Deborah called 911 to get help for Ricardo. She didn’t know that her sister was trying the non-emergency line.

The problems and perils of calling 911 for help with mental health

A recording and transcript of the 911 call show that the dispatcher gave Deborah three options: police, fire or ambulance. Deborah wasn’t sure, so she said “police.” Then she went on to explain that Ricardo was being aggressive, had a mental illness and needed to go to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Ricardo had moved on, walking up the street to where he and his mother lived. When the dispatcher questioned Deborah further, she also mentioned that Ricardo was trying “to break into” his mom’s house. She didn’t mention that Ricardo also lived in that house. She did mention that her mother “was afraid” to go back home with him.

The Muñoz family has since emphasized that Ricardo was never a threat to them. However, by the time police got the message, they believed they were responding to

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Black Resident Dies After Childbirth, Highlights Tragic Trend

Chaniece Wallace, MD, a chief pediatric resident at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, died on October 24 after complications from preeclampsia 4 days after giving birth prematurely by cesarean delivery, according to her husband, Anthony Wallace.

Their daughter, Charlotte Wallace, was born on October 20 weighing 4.5 pounds. She entered care in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Anthony Wallace told Chaniece’s story on a GoFundMe page, writing: “On October 20th, 2020 [Chaniece’s] doctors informed us that she was developing symptoms of preeclampsia.” He added that she had a ruptured liver and high blood pressure and that her kidney function was declining.

“Chaniece fought with every piece of strength, courage, and faith she had available,” he continued.

In announcing Wallace’s death, Riley Hospital for Children wrote that “it is with grievous and broken hearts that we announce the loss of one of our beloved friends, colleagues, and co-chiefs.” Chaniece “suffered postpartum complications after delivering a healthy 35wk baby girl. [S]he received excellent care at her delivery hospital by a complete and equally devastated healthcare team.”

Fellow co–chief resident Eric Raynal, MD, told Medscape Medical News that Chaniece’s preeclampsia “developed unusually rapidly. It was captured immediately and was especially severe,” he said.

“I think everyone in our community and the medical community that took care of her while hospitalized is at a loss for why her case of preeclampsia was so severe and did not improve after she delivered her baby, Charlotte,” he said.

“As physicians, we try to find answers and reason for everything we do in our practice of medicine, and it is so immensely frustrating when families ask us to explain things that are unexplainable,” Raynal said.

The statement from Riley Hospital said Wallace had completed her pediatrics residency in June and was beginning to explore career options as a general outpatient pediatrician.

“[H]er future impact, sure to be expansive, was taken away from her all too suddenly,” the announcement said.

Black Women at Triple the Risk for Maternal Death

Clinicians commented on social media that Wallace’s death highlights a grim statistic in healthcare in the United States: Black, Native American, and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women, according to recent Centers for Disease Control data.

Newborn hospitalist Shawnté James, MD, mourned Wallace’s death on Twitter, saying, “Childbirth isn’t safe for Black Women in America. This is crushing.”

Rachel Vreeman, MD, added: “Heart-broken over a new loss: a female pediatrician at a great academic medical center, with the same terrible pregnancy complication that I had. Except she is Black and she died.”

Raynal said, “What we know and can verify is that preeclampsia is more common in Black women. We would not say Chaniece’s preeclampsia and preeclampsia in women in general is ‘preventable.’ “

Raynal said Wallace was well aware of her risk and that they had talked privately about it routinely. She had also discussed the risks with her medical team.

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Chrissy Teigen Breaks Her Silence Following the Tragic Loss of Her Baby Boy

Earlier this month, Chrissy Teigen and her husband, John Legend, shared the devastating news that they’d lost their baby boy, Jack, at around 20 weeks due to complications with his placenta. Throughout her pregnancy Chrissy had been posting regular updates online, detailing the complications she was unfortunately facing.



Chrissy Teigen posing for the camera: Chrissy Teigen has broken her silence following the tragic loss of her baby boy, Jack, in a new moving blog post. She addresses those who questioned her photos


© Daniele Venturelli – Getty Images
Chrissy Teigen has broken her silence following the tragic loss of her baby boy, Jack, in a new moving blog post. She addresses those who questioned her photos

When Jack tragically passed, the brave couple also chose to share their grief with the world alongside a series of intimate photos, taken while in hospital. Baby loss awareness charity, Tommy’s, said this can be an important part of the grieving process for parents (in response to trolls leaving cruel messages on Chrissy’s social media accounts). Following that, Chrissy has been relatively quiet online, bar telling fans she and John are ‘quiet but okay’.

Now, the model, cookbook author and presenter has spoken in greater depth about what she’s been going through in a moving blog post. It begins with her thanking everybody for their kind words during this intensely difficult time, and for sharing their own stories too. She adds that notes beginning with ‘You don’t have to respond to this’ were helpful, as she felt quite overwhelmed (but appreciative) of the support.



graphical user interface, text, application: Chrissy's Brave Blog about Losing Her Baby Boy


Chrissy’s Brave Blog about Losing Her Baby Boy

Speaking about the moment she was told by doctors that her third child would not survive to full term, Chrissy wrote on Medium: ‘After a couple nights at the hospital, my doctor told me exactly what I knew was coming — it was time to say goodbye. He [Jack] just wouldn’t survive this, and if it went on any longer, I might not either. We had tried bags and bags of blood transfusions, every single one going right through me like we hadn’t done anything at all. Late one night, I was told it would be time to let go in the morning.’

Addressing the people who (bafflingly) went out of their way to write nasty messages underneath her personal photos, Chrissy said that John was reluctant to capture their pain at first, but that she knew she ‘needed to know of this moment forever, the same way I needed to remember us kissing at the end of the aisle, the same way I needed to remember our tears of joy after Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story.’



a close up of a person talking on a cell phone: Chrissy's Brave Blog about Losing Her Baby Boy


© Chrissy Teigen – Instagram
Chrissy’s Brave Blog about Losing Her Baby Boy

Showing an amazing amount of strength, she added, ‘I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done. I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like.

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