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SC Teen Dies Jumping from Ambulance as SC Contemplates Cutting More Services

Posted Mar 04 2010 12:00am

State-flag-south-carolina It's taken me a couple of days to gather up the heart to run this story  of a 16 year old boy who tumbled to his death out of the back of an ambulance in South Carolina. In the interim, I read that SC is considering draconian cuts  to their social services budget.

(NBC) - Family members of a Greenville, SC teen killed when he jumped from a moving ambulance said that the death of the autistic 16-year-old on Sunday could have been prevented.

For starters, Shelly Hodge didn't want her son, Ryan Emory, released from the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute in Columbia on Feb. 6. On his discharge papers she wrote: "I, Shelly Hodge, Ryan Emory's mother, disagree with the Department of Disabilities and Special Need's discharge recommendation at this time. There are no services in place. I fear for my safety and his."

Hodge isn't just a concerned mother. She's also a nurse. Based on her medical training, she believes there was something very wrong with her son, more than just autism.

"He knows his little mind was broken and just wanted someone to help him," she said. "No one would help him. Nobody would take him in. All he needed was 24/7 care at a facility to evaluate him. That's what I was asking for."

Hodge said her son was like a 6-year-old mentally, but physically he was big and strong. Emory weighed 250 pounds, so when he threw a tantrum there was a chance someone would get hurt. Often it was family.

Hodge tried to impress the DDSN that her son desperately needed help.

"'This kid's not safe. It's not going to end well.' I told them that and they didn't believe me," said Hodge... Read more at WMBF News.  

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