25-year-old dies on way to urgent care because emergency room wait was taking hours

25-year-old dies on way to urgent care because emergency room wait was taking hours
© Screenshot/NBC

A 25-year-old Milwaukee woman died after facing an hours-long wait at an emergency room for chest pain, collapsing as she went to seek help at an urgent care center instead. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Tashonna Ward arrived at Froedtert Hospital's emergency room just before 5 p.m. on Jan. 2 due to shortness of breath and chest pain. According to a Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's report, Ward was seen for tests, and an X-ray showed that she had cardiomegaly or an enlarged heart.

She was sent back to the waiting room where she waited for treatment and posted on Facebook about the long wait. 

"I been here since 4:30 something for shortness of breath, and chest pains for them to just say it’s a two to SIX hour wait to see a dr. Like that is really f------ ridiculous," her post read. 

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After roughly two and a half hours in the emergency room, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Ward decided to go to an Urgent Care to seek help. According to the medical examiner's report, Ward said she sought help elsewhere because she "felt she was waiting too long."

Ward then collapsed as she walked from her car to the entrance of the urgent care center and wash rushed back to Froedtert Hospital, where she was pronounced dead just before 11 p.m.

Ward's mother, Yolanda Ward, has requested an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but the results are still pending.

Froedtert Hospital said in a statement to NBC News that privacy laws prevent them from discussing the situation, but offered the Ward family "our deepest sympathy."

Ward had reportedly been told in March of 2019 she had an enlarged heart when her baby died during pregnancy and a doctor uncovered the condition. It's unclear whether her heart had remained enlarged, as sometimes the condition includes flare-ups and temporarily goes away. 

An enlarged heart, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, can increase risk for blood clots, cardiac arrest and other heart problems.

In a fundraiser for her funeral expenses, family describe Ward as "an amazing daughter, sister, cousin, niece and friend loved by all. Tashonna was always positive and she always put her family first."