Crime

MURDER TRIAL DAY 9: CHRISTUS nurse says William Davis was in patient’s room when he crashed

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – The jury in the trial of a former East Texas nurse accused of injecting air into patients’ arterial lines heard more testimony Friday, from nurses who were assigned to alleged victims of William Davis.

“She was a very pleasant person to be around,” said Katherine Atkinson, the daytime nurse of Pamela Henderson.

Atkinson was tasked with helping Henderson recover from heart surgery. Doctors say the surgery was a difficult one. Henderson’s blood pressure had become problematic and she was given CPR. But her condition would improve. Her nightside nurse Korde Smith told the jury that leading up to midnight on November 29th, 2017, Henderson was doing well, sitting up in bed playing on her iPad. But Smith says shortly after midnight, she began to unexpectedly crash.

“I ran into the room at that point to check on the patient and see if the arterial line was functioning properly,” Smith said

He says her blood pressure was significantly higher than normal.

“When I ran into the room, Will was already in the room at the bedside. I looked at him and said ‘was that a real blood pressure?’ He said he believed so. At that point, we both were checking the arterial line to check for its functionality, to make sure it was functioning properly,” Smith said.

Smith told the jury when he arrived in the room, William Davis was standing at the foot of the bed on the side closest to the arterial line setup. He said he thought Henderson may be having a stroke.

“She had a deviated gaze, she wasn’t responding to questions, she wasn’t moving any of her extremities,” Smith said.

No family members of Pamela Henderson testified Friday and it wasn’t made clear what the extent of her injuries are today. But one thing that was clear back in 2017, a disturbing trend of heart surgery patients taking a sudden turn for the worst, always in the early hours of the morning.

“My thinking is this is exactly what they’re looking for, what they were looking at in previous patients and everybody involved needs to be prepared to be questioned for this because somebody’s going to be looking for answers,” Smith said.

And that they were. President of CHRISTUS Mother Frances hospital Jason Proctor said he was aware of the trend and wanted answers. After meeting with William Davis in January 2018, the hospital took him off the schedule following the sudden crash of Joseph Kalina.

The prosecution presented more witness testimony Friday in the trial of a former East Texas nurse accused of killing patients.

William Davis, 37, of Hallsville, is accused of injecting air into the arterial lines of patients at a Tyler heart hospital. Davis was arrested in April 2018.

2:26 p.m. – Defense questioned Korde Smith.

Smith says he did not see a syringe in Davis’ hand or in the arterial line.

The next witness, Teresa Meeks, is the Director of CHRISTUS’ cardiovascular intensive care unit.

“Oh, God.” was her reaction to hearing about Pamela Henderson’s sudden crash when she came in that morning.

Davis told Meeks he was in Henderson’s room to respond to a high blood pressure alarm.

Jason Proctor, President of CHRISTUS Mother Frances, took the stand.

He says he was aware of “unexpected, unexplained” outcomes in 2017 and early 2018.

Proctor said Chellette said she was very concerned, distressed upon seeing security camera video showing William Davis enter Kalina’s room around 1:16 a.m.

Davis told Proctor and Chellette in a meeting soon after that he was in the hallway and heard the alarm in Kalina’s room so he responded to it.

On Jan. 25, 2018, Proctor got a phone call from Deb Chellette about Joseph Kalina’s downturn that day. A decision was made to pull William Davis off the schedule after that.

On Jan. 28, 2018, administration went to Tyler police to let them know of their concerns, seeking to resolve the recurring issues.

On Jan. 29, 2018, Proctor and Chellette had another meeting with Will Davis. Proctor says Davis’ story had changed. Initially said he didn’t mess with the arterial line, but in the second meeting he said he did touch the line.

11:46 a.m. The prosecution called their next witness, Korde Smith, who was assigned as Pamela Henderson’s nightside nurse. Smith said Henderson was doing well on the Nov. 29, 2017, sitting up in bed and using her iPad.

Smith said her heart rate and blood pressure were good leading up to midnight. Smith described a “significant event” happened around midnight Nov. 30, 2017 when she had significantly high blood pressure.

Smith says William Davis was in the room when he entered and he asked Davis “is that a real blood pressure?” Henderson wasn’t responding, Smith says both men flushed the arterial line at 1:37 a.m. Henderson begins a CT scan in an attempt to diagnose the cause. There was a sense of “tension” on the floor because at that point, multiple heart surgery patients went from neurologically intact to unresponsive.

Smith was interviewed by the police in early 2018, saying he was nervous, unsure of why he was being questionedand worried his license could be in jeopardy.

10:30 a.m. The prosecution called the next witness, Katherine Atkinson, who was assigned to Pamela Henderson as her daytime nurse. Atkinson says Henderson was doing well on Nov. 29, 2017 saying she was able to squeeze Atkinson’s hand. Atkinson told Henderson’s husband that he could go home the night of Nov. 29 and said she expected Henderson to be fine.

9:25 a.m. Anesthesiologist Dr. Lowe said during Pamela Henderson’s heart surgery on Nov. 27, 2017, her blood pressure dropped when she was being moved to the CVICU after surgery.

Lowe’s testimony said doctor’s administered medications and her blood pressure rose too high, so they lowered it back down. Troubles remained and doctors began chest compressions. Her body wasn’t circulating blood fast enough, according to Lowe. She responded well to CPR and Lowe says any air that entered her heart during surgery would have been gone by the time of her unexpected downturn that happened on Nov. 30, 2018 in the early morning hours Henderson survived the trauma.

9:09 a.m. Robert Graham, custodian of records for CHRISTUS, was questioned regarding security cameras on the CVICU floor. In 2017, security cameras were on each end of the floor.

The next witness called Dr. Christopher Lowe, a CHRISTUS anesthesiologist. Lowe was the anesthesiologist for the alleged victim Pamela Henderson’s surgery.

Written by Julian Esparza and Carrie Provinsal

Categories: Crime, Law

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