Family members claim Upstate doctors misled them about brain death of loved one

Lee Corron

The family of a dying man at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse say they consented to removing life support under the apparent mistaken impression he was brain dead.

On April 4th, 43 year old Lee Corran suffered an apparent cardiac arrest at his home in Syracuse. For 24 days his family stayed by his side as Corron lay in a coma.

On April 19th, Todd Corran told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that doctors informed the family an MRI showed that his brother was brain dead, so they consented to removal of life support. "This was the doctor's recommendation because there was no brain activity and he was never supposed to wake up." Todd Corron said. "So by the recommendation of the doctor, we decided to pull his breathing tube, the IV's and the food."

The family claims doctors told them Lee would pass away within hours. After four days, they say doctors told them there were signs of brain activity after all. By then they say the damage to Corron's organs had already been done.

Family members say the hospital staff was not telling them what might have gone wrong. On Friday, April 26th, they filed a formal complaint with Upstate's Office of Patient Relations.

Kayla Corron told Kenyon, "If we would have known... he had brain activity we would never have taken him off all that stuff. Our dad is 43 years old."

On April 28th, after 9 days off life support, Corron died surrounded by his family.

Upstate University Hospital issued a statement: "We offer our condolences to the family during what is a most difficult time for all. Due to privacy issues, Upstate is unable to comment on individual patient care issues." It goes on to say... "Upstate works closely with all patients and their families so that all involved have a solid understanding of an individual's course of treatment."

The family of Lee Corron says they still haven't gotten the full story about how he died. They say they're pursuing a complaint with the New York State Health Department."{>}

According to the State Health Department's website, between January 2005 until March 2012, Upstate University Hospital has been formally investigated 44 times. The Health Department issued 124 citations against the hospital. Two of them resulted in fines amounting to a combined total of $14,000.