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Mother claims child denied medical help because of clothes

Gangsta Wrapper Photo sweater.jpg
Posted at 6:03 PM, Apr 20, 2021

A Ville Platte mother says a Christmas sweater is the reason a doctor refused to perform surgery on her son, who was shot.

The mother says her teen was denied treatment at a doctor's office. She says she believes her child was profiled because of his race and his clothing.

"You could see my son was upset. I was more hurt for him because he's not a gang member. He's 17. That doesn't give him the right to profile him because of something he was wearing," Shelly Jack tells us.

"It's a red sweatshirt. It has Santa Claus on it. It says gangster and wrapper, but with a w at the bottom," she says. "You know Santa Claus is like a gangster gift wrapper. It's a joke. Just a funny shirt."

Here's Jack, holding the shirt:

Jack says a doctor at Mercy Regional Medical Center didn't get the joke.

"And he looked at him and said "You have the nerve to come in to my office with this gangsta apparel after you got shot in the leg and all the kids got shot due to gangster activity," Jack says the doctor said.

She says her 17-year-old son isn't a member of a gang, and wasn't part of a shooting. He was trying to pull a friend out of a fight that started at an apartment complex, and when shots were fired, a bullet ended up in the teen's leg. He was originally treated for his injury , but was told he'd have to make an appointment with a surgeon to get the bullet removed, she says.

But after they made their appointment, Jack says they were denied service at the appointment.

"I said I don't see the problem but he can take it off, and he said "no you don't come into my office with this gangsta gear. That's disrespectful to me and everyone else in here." And he ranted on how he wasn't going to participate in helping a gang member..; That's what I got from it," Jack tells us.

Days later after his original appointment was set up the procedure was done by another doctor. They were able to make another appointment with another surgeon from the same hospital, she said.

Here is a photo of her son getting the procedure done by another surgeon from Mercy Regional Medical Center.

Jack has now filed a complaint with the hospital and is considering other legal options.

Mercy Regional sent us a statement saying "Our hospital takes all complaints very seriously. We complete a full investigation on each complaint filed. All complaints are confidential and we maintain the privacy of each patient."

"It hurt my feelings because i know my son, he doesn't, he's not perfect, but he trying. He's in high school about to graduate. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. That doesn't give him the right to profile him because of something he was wearing."

KATC reached out to the doctor directly at his office. We were told he wasn't available and left a message. He has not responded. We haven't named the doctor at this point because the investigation is underway and there is no lawsuit or charges.