A trans teen killed himself after being taunted by hospital employees kept on calling him a girl while he was on a suicide watch lockdown.
Kyler Prescott, who was just 14 when he died, was overcome with anxiety and depression when he committed suicide in May 2015.
In the weeks before his death, the Southern California teen was admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, in the youth’s psychiatry unit for a 72 hour suicide hold.
But when he was held there, hospital employees kept referring to Kyler as a girl. From that point ‘he went into a spiral’.
‘He was frantic,’ his mother Katherine Prescott said. ‘They were making him worse. They were completely traumatizing him.
This week Prescott has filed a civil lawsuit against the hospital in US District Court in Southern California, claiming medical personnel violated federal and state laws that protect against discrimination during Kyler’s stay.
And while Prescott is insistent she is not blaming the hospital for her trans son’s death, she wants it to be held accountable to ‘make sure that doesn’t happen to any other kids’.
‘When my son was in despair, I entrusted Rady Children’s Hospital with his safety and well-being,’ Prescott told the Washington Post.
‘Hospitals are supposed to be safe places that help people when they’re in need. Instead of recovering at the hospital, Kyler got worse because staff continued to traumatize him by repeatedly treating him as a girl and ignoring his serious health issues.
‘It’s painful to speak out, but I want to make sure no other parent or child ever has to go through this again.’
Rady’s Children Hospital in San Diego has a Gender Management Clinic to help young people dealing with their gender dysphoria.
In a statement, the hospital said their ‘top priority is providing the absolute highest level of care to our patients and families’.
‘While it is the policy of Rady Children’s not to comment on pending legal matters, any allegations of wrongdoing, including discrimination, are investigated thoroughly and followed up on,’ they added.
Kyler wrote a poem in the weeks leading up to his death.
‘I’ve been looking for him for years, but I seem to grow farther away from him with each passing day
‘He’s trapped inside this body, wrapped in society’s chains that keep him from escaping.
‘But one day I will break those chains. One day I will set him free.
‘And I’ll finally look in the mirror. And see me —
‘The boy I was always meant to be.’