Nurse Dies After Being Attacked By Mental Health Patient - Manslaughter Charges
By Chaunie Brusie
A Baton Rouge, Louisiana nurse has passed away after she was attacked by a mental health patient at Baton Rouge General Mid City hospital. Nurse Lynne Truxillo, 56, became involved in an altercation with the patient when she attempted to save the life of her co-worker, whom the patient initially attacked.
According to a local news station, Live 5 News, the attacker is Jessie Guillory, 54, of Lake Charles. There is a warrant out for his arrest and he has been charged with one count of manslaughter.
Guillory attacked Truxillo April 4, 2019. Although she survived the attack initially, she succumbed to her injuries five days later on April 11. She passed away in the same hospital where she once cared for patients just like Guillory.
Details of the attack
The official police warrant reveals details of the attack, noting that Guillory came to the nurses’ station and provoked an altercation with one of the other nurses working. After he reportedly becomes violent and charged at her, he pinned her into the corner and attempted to swing his arms and grab at her. At that point, Truxillo then interfered and pulled Guillory away from the other nurse at which point he began attacking Truxillo.
Although the frightened nurse tried to run away, Guillory grabbed her by the neck and “violently” shoved her head down, striking her head on the desk, according to the warrant.
By that point, several other nurses tried to stop the attack and when Truxillo was finally able to pull away from the patient, she fell, sustaining a tear to her ACL that would end up requiring surgery to repair. She also suffered injuries and abrasions to her neck as a result of the struggle. Truxillo was unable to finish her shift that day.
Video evidence and statements from her coworkers supported initial reports and the eventual arrest warrant for Guillory.
The Advocate reports East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. Beau Clark determined there was ultimately a direct correlation between Truxillo’s struggle with Guillory and the blood clots that eventually killed her.
Although she survived her injuries initially, she began having trouble breathing during recovery. She was admitted to the ER with complaints of trouble breathing and then went into cardiac arrest. Doctors were unable to revive her, despite several attempts. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was a blood clot in her leg and pulmonary emboli in both lungs. Because the blood clots were a direct result of the attack, her death was ruled as a homicide. She passed away shortly after 1 a.m. on April 11.
Nurses speak out
Nurses around the country spoke out on social media about Truxillo’s attack and ultimate death, expressing both their sympathy and their outrage that a nurse should die at the hands of a patient. Some also expressed cautious reminders not to paint patients with mental health conditions as universally violent.
“Let’s stop using the ‘mental health’ label,” commented one Facebook reader. “It was criminal, evil or something else; but we have to be responsible for not increasing the perception that folks who need mental health care are dangerous.”
Still, others pointed to Truxillo’s story as one that highlights the dangers that nurses face on the job, as well as the lack of protection nurses, can have when dealing with patients who may become violent.
“Prayers for her family!” commented another reader. “And, prayers for all healthcare individuals who give so much of themselves to help/heal others!!”
Remembered as a hero
Truxillo, who will forever be remembered for her brave actions in trying to save her coworker, is also remembered as a “kind, compassionate and giving nurse” with a “helpful and thoughtful nature” who was a favorite of colleagues and patients. She was a proud Sacred Heart school parent and volunteer and was even awarded the school’s Outstanding Home and School Volunteer Award at a recognition dinner.
Truxillo’s son, Andrew posted the following statement on Facebook the day after her death: “I want to say thank you to all that have sent their condolences and prayers. To those who came over today and yesterday. It is so wonderful seeing all the people my mother touched with her love and spirit. This will forever be the worst thing to ever happen to my family and I. But, Lynne Truxillo will never be forgotten. It will eventually get better, however, it will be worse before it gets better. Someone who visited yesterday said, ‘The time between now and the next time we meet her seems like an eternity. However, when we do meet her again it will BE for eternity.’ This really resonated with me because I know how hard it is right now but in the end, we will be united again in Heaven. I LOVE YOU, MOM!”
Sources say that it’s unclear what triggered Guillory’s.