Man admitted to hospital now missing

February 20, 2008 10:25:19 PM PST
Recovering stroke patient William Etzler was taken by ambulance from one hospital to another across town, but Laguna Honda Hospital has no record he ever arrived. Now, no one knows where in the world he is.

What we do know is that there was a botched transfer. At Laguna Honda Hospital, their records show no signs of that man ever being admitted there.

The ambulance company says they delivered both the paper work and the patient. However, he is still missing and his son went to the police to file a missing persons report.

Since Tuesday afternoon Bebe Etzler has been looking for his father. 54 year old William Etzler is recovering from a stroke. He was supposed to be transferred from San Francisco General hospital to Laguna Honda for rehabilitation, but something went wrong.

"I got the phone call from the nurses and said 'your father is missing. He has somehow been misplaced'. What do you mean misplaced? He has a stroke. What happened?," says Bebe Etler.

The nurses had no response. Laguna Honda says there is no paperwork showing that William Etzler was processed or admitted.

"I have no records that they brought him here. All I have is that an ambulance driver spoke to a nurse. The nurse sent a ptient to this room and this bed and when she returned, there was no patient, no ambulance driver, no paramedics, nobody," says John Kanaley, Laguna Honda Hospital Exec. Administrator.

St. Josephs Ambulance company says they transfer patients to Laguna Honda everyday and that all proper procedures were followed correctly.

"The nursing staff pulled the bed back. The patient sat on the bed. We stuck around for 10 minutes or so. The patient was transfer and we left," says Richard Angotti, Saint Josephs Ambulance Services CEO.

One thing everyone agrees on is that William Etzler is missing. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a coat, a hooded sweatshirt and a black leather coat.

"I hope he's out there somewhere. I don't want to get a call and have to come down to identify a body. That's something I don't want to have to do. I mean, he's my father," says Bebe Etzler.

He has searched everywhere in the city. William is partially paralyzed and can partially speak only a few words. If you see him and know his whereabouts, please call 415-759-2300. As you can imagine, his family is desperate to find him.


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