As Occupy L.A. called for " ... donations of Zicam, TheraFlu, tea/honey/lemons, decongestants, etc ... " for sick participants at City Hall today, a 32-year-old sometime pro wrestler says she's occupying County USC Medical Center (for free healthcare) and complains not only of "filthy" conditions but also that medical staff won't honor her gluten-free diet.
Occupier Elizabeth Kempf, a.k.a. Liz Savage in the ring, recently blogged descriptions of her experience at the public hospital that run from Dickensian to bratty. We don't know whether to feel sorry for her or to give her quiet time.
I explained my dietary needs to the nurses. I am gluten free and lactose intolerant and rarely eat meats due to a hormone imbalance. The kitchen sent me nothing for breakfast and lunch. When the Dietitian finally visited, she was clueless as to how to help me with my dietary issues, and asked me what I wanted ... When I got my food it was low in calories and nutritional value. My food consisted of over cooked green beans and rice gruel all on a plate. It was inedible.
Kempf says she went to County-USC Friday night after developing a fever while camped out at City Hall. She blogs that she ended up with an infection/abscess.
Among her allegations are that at a phlebotomist assaulted her and then ran away, that at least one medical worker tried to work on her without gloves, that her repeated listing of her allergies were ignored (leading to the near-administration of medicine she was allergic to) and that requests to see a social worker were ignored.
The male nurse who was on shift at the time touched me using his bare hands. He tried twice to hook up my IV, bare handed both times, while dragging the ends of the IV on the ground.
Later she blogs "this hospital is filthy."
We reached Kempf on the phone after about 20 minutes on hold, with staffers attempting to divert us to the hospital's PR people.
She said people getting sick at Occupy L.A. "is an issue" and that she's attempting to get hospital workers to set up a clinic at the City Hall site:
I talked to people here to see if they can donate their time considering we're doing marches for their retirement.
Yeah, Kempf talks like that.
She said she became jobless a week before Occupy started: She was laid off from a job "cooking." Kempf is from New York and came to L.A. more than a year ago.
Kempf claimed that one reason it's been hard for her to find a job is that "a lot of the jobs require that I speak Spanish and I do not."
(Like we said, she's like that).
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
So far she says she has lost 10 pounds in the hospital (and another 15 during her City Hall occupation), leading to a non-wrestler-like weight of 90. (She says she measures 5 feet, 2 inches).
Her incident with the phlebotomist, she said, would lead to her calling police soon. Kempf said he yanked her arm against her will and caused it to impact her wound.
The wrestler's best moment at County-USC? She said social workers are finally working on getting her food stamps. She plans on leaving the hospital today.