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CNN: Parents help daughter 'escape' from Mayo Clinic

A Minnesota family claims Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic held their then 18-year-old daughter hostage after she was admitted to the hospital for a brain aneurysm in December 2016, according to CNN.

Here are seven things to know:

1. Alyssa Gilderhus, now 20, was admitted to the Mayo Clinic on Dec. 25, 2016, for a ruptured brain aneurysm. Two months later, she remained hospitalized at the facility.

2. Her parents told CNN although the neurosurgeons at the facility saved their daughter's life, they were dissatisfied with the care she received. They said they repeatedly asked Ms. Gilderhus' providers to transfer her to another hospital, but that Mayo refused to do so.

3. Ms. Gilderhus' parents said they began to suspect the hospital was trying to get a new guardian appointed to Ms. Gilderhus to make all medical decisions for her. On Feb. 28, 2017, they concocted a plan to tell nurses and other hospital staff Ms. Gilderhus' grandmother wanted to see her, but could not make it all the way up to her room. Ms. Gilderhus' parents were able to get her to the hospital's main entrance and into their waiting vehicle.

Ms. Gilderhus told CNN the escape felt "phenomenal," like "the biggest weight was lifted off [her] shoulders."

4. Mayo Clinic officials told police Ms. Gilderhus had been abducted from the facility and that she "[could not] make decisions for herself" and that her mother could not take care of her "because [she had] mental health issues." Hospital officials told police they "understood there was no formal diagnosis" for Ms. Gilderhus' mother. Ms. Gilderhus' mother told CNN there is no history of mental illness in her family.

An adult protective services officer told police, "Mayo was requesting [assistance] in gaining guardianship of Alyssa because they were concerned for the mother's mental health and the medical decisions that were being made for Alyssa," the report states.

5. The day Ms. Gilderhus left the Mayo Clinic, physicians wrote in her discharge notice that "Alyssa's medical condition, medical status, cognition and physical impairments require an ongoing inpatient level of medical care. She was not medically or functionally safe to leave the hospital at the time of her removal from the hospital by her stepfather," and that she was at risk for pneumonia, malnourishment, dehydration, aspiration, infection and falling.

6. Less than 12 hours after leaving the hospital, Ms. Gilderhus and her parents arrived at the emergency room for Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Medical Center. Physicians there disagreed with Mayo physicians on two critical issues: Ms. Gilderhus did not need to remain in a hospital setting and she had the mental capacity to make her own decisions. When police learned of the Sanford physicians' recommendations, they ended their search for Ms. Gilderhus and did not intervene further. No charges were filed against Ms. Gilderhus' parents.

7. Several days after visiting the Sanford hospital, Ms. Gilderhus and her parents received a letter from the Mayo Clinic dated March 1 informing them they would not treat the family.

"We have made this decision because of your actions which demonstrate a lack of trust and confidence in Mayo," the administrator wrote in the letter, according to CNN.

8. In an Aug. 13 statement to KIMT3 News, the Mayo Clinic said: "Patient safety is always our highest priority, and it is at the forefront of the care we deliver to each patient. We are unwavering in our dedication to do what is best for every patient, every time. This patient's case was no exception. This case was escalated to the highest level of leadership, and the care team worked with this family on a daily basis to listen to them and resolve their concerns. The same care, focus on her well-being and level of professionalism that this patient experienced during her life-saving surgery were also part of her post-surgery experience. This was a very complex situation with very challenging dynamics.

"Following a thorough and careful review of the care in question, we have determined that the version of events provided by certain patient family members to CNN are not supported by the facts nor do they track with the direct observations of numerous other providers on the patient’s care team. Our internal review determined that the care team's actions were true to Mayo Clinic's primary value that the patient's needs come first. We acted in a manner that honored that value for this patient and that also took into account the safety and well-being of the team caring for the patient."

To access the full report, click here.

To access Mayo Clinic's media statement in response to CNN's report, click here.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 9 a.m. Aug. 14 to include additional information from the Mayo Clinic.

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