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Supporters help pay state fines for former nurse Radonda Vaught after medical mistake case

RaDonda Vaught
Posted at 6:42 PM, May 23, 2022

New details emerged in a medical mistake case that made national headlines. Nurses across the country continue to rally around Radonda Vaught — the former Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse who was recently sentenced to probation for the error that led to the death of a patient.

But this case isn't yet closed for Vaught.

She still faces thousands of dollars in fines and penalties.

When the judge sentenced former nurse Radonda Vaught to probation instead of jail time, that felt like the end.

Legally, perhaps yes, but, financially for Vaught not close.

The jury found Vaught guilty of gross neglect of an impaired adult and criminally negligent homicide.

She was convicted of accidentally giving the wrong medicine to a patient — Charlene Murphy — who died.

The verdict brought three-years probation, but Vaught also was immediately on the hook for thousands of dollars.

The conviction led the Tennessee Board of Nursing to issue Vaught a $3,000 dollar civil penalty, and bill her more than $30,000 in legal and administrative expenses.

Vaught's friend Becca Francis Ray and others took notice and posted a moment on Facebook:

"I just want to let you know that over the last two days we went on Facebook and did a pledge and in less than 48 hours, here is a check for $38,967.04," said Ray.

"So much love for you."

"This is literally the exact amount, the exact amount," said a surprised Vaught when handed the check.

"This is what we did and it's gone now," said Ray.

"I love you. Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart," said Vaught.

Much of the money came from those in the medical community who followed the case.

Many worried what happened will drive nurses away.

"My fear is with this verdict you're going to see a mass exodus of nurses," said one nurse after the court case.

To that end, Vaught is now working with others on a bill to give nurses qualified immunity from criminal prosecution for mistakes.

They will be meeting with Tennessee state lawmakers in the coming months.

Vaught is now working on the family farm while on supervised probation.

Her record can be expunged after three years.

This story was originally published by Nick Beres of WTVF in Nashville, Tennessee.