Patient accidentally given wrong drug questions RaDonda Vaught charges

Vaught Verdict
Posted at 2:38 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 06:35:39-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's the stuff of nightmares.

That's how a patient describes being accidentally given a paralytic drug.

She was then shocked to learn of a similar case and closely followed the prosecution of former nurse Radonda Vaught.

Cheryl Addison said that while the mistake was terrifying and wrong, Vaught should never have been charged with a crime.

There are few people who may know what Charlene Murphey endured before dying after Vaught gave her the wrong medicine.

Addison is one of them.

A jury convicted Vaught — the former Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse — of criminally negligent homicide.

The trial was closely followed across the country.

Addison watched intently.

"I did try to follow the trial itself. It was just too overwhelming for me," she said.

It was overwhelming because what happened to Murphey happened to her — except Addison survived.

She went for surgery-prep at a Texas hospital and also was somehow accidentally given a paralytic.

"I'm paralyzed. My diaphragm is paralyzed — 100% alert and helpless," she said.

She couldn't move or breathe. But as she started to suffocate she heard two nurses notice.

"One says she's in distress. What did you give her? The other says Versed. Back to this one — how much? Two milligrams. Where's the syringe? In the trash," Addison said.

They discovered the horrible mistake and managed to revive Addison. She's now back home safe with her family.

In her case, no criminal charges were filed.

What does she think of Vaught?

"In RaDonda's case, she was transparent. She was honorable," Addison said.

Addison said Vaught admitted to the mistake brought on by a broken health care system.

"Does she deserve jail time? I don't think so. She lost her license and her career," she said.

Addison thinks that's enough, and Vaught should be allowed now to move on with her life.

Vaught will face sentencing in May. The judge will decide on the sentence, which could range from probation to up to six years in jail.