Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams, 20, gave birth to her first child at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 14, 2002. After nearly two days of labor, Jennifer requested an epidural. A nurse anesthetist administered the epidural and told Jennifer to recite the alphabet backwards. "When she stuttered on the letter 'S'," her husband, Vincent, said, "I knew she was in trouble." Jennifer's eyes rolled back, she turned blue and fell sideways on to the bed. According to the lawyer handling the case for Vincent Adam, Jennifer's epidural was administered in the wrong place and anesthesized her heart and diaphragm. She suffered severe brain injury from oxygen deprivation for at least six to eight minutes. Her baby boy was delivered by emergency cesarean and had to be resuscitated. The baby suffered a stroke and seizure six weeks after he was born and suffers from cerebral palsy, right-sided hemiperisis (partial paralysis), and developmental delay.

Because Tripler has no brain rehabilitation facility, Jennifer was sent by the Army to one near Florida, near her parents' home. The Army arranged for her to go "space available" on military aircraft with her husband and a registered nurse. They left Honolulu on April 2, 2003, just a few weeks after the start of the Iraq war. Probably because of the lack of "space available" flights traveling from Hawaii to the mainland, it took twelve days for Jennifer to arrive at the Florida facility. Jennifer was flown from Hawaii to northern California, where she waited for five days before flying from there to San Diego, then to Glendale, Arizona, then to San Antonio, Texas and finally, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Two days after arriving at her final stop, Jennifer died of pneumonia.