ELLSWORTH, Wis. (AP) — A western Wisconsin nurse accused of amputating a hospice patient’s frostbitten foot without his consent and without doctor’s orders pleaded not guilty Thursday.
A lawyer for 38-year-old Mary K. Brown, of Durand, Wisconsin, entered pleas of not guilty for her to charges of mayhem, physical abuse of an elderly person and intentionally abusing a patient, causing great bodily harm, WEAU-TV and WQOW-TV reported.
After she cut off the man’s right foot on May 27, Brown told her colleagues that she wanted to display it at her family’s taxidermy shop with a sign that said: “Wear your boots kids,” according to charges filed in Pierce County.
The amputation happened May 27, and within about a week the 62-year-old man was dead. A criminal complaint gave no indication the amputation was a factor in his death.
According to the complaint, the man was admitted to Spring Valley Health and Rehab Center, where Brown worked at the time, after he fell at his home in March. The heat in his home was not turned on, and he suffered frostbite to both feet, leaving the tissue necrotic. His right foot remained attached to his leg by a tendon and roughly 2 inches (5 centimeters) of skin.
Brown is not allowed to work in any capacity as a caregiver, whether employed or as a volunteer, online court records state. She no longer works at Spring Valley.