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Hospital Failed To Notify Family “Missing Man” Was There

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – A North Texas family says they deserve an apology from a hospital that failed to notify them for 2 days that their loved one was there.

The family thought Eric Schultz was missing and filed a report with Mesquite police.

His family grew concerned when they hadn’t heard him in several hours.

“I instantly knew something was wrong,” said Heather Scherzer Penkauskas, Schultz’s sister.

The family had no idea Schultz had been taken to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas after he’d been hit by an unknown vehicle in a hit and run accident.

They soon began their own search for him.

“I walked the woods. I walked along the side of the highway. I walked everywhere looking for him,” Scherzer Penkauskas said.

The next day, she filed a missing person’s report with the Mesquite police department and began calling hospitals in the area, including Baylor, looking for her brother.

“They kept telling me that they didn’t have anybody there by that name. I asked about recent John Does that they’d had come in. I described my brothers tattoos. They didn’t have anybody with that description,” she said. “They had all of his information, they knew who he was.”

Schultz had been transported to Baylor with the belongings he was found with, including his military ID and dog tags, his Texas driver’s license and even prescription information for medication he takes for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But Baylor failed to notify the family that Schultz had been admitted until 2 days later.

“It could have saved a lot of panic,” his sister said.

Baylor Dallas sent CBS11 the following statement:

“At Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, patient safety and privacy are our top priorities. In this instance, Baylor made an effort to contact this patient’s family. That effort was unsuccessful. Because of a clerical error, we were not able to confirm his identity with callers. We regret that this situation occurred.”

The family was expecting an apology that never came.

“My son was missing. I didn’t know he was hurt. I couldn’t find him,” said Shay Pitts, Schultz’s mother, through tears. “When I did find him, he was in ICU in critical condition.”

Now the family is hoping to move forward, praying the hit and run driver who hit Schultz will come forward.

Schultz was struck by an unknown driver along southbound 635 in Mesquite between New Market and Bruton roads around 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 10.

If you have any information that can help with the investigation, call Mesquite police.

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