CBS7 INVESTIGATES: Odessa man can't find mother for three hours; Hospital registers her under wrong name

ODESSA, Tx. (KOSA) - Ray Pacheco watched as his mother was loaded into an ambulance back in December, but it was hours before he was able to see her again.

He said EMS took his mother to Medical Center Hospital's Emergency Room, because Odessa Regional Medical Center's ER was unable to take patients that day.

Pacheco got there as soon as he could - but said when he asked the staff what room she was in - they told him she wasn't there.

"I showed them a bag of pills - all of her medications that I brought. I tried to find out where she was at and they kept telling me that she wasn't there," Pacheco explained.

He frantically tried to find her for over three hours.

At one point, he said, the staff threatened to call security on him.

"Then, I finally smartened up and forgot that I had all of her identification in my wallet," Pacheco said. "That's when I gave her the ID - she took it to the back and said, 'We found your mother. She's back there, this is her.'"

When he finally found her, Pacheco discovered that hospital staff had admitted her with the wrong last name.

MCH did an internal investigation - and in a letter to Pacheco - said it came to the same conclusion. The letter stated that they even had a different birthday on record.

The hospital also apologized for the mix-up.

"Registration wanted to get her taken care of in a timely manner. She was inputed into registration under the false name and false birthdate. Although, that does not affect the care what so ever," MCHS Director of Public Relations Trevor Tankersley said. "We never here treat the patient based on birthdate or name. We treat them based on the symptoms that they are coming in for - they are treated based on that."

Tankersley added that they do understand Pacheco's reasons for being upset, but employees in the emergency department were focused on getting his mother the care she needed.

"It's not an ideal situation for anyone coming in that's unresponsive. Our employees handled it professionally and as best as they could," he said.