NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Middle Tennessee woman became a widow on Thanksgiving after she says her husband caught fire while being treated at TriStar Centennial Medical Center.
Kathy Stark has been by her husband’s side for the past 35 years, through sickness and in health. She said Bobby Ray was bedridden for the last seven years, and earlier this month, went to the hospital for bed sores and a foot infection.
Eventually, he was transferred to TriStar Centennial, where Kathy said he coded and staff tried to revive him.
“Then they started the paddles, and it just blew up, everything,” Kathy said. “I saw that and I just burst out.”
Kathy said she saw flames cover her husband’s body.
“He got burned in the throat, the face, the head, the chest and his hands. And he got burnt really bad, he was on fire, and I said he’s on fire, put him out,” Kathy recalled.
Kathy said Bobby Ray was taken to Skyline for their burn unit, where he ended up dying Thanksgiving night. She’s now staying with Bobby’s daughter, who’s calling for answers from the hospital.
“They even made the comment to her, she’s repeated it to me many times of this has never happened before,” said Joyce Feakes, Bobby Ray’s daughter. “They need to make sure that that doesn’t happen to somebody else, so somebody else doesn’t lose their husband, their best friend, their dad. And even worse, we lost him on Thanksgiving.”
TriStar tells News 2 they are investigating what happened and released the following statement:
“We extend our deepest sympathies to this family for the loss of their loved one. While we cannot discuss specifics, we are reviewing the care provided to the patient and the functionality of equipment. The death of a loved one is always very difficult, and our hearts go out to this family.”
Kathy didn’t work and relied on Bobby’s income. His family has set up a Gofundme to help her get by.