On June 9, 1999, Maria Leho was in the first trimester of pregnancy, when she entrusted herself to the staff at Albany Medical Surgical Center of Chicago -- a member of the Family Planning Associates Medical Group chain of abortion facilities. She was to undergo an abortion at the hands of John Weitzner, MD.
Weitzner performed a suction abortion on Maria, while Lawrence Hill, CRNA, administered Brevitol for anesthesia. This drug is inappropriate for a patient who had seizure disorder, as Maria had indicated on her medical history. Maria was under anesthesia for a total of four minutes, from 12:40 to 12:44 p.m. Hill then transferred Maria to the recovery room without first verifying that her condition was stable. When she was transferred, the pulse oximeter, which monitors pulse and blood oxygen levels, was removed.
Once in the recovery room, the still-sedated and unconscious Maria was attended Tanya Hall, RN, while Hill went to administer anesthesia to another patient. Hall put a blood pressure cuff on Maria's arm, and another pulse oximeter on her finger, but this one hadn't been tested. She then left the recovery room. Maria was now in the care of Yvette Johnson, RN. A nurse reviewing Maria's records noted that the nurses did not perform a proper assessment of Maria when she was turned over to their care. They did not take a pulse or check to see if she was even breathing.
Shortly thereafter, Johnson noticed that Maria wasn't breathing and had no pulse. She, Hill, and Hall attempted to resuscitate her with CPR, and ambu-bag, and a defibrillator. Nobody summoned Weitzner, who was performing an abortion on another patient. He came into the recovery room at about 12:50. Staff continued to try to revive Maria for another ten minutes before they finally got around to calling 911, rather than summoning EMS as soon as they realized that their patient was in a life-threatening emergency.Maria was taken to Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's hospital, where she died on June 11. She left behind two sons, a 7-year-old and a toddler.
Albany, through FPA, is a member of the National Abortion Federation. They had already had one patient, Deanna Bell, die from anesthesia complications. Then-owner Edward Campbell Allred admitted that he failed to perform any preventability study to keep any other patients from suffering Deanna's fate.