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Nurse accused of leaving teenage patient alone faces neglect charge

Deputies say teen's ventilator was left unconnected

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A teenager who suffers from cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy was found struggling to breath and experiencing seizures after a nurse left him home alone, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the parents of the 18-year-old Deltona man hired licensed practical nurse David Buchmann to watch the teen while they went to dinner on Jan. 2 to celebrate a birthday.

The teen needs round-the-clock care and requires a ventilator to breathe.

About an hour and a half after Buchmann began his shift, the man's mother received an alert from her Ring doorbell that showed Buchmann walking out of the home and driving off, according to a news release.

Deputies said the victim's mother tried to call Buchmann and his wife but they couldn't reach them so her husband left the restaurant and rushed home to check on the teen. When the father arrived, he found his son was having a seizure and was struggling to breathe because his ventilator was not connected, according to authorities.

The victim had not been given his usual dose of seizure medication, the report said.

Deputies said the victim was left home alone for about 15 minutes.

Buchmann returned to the home while deputies were there and said he had left because he wasn't feeling well, deputies said. The report said he returned because he wanted "to come back and see what the problem was.”

Buchmann was arrested Friday on a charge of neglect of a disabled person. He'd been working with the family for about five years prior to the incident.


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