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Hospital Nurse Calls Baby a 'Loser' for Not Being Vaccinated

Baby called a loser for not being vaccinated

Being called a "loser" sounds like middle school stuff. You might hear kids hurling it around on the baseball field, or teasing each other with it in the hallway by their lockers. It's not, for example, something you expect to find written on a note in a hospital ... by a nurse ... about your baby.

But that's exactly what happened to a mom of three in Columbia, S.C., last week.

Katie Smart had originally taken her youngest child to Palmetto Health's Children Hospital for a twisted ankle and a slight fever. But a note that she found in the room while checking out caused her to do a double-take. It was apparently left by a nurse who'd been caring for her young son, and called out the fact that he had a fever and was in need of vaccinations. At the bottom of the note there was a sad face, accompanied by a big, enthusiastic, and unmistakable "Loser!"

As you might imagine, the young mom was more than a little upset by the whole thing.

"I feel judged," Smart later told WWLP.com. "For her to say that, she doesn't know why I choose not to vax."

Smart says she chose to vaccinate two of her three children after researching the ingredients of various vaccines, and making a conscious decision that she felt was right for her family. But her feelings of judgment now make her uncomfortable to return to the children's hospital in the future, which is the only one of its kind in the area.

While it's not yet known whether the note was dropped there by accident, or left on purpose, reps for the hospital are doing their best to apologize.

After the Smart family filed a formal complaint, Chief Operations Officer James Latham was contacted. And he was just as upset by the incident, too.

"We are not judgmental of others, and this clearly violates that standard of Palmetto health," said Latham. "I am genuinely sorry for this behavior, I truly am."

In the meantime, the note writer was suspended and the hospital is looking further into the matter.

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