Woman tried to save man found dead under bridge near Scripps Hospital in Hillcrest

Posted at 7:22 AM, Mar 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 02:21:15-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A woman says she tried to save the life of a man found dead under a bridge this morning. He was released from the hospital just hours before police found his body in Hillcrest. 

There was something about a man at the hospital that stood out to Megen Murray. 

"For whatever reason, I don't know why he caught my eye," said Murray. "I just watched the orderly wheel him outside."

He was discharged from Scripps Mercy Hospital Wednesday night. He was still wearing a hospital gown when he was found.

"It was just unnatural to see a man in a hospital gown, in a wheelchair, sitting on the street."

Murray says she tried to get the hospital to help, but she says they wouldn't listen. 

"Yep, he's homeless, he has nowhere to go, we dismissed him, if he wants he can come back in and be seen again but that was it," said Murray.

She then took it upon herself to make him comfortable. 

"I said, 'I have these blankets for you,' and he looked at me and gave me the biggest smile. And then I said, 'I only have $5 cash on me, so here's $5.' I told him to put it in his pocket and said 'I'm sorry I cant do more."'

The hospital told 10News the man was healthy enough to be released and aware of his surroundings. Seven hours later he was found dead after tumbling from the Washington Street bridge. 

And it's not the first time a patient was discharged in hospital clothes. A video from Baltimore went viral in January that showed a woman, wobbling and confused, still wearing a gown and surgical mask. 

Homeless patients are often discharged after being treated with nowhere to go. A new California Senate bill is trying to change that. 

The bill would require hospitals to coordinate with shelters to make sure the patient is cared for after they're released. 

RELATED: New bill to end homeless "patient dumping"

"We need to be more compassionate," said Murray. "We have to see these people as people. They're people. It just ripped me to the core. I'm going through my mind with, "what we can do?" I'm glad to know that that bill is out there because it needs to be addressed.

A spokesman couldn't comment on specifics for privacy reasons. They did say it's the hospital's practice to offer shelter and transportation resources to patients before they're released.