MIAMI (CBS4) – Flor Graham wept and clutched a photo of her husband, Miguel Rocafort, at their home in Southwest Miami-Dade Friday, the day after he died, possibly from injuries he received in a hit and run accident last Saturday.

His widow blames the hit and run driver, but also believes the hospital that treated him may have contributed to his death, by putting insurance coverage issues above her husband’s care.

Rocafort, 51, a bicycling enthusiast of many decades, was hit by a driver who kept on going Saturday at 6:50 a.m.  Miami-Dade Fire Rescue rushed the injured man to Kendall Regional Medical Center, that has a class II trauma center, rather than take him to other hospitals that were closer.

Rocafort’s family told CBS4 News he suffered a broken neck in the form of a fractured vertebrae, a serious head injury, fluid on the brain, and a broken leg.  Despite the extent of his injuries, the family says Kendall Regional attempted to discharge Rocafort on Monday, just two days after the accident.

“They told me the insurance was tightening up,” said the wife, Flor Graham.   “I told them he was too seriously injured to go home yet.”

Graham, who is a medical assistant at Jackson Memorial Hospital, said Kendall Regional allowed her husband to remain one more day, releasing him Tuesday.  Less than 36 hours later he would be dead.

“He wasn’t well.  It wasn’t like it was a little hit, it was a terrible accident” said long-time friend and neighbor Rosa Pena.  “I think they let him go too soon, way too soon.”

Rocafort’s widow agreed, saying her husband was in extreme pain even as he left the hospital Tuesday.

About 2 a.m. Thursday Rocafort’s pain worsened and he developed difficulty breathing, then lost consciousness.  His wife administered CPR.  He was pronounced dead later at Baptist Medical Center in Homestead after being taken there by fire-rescue.

Kendall Regional Medical Center issued a one line statement Friday.  Hospital spokesperson Peter Jude said, “The patient arrived at Kendall Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department, was admitted, cared for, and appropriately discharged”.

The hospital did not address the widow’s concerns that it put insurance coverage issues ahead of caring for her husband.

Miami-Dade traffic homicide investigators took over the hit and run case Thursday after Rocafort died, on the belief that his death may have resulted from the injuries he received in the hit and run accident.

“We are looking for help from the public,” said MDPD Detective Aida Fina-Milian.  “Anyone who may have seen anything or knows anything about this hit and run is asked to call police.”

A report on the Saturday accident, that occurred on Southwest 137th Avenue just south of Eureka Drive, said the hit and run vehicle might have been a dark colored, four door Honda.

As she wondered if the hospital could have done more to save her husband, Flor Graham also appealed for the public’s help in catching the hit and run driver.  Her husband, a handsome, youthful looking man, was on his way to a group ride in Kendall when he was struck.

“He was a good and decent man,” Graham said, weeping.  “He was my life.”

Comments (25)
  1. metalgrannie says:

    I hope the widow gets a real good lawyer and sues the pants off Kendall Regional.

  2. Victor Barney says:

    “His widow blames the hit and run driver, but also believes the hospital that treated him may have contributed to his death, by putting insurance coverage issues above her husband’s care.”
    And this is only the beginning of Obamacare! WATCH!
    My prayers are with you Mrs. Flor Graham.

    1. metalgrannie says:

      I don’t think this has anything to do with Obamacare – but with the hospital. I have a medicare advantage plan and I went to Kendall Regional for an emergency, and even though they have a contract with my medicare advantage provider stating how much they were going to pay, they third-party billed me for the difference, and I have a collection agency chasing after me. I’m waiting for the collection agency to report this to the credit bureaus, and then I’m getting a lawyer. Medicare does not allow third party billing, or instituting collection procedures against a Medicare recipient.

    2. Lynne Olvey says:

      This is why we should have Universal Health Care. It will only get worse if Insurance companies dictate what hospitals can do….

    3. JennyLee says:

      This is the problem with health care being a BUSINESS and bottom line drive. It is a serious conflict of interest and the reason behind so much gross negligence. My heart weeps for this family and this horrible injustice, one after another.

  3. justice4you says:

    this has nothing to do with political parties, presidents or hospitals but everything to do with what happens when a corporate society is not allowed to evolve by the power$ that be. the main goal of any civilized society is to make it easier for EVERYONE to receive the same basic(healthcare) rights/privileges as the wealthier portions of the population. the hit n run driver did not kill Miguel Rocafort THE HIGHLY FLAWED SYSTEM DID.

  4. daus300b says:

    Perhaps the MPD’s only hope is that this is criminal is the honest type that turns himself in. “Up to” $5000 and “up to” 5 years in prison for hit and run in Florida. Yet, if you use a gun and kill someone in a crime its 25 years MANDATORY in Florida! A gun and a 4000 pound car can kill a person – yet its still “UP TO 5 years” if the person flees the scene of the accident with a car.. My thoughts and condolences to the family of Miguel Rocafort.

  5. icui2i says:

    This would NEVER happen had they taken him to Jackson. Yes, Jackson is losing a ton of money but they would never have discharged a patient in that condition!

    Seems like they said, Insurance was tightening up … go home and die.

    Don’t be surprised if the next time, KRMC uses up all the insurance money, discharges the patient, then recommend that they go to Jackson.

  6. icui2i says:

    Sad. But the wife works at Jackson, why didn’t she take him there. Jackson is the only place for trauma!

    1. Jacob says:

      Too far from her Residence.. He was taken to Baptist of Homestead after he developed severe symptoms “at home”. Clearly, “home” is close to Homestead.. Jackson is a 40 minute drive north with NO TRAFFIC and sirens.

      Jackson was too far.

      1. acio says:

        jacob you are right….. we took him to homestead. they day of the accident they took him to Kendall regional…….. i want to thanks you for taking the time to post a comment.

        my name is Andre and i am Miguel’s step son.

  7. metalgrannie says:

    It has nothing to do with ObamaCare. It’s the hospital. And emergency first reponders take seriously injured victims to the nearest trauma center. Unfortunately for him, the closest was Kendall Regional. I have my Medicare through a Medicare Advantage provider, and I had to go to Kendall Reg. for an emergency. They have a contract with my provider, and get paid based on that contract. I am now being hounded by a collection agency because my provider only paid the contracted fee, and Kendall Reg. billed me for the difference, then sicked the collection agency on me. I am waiting to see if they report this to credit reporting agencies, and if they do, will hire an attorney – – because by law, they’re not supposed to third-party bill a Medicare recipient, or turn the account over to a collection agency. So if they do, I will sue both the collection agency and the Hospital.

  8. John says:

    the richest country in the world yet we have to worry about to 2 most basic necessities. Health and education, which are among the most expensive in the world

  9. Counterattack says:

    Kendall Regional has a Trauma Center-LOL NO they have a Morgue! Ter rible Hospital don’t go there, Jackson has a Trauma Center, This woman should sue!

  10. ICURN says:

    I am an ICU RN at one of the Baptist Health System Hospitals. I am outraged at the ignorance of comments. Hospitals don’t send patients home because of insurance issues. That is illegal. There are things that can happen to a person once discharged. A fat embolism, pulmonary embolism, etc. You can’t all make assumptions that Hospitals are in the wrong. People die in hospitals and when they are sent home due to many reasons that have nothing to do with how they were taken care of or when they were discharged. My father died at Jackson after open heart surgery. I did not go run and sue the hospital. The media has a way of taking advantage of a bad situation and not doing all of their homework. Playing on the public’s emotion just to get a story out. My condolences to the family and I hope they find the person who caused this tragedy. The tragedy was not caused by the hospital.

    1. kris says:

      my loved one went in for a simple procedure at kendall regional and they did severe damage to her hand…we didn’t sue.. but they are horrible!!!!!.. i can even imagine any thing complicated being treated here if they cant do a simple procedure right. they should close down all bad hospitals. and put the money into good hospitals!!!

    2. Jacob says:

      Kendall Regional is a third world hospital. It ranks up there with Palmetto General.. The best hospital, in my opinion, Memorial Hospital Miramar. The ER never has over 10 people waiting.. NEVER.

      Palmetto or Hialeah…. you will DlE in the ER waiting room. And the worst part is, the other people waiting won’t give a d@m if you croak next to them.

    3. fair123 says:

      icurn.. u r not entirly right… true a hospital cant refuse care ,but a doctor can… i had the best care at JFK in lake worth… spent months, yes months in the CCU and ICU . one of the doctors ,after i came out of a comma weeks later, refused to treat me because ,as i was told ,was concerned for his payment! i did finally get insurance and payed all 1.2 million in deipts so far..including his… i am very greatful to the excellent staff but i will never forget this “doctor”… i never belive in this, but yes sue the paints off of them..he would still be alive today.

  11. @hospitaldoorsclosed says:

    “They told me the insurance was tightening up,” said the wife, Flor Graham. “I told them he was too seriously injured to go home yet.”

    “Hospitals don’t send patients home because of insurance issues. That is illegal.”

    they send them home because they dont have money

    the poor, sick and injured are expected to die

  12. acio says:

    i want to thank everybody for your comments, please i would really like help in finding the person that hit him…. i would be passing pamphlets on that street…. if i have to i would knock on thousands of doors but i don’t want this act to go unpunished !!!

    thank you!

  13. zaigon says:

    My thoughts and condolences to the family of Miguel Rocafort..Insurance has been my carrier, for many years and I can honestly say that insurance companies, can not limit the time of a hospitalizacion. Unless there are some new rules imposed by the so call Obama Care.

  14. BadDude says:

    mmm maybe this have to do with obamacare, it won’t cover everything but seem he die do to injury from hit and run the hospital did whhat could be done is just that when your insurance don’t cover everything they let you go.

  15. GEORGE says:

    Miguel Rocafort was our partner in Dish Network team, we were working together for about 4 years, we all are seriously affected with this tragedy, only we have now his memories of a friendly partner, a good worker, and a good person, he was a great example for each and every one of us. Our more sincerely condolence, to his wife and family. He would be always in our hearts.